United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

South Africa

Mr Chair,
Today the focus of the world is on South Africa where leaders of the world converged together with thousands of South Africans paid tribute to an outstanding leader and a father of our nation..
I thank all colleagues for the words of comfort and sympathies we received since the passing of our outstanding statesman.
My delegation aligns itself with statements delivered in this hall yesterday by Fiji on behalf of G77, The Gambia on behalf of the African Group and Zambia on behalf of the Southern African region.
South Africa places great importance to the means of implementation including development of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). This is informed by the important role that STI can play in the Sustainable Development. South Africa to some extent is already applying the provisions of a global partnership by involving and inviting all spheres and layers of the community to contribute and to implement sustainable development
Mobilising resources for the achievement of Sustainable Development and eradication of poverty is one of the main determining factors impacting on the ability of developing countries to develop in a sustainable manner and undoubtedly plays a major role in their ability to develop sustainably. We all agree that sustainable development is a national obligation however continued and increased support from the
developed countries is critically important. Without the adequate means of implementation, developing countries will continue facing challenges in implementing the Sustainable Development and the proposed SDGs.
Mr Chair,
Scientific evidence reaffirms that we have reached a point in human history, where the Earth system as we know it, is at risk. Although the earth system is dynamic and has been evolving since time memorial, human behaviour, and specifically human production and consumption patterns seem to be responsible for many of the interlinked and growing social, environmental and economic crises.
Mr Chair,
The ‘over-usage’ of the environment is demanding that development can only be sustained by moving onto a more sustainable path. This would require a stronger interdisciplinary science-based approach, underpinned by an integrated decision-making, involving all disciplines across the sciences and engineering landscape, which would require new partnerships across the scientific and social spectrum, involving all stakeholders.
South Africa therefore, supports the call for a stand-alone SDG on “Harnessing STI for Sustainable Development”. A stand-alone SDG would ensure a stronger interdisciplinary science-based approach in the development of policy frameworks. South Africa would like to join the call for all nations to work together to ensure that the international
community preserves the Earth’s systems, including, the outer space environment for future generations.
Through global collaboration, the shared developments and advances in science and technology are changing the way we live and communicate. There is no doubt that the sharing of ideas and the development of improved scientific products and services will bear positive spin-offs in the area of economic development and in our endeavours to address some of the socio-economic challenges facing all of us.
While strengthening the traditional North-South and Triangular Relations is crucial, we emphasize that fostering South-South relations is becoming an increasingly important strategic priority for the countries of the South, not only in politics and trade, but also in STI. In this respect South Africa is committed to the championing of STI for sustainable development.
However these arrangements are never intended to replace the North –South cooperation which will remain crucial even in the post-2015 development epoch. The main objective should remain the development of people, irrespective of whether they are located in the South or North. Science, technology and innovation are the means through which responsible nations achieve the goals of human development.
International cooperation and investments and partnerships are vitally important to support the implementation of national, regional and multilateral development, research and innovation programmes that are informed by developmental challenges experienced by countries. Innovation, underpinned by high quality scientific research, is critical to address our common challenges of poverty and development.
Mr Chair,
Africa still has a long way from realising its full potential. The lack of a highly skilled workforce, especially in disciplines related to science and technology, must feature as one of our biggest single challenges. Without tapping into our technology potential, the continent will find it difficult to achieve the poverty alleviation and education targets as presented in the Millennium Development Goals. In this context developing countries will continue to call for means of implementation in the form of financial and technical assistance, capacity building and technology development and transfer.
We reiterate the view that a global partnership has a huge potential to deliver the necessary means of implementation and contribute towards the eradication of poverty as an essential requirement for sustainable development.
I thank you!