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Statement delivered by H.E. Ms. Karen Ellemann, Minister for Fisheries and Equal Opportunities and Minister for Nordic Cooperation, at fifty-sixth session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD56), 29 January 2018 in New York

09.02.2018  23:21

(Check against delivery)

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

With the 2030 Agenda we have a roadmap for our collective efforts to overcome the main challenges of our time – including eradicating poverty and ensuring economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development for all.

We have come far in our quest to eradicate poverty with considerable progress over the last 30 years. However, for those still living in deep poverty – seemingly without a way to escape it - we have not yet delivered.

I would like to highlight four issues that we believe are crucial to eradicate poverty by 2030.

Firstly, to achieve our objectives we need to build strong partnerships. Governments, the private sector, academia and civil society need to work together to ensure that all efforts are directed towards our common goals for people, planet and prosperity.

Through partnerships we can attract people, solutions, knowledge, innovation and capital that can help solve our global challenges.
Denmark is actively engaging with the private sector to create jobs, growth and development in developing countries.

Through our Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 initiative (called P4G), initiated last year by the Prime Minister of Denmark, we will develop innovative public-private partnerships across sectors and borders to deliver on the SDGs.

If we succeed, the private sector in developing countries can thrive. And when it does, jobs are created, wages received and invested and lives are improved. At the same time, taxes must be paid, so governments can invest in education, health and infrastructure. Basically the welfare-state model in short terms...

Secondly: Eradicating poverty requires a sustained long-term development effort. I am proud to say that in 2018, Denmark will have delivered on the UN target of delivering 0.7 pct. of GNI as ODA for 40 years in a row. We encourage other countries to meet the target as well. While development assistance cannot eradicate poverty in itself, it remains an important pillar in the effort to do so. ODA can function as a catalyst for leveraging private capital and engaging private actors in sustainable development.

And it is clear that ODA continues to play a crucial role in the least developed countries, in countries affected by conflict and crisis and in humanitarian settings.
Thirdly: We must focus on gender equality and young people – especially young women.

Today, the world has the largest youth generation ever - estimated at 1.8 billion young people, of which more than three out of four live in developing countries. In many of the poorest countries, the proportion of young people accounts for over half of the population.
If we address the challenges faced by young people – and especially young women - and provide them with health, education, jobs, services and rights, they will not only see considerable improvements in their own lives - they will also become engaged and productive citizens to the benefit of their countries. It is therefore not only the right thing to do – it is also the smart thing to do.

Fourthly, if we want to “leave no one behind”, we have to give special attention to those who live through protracted displacement or in countries affected by conflict and crisis.

As mentioned in the report of the Secretary-General, 50 percent of people in such situations still live in extreme poverty.

For women and girls, the consequences are particularly alarming. In situations of conflict and crisis, girls have 2.5 times greater risk of non-schooling than boys. 1 out of 5 women in flight are exposed to sexual violence or abuse. 61% of maternal mortality occurs in humanitarian crises and fragile situations.

For people who are displaced as refugees or IDPs for tens of years, we have to ensure coherence between our humanitarian and development assistance.

We must meet immediate humanitarian needs but also invest in long-term development – especially in education and livelihoods.

Denmark is a candidate to the Human Rights Council [in 2019-2021]. The SDGs figure prominently in our candidature, based on the integration of the respect for all Human Rights in the 2030 Agenda. We are building on 50 years’ experience in international development cooperation promoting good governance, human rights and rule of law and maintaining high levels of official development assistance.

We believe that development and human rights are mutually reinforcing. If we manage to address the plague of poverty within the horizon of the 2030 agenda we will fulfill one of the most basic rights – the right to a life in dignity.

Thank you.