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UN rep.: Sustainable development doesn’t mean money distribution

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Prague, March 26 (CTK) – Sustainable development does not mean giving money to the poor, UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed told CTK on Monday, adding that the development goals, as outlined by all UN members in September 2015, also relate to the “well-off” North.

Mohammed, who attends an informal meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Prague, pointed out persisting differences in the wages of men and women.

The purpose of the sustainable development goals (SDG) is to solve worldwide problems including migration, Mohammed said.

She said she would not link migration exclusively to terrorism and Islam.

Sustainable development does not mean that one gives something to another. A number of countries of the well-off North do not see their own problems that might have a negative impact in the future, Mohammed said.

Inequality is a universal problem. For example, the differences in women and men’s wages are the most palpable in the countries of the North, she said.

The successful fulfilment of the sustainable development goals depends on whether people all over the world realise their own responsibility and their chance to influence their own future and the future of the next generations.

It is necessary to show people that these efforts are no directives approved in New York but that they concern people’s lives, their activities at work, after work and within their community, Mohammed said.

Before the ECOSOC meeting’s opening on Monday, Mohammed mentioned migration as one of the global problems that can be solved by fulfilling sustainable development goals on condition that countries cooperate on the effort.

However, it is migration that divided the EU recently, mainly in reaction to a refugee wave. The UN-promoted global deal on migration has been rejected by the USA and criticised by Hungary.

The UN wants migration to be assessed positively, but it has to react to the apprehensions of the people. The obstacle rests in people fearing the interconnection of migration, terrorism and Islam, Mohammed said.

These stances, however, stem from fear and a lack of information, she said, adding that she is a Muslim herself and knows that Muslims are not born terrorists.

There are other causes, including the misuse of Islam, she said.

The 17 SDGs follow up the UN’s previous strategy of Development goals of the millennium. Individual goals have been formulated as a series of commitments UN countries should meet by 2030.

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