Statement by Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, UN Resident Coordinator at the UN Day receptionOct 24, 2016
21 October 2016, Marriott Hotel Astana, 7 p.m.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ashikbayev,
Distinguished representatives of state entities,
Civil society, Private sector, Academia, and Media
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to today’s reception to mark the birthday of the United Nations, an organization guided by the principles of justice, peace, equality and human rights. These values, enshrined in the UN Charter, are as relevant today as they were 71 years ago, even more so in our more complex and increasingly inter-dependent world.
Let me start by thanking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for co-hosting and co-sponsoring this reception and the UN Day roundtable that many of you attended today at the Ministry.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Seventy-one years ago on 24 October, the founding Charter of the United Nations entered into force. Every year on the UN Day, we reaffirm our commitment to the universal values of tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity. And we pay tribute to women and men serving under the ‘blue flag’ with pride, distinction and courage, and our partners all over the world who are helping us in our important work.
But above all, the UN Day is an opportunity to reflect on what more we can do to realize our vision for a better world: More to protect those suffering from wars and conflicts; to fight climate change; to expand opportunities for women and girls; to combat injustice and eradicate poverty; and work jointly to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s observance of the UN Day occurs at a time of transition for the world and for the United Nations. In the Organization’s 71st year, we have 17 goals, to propel us towards a better future for all.
Here in Kazakhstan we have strong partnership with the Government of Kazakhstan, and using this opportunity, I would like once again to congratulate the Government of Kazakhstan on its election as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. This is a clear reflection of increased expectations for Kazakhstan to play a stronger and bigger role to create and preserve peace and security.
At the same time, Kazakhstan has long been very proactive in contributing to the global well-being through a number of strategic initiatives launched through the United Nations. Most recently, the country signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, which will enter into force on 4 November, and EXPO 2017 will be held as its unique contribution to achieving UN Secretary-General’s initiative on Sustainable Energy for All.
Furthermore, Kazakhstan – once a recipient of foreign aid – is turning itself into a contributor for international development. The Government is committed to establishing its system of Official Development Assistance, and already, it has begun providing assistance to promote gender equality in Afghanistan in cooperation with the UN agencies and like-minded partners.
As the UN turns the page on another year, the UN agencies based in Kazakhstan together with the Government of Kazakhstan and other development partners will continue to address the development challenges of Kazakhstan, particularly by mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals into development policies, towards realization of Kazakhstan’s Strategy 2050.
The 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted at the UN last year and launched this year is large and complex. And so there is much for us to do jointly including for generating strong national ownership over SDGs, introducing cross-sectoral approaches, building broad coalitions around SDGs, ensuring proper financing, and generating and sharing new ideas, knowledge, and technologies.
It is so important for all of us – the United Nations system, Government of Kazakhstan, civil society, private sector, academia, media and international community, to work together. Only by building strong partnerships can we achieve the SDGs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The UN Day is a day for every country and every one attending this event. This is an opportunity to celebrate but also to reaffirm our commitment to continue to work towards the purposes for which the United Nations was built.
Thank you for joining us today. Please enjoy your evening.