South Africa's President Jacob Zuma delivers the speech ahead of the signing ceremony of BRICS Business Council at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province in China, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo via AP)
CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has called for the “full implementation” of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a means to eradicate poverty.

Zuma made his remarks during the Dialogue of the Emerging Markets and Developing Countries on the margins of the 9th Brics Summit in Xiamen, China, on Monday. The dialogue included leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand.

“Addressing common development challenges is integral to building a better future for all humankind, as evidenced by the collaboration that exists between the Brics nations and their various international partners,” said Zuma.

“Our joint efforts were further manifested in the successful adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has the potential to eradicate poverty.”

He said revitalising the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development could only be fully achieved if supported by the concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, also adopted in 2015, and which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda.

“The means of implementation is fundamental to the success of countries meeting their developmental needs, and achieving the SDGs, yet it is the one area that has received neither the appropriate attention nor the requisite priority.”

Zuma said African countries were implementing the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 of the AU in an integrated manner. “This is to ensure that we secure and utilise natural resources sustainably.”

He also noted that Brics partners had established their first financial institution, the New Development Bank, which is supporting its founding members.

“Hopefully soon, it will also support our partners through providing development financing for infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

Zuma said the leadership of the AU engaged the Brics leadership at an early stage indicating its strong support for this project and the recent launch of the Africa Regional Centre was a most welcome signal of an intensifying partnership for development.

“As the global south, it remains our collective responsibility to increase our role in agenda setting and rule formulation in relevant fora, notably in the UN,” Zuma added.

He said that in the lead-up to the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, “we are confident” that international solidarity will prevail and that countries will encourage and support each other in the implementation of their various contributions and obligations.

Commenting on terrorism, Zuma said: “South Africa strongly condemns these horrendous acts and believes that, in order to fight this scourge it is imperative for the global community to unite as one and to intensify its collective efforts to counter the challenges that this poses to the international community at large.

“It remains our conviction that, given terrorism’s global reach, international co-operation in countering this threat is critical.

“South Africa, therefore, fully supports the global campaign against terrorism within the framework of the UN,” Zuma added.

 - BUSINESS REPORT