UN Calls on Malaysia to Champion Sustainable Development Goals
KUALA LUMPUR, 24 October 2017 – On the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations, PACOS Trust, Zero Waste Malaysia and Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria received the UN Award 2017 in recognition of their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. The event was officiated by Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The award honours the outstanding contribution of individuals and organizations that put into practice three underlying principles of Agenda 2030, namely ‘leaving no one behind’, sustainability, and participation.
“Malaysia as a nation has made encouraging progress in fulfilling the Sustainable Development. While Government is primarily responsible for achieving the SDGs, they will only be achieved if also private sector and NGOs make key contributions” said Mr. Stefan Priesner, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malaysia.
He added, “Behind every progress, we need to remember there are people – men and women – who dedicate energy and efforts every day to make Malaysia a better place by 2030 for all. They are the goal keepers, makers, and builders who exemplify and embody key principles – sustainability, participation, and leaving no one behind. This award is an acknowledgment of their achievement and hopes to rally the nation to follow their lead.
The 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, a transformative and integrated global plan was adopted by 193 countries two years ago. The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department is leading the initiatives to meet the targets for Malaysia in alignment with the Eleventh Malaysia Plan. The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) is supporting EPU’s efforts to develop a National SDG Roadmap to chart its course.
The National SDG Roadmap is the country’s strategic plan to ensure that the 17 goals, 169 targets and 244 indicators, are achieved to improve the quality of life for all, with no one left behind, and to ensure a country that is sustainable and protected for present and future generations. Together with EPU and the Global Compact Network Malaysia, the UN will unveil in January 2018 a National SDG Portal to enable private sector, civil society, youth, government agencies, and others to commit and track their contributions to the SDGs.
Stefan said, “UN agencies, funds, and programmes, have specific and complementary mandates, as they deliver together on the 2030 Agenda. The priorities are leaving no one behind, sustainability and a human rights approach to development.”
In a video message in conjunction with the anniversary, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted global challenges to overcome; widening conflicts and inequality, extreme weather and deadly intolerance as well as security threats that include nuclear weapons.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General said, “We have the tools and wealth to overcome these challenges. All we need is the will. The world’s problems transcend borders. We have to transcend our differences to transform our future. When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people – they will build a peaceful, sustainable, and just world.”
The UN Day, held to commemorate the founding of the UN, was attended by Ambassadors, High Commissioners, and representatives of 60 diplomatic missions in Malaysia as well as Senior Malaysian Government Officials and civil society representatives. They joined the United Nations in reaffirming a societal commitment to security, development, and human rights which are the three main pillars of the UN.
The three winners of the UN Award 2017 were announced as following:
- PACOS Trust is a community-based organization dedicated towards engaging and empowering indigenous peoples in areas that matter such as protecting their identity, land, culture, and tradition. PACOS Trust received the award for promoting the Leaving No One Behind principle and reaching those furthest behind, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
- Claire Sancelot is the founder of Zero Waste Malaysia, an organization dedicated to advocating a zero-waste lifestyle in Malaysia. Zero Waste received the UN Award for being a community organization, which has taken significant measures to reduce their environmental footprint and incorporate sustainable practices in their business operations and practices.
- Datuk Dr. Denison is the CO-Chair of the Malaysia CSO-SDG Alliance, the former Secretary General of the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia or PROHAM and Chair of the Asian Social Economy Council (ASEC)/RIPESS Asia, through which he tirelessly advocates and pushes forward the 2030 Agenda. Datuk Dr. Denison received the UN Award for contributing to the mobilization of different stakeholders, particularly representatives of vulnerable groups, toward ensuring inclusion and participation in line with the 2030 Agenda.