President Abdel Fattah El Sisi: Viewpoint

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President Abdel Fattah El Sisi

Viewpoint: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the international community approved are a comprehensive framework through to 2030 to achieve the welfare and prosperity of all people. Egypt’s pursuit to realise the SDGs has gained increased importance in an environment that compels us to face extremely difficult international challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic added to these hurdles and affected all countries. Increasing growth rates, eliminating poverty, providing jobs, and tackling climate change and its negative consequences on the availability of water and food, as well as manoeuvring the complicated political situation in many parts of the world, must be addressed in a comprehensive and sustainable way in order to preserve the fruits of development yielded over past decades.

The events that the world has experienced since early 2020 proved the necessity of pursuing the SDGs. The steps countries are taking form a comprehensive approach that considers the overlap between the various economic and social fields addressed by the goals. This approach seeks to realise the utmost benefit from the cooperation opportunities to fund development offered by the Sustainable Development Agenda, whether within multilateral frameworks or at the bilateral level with development partners, including countries, financial institutions and international banks, while at the same time considering the priorities of countries and safeguarding their ownership of national policies and development programmes.

Egypt has been keen to localise the SDGs, and integrated them into development programmes and policies at all levels from an early stage. This effort culminated in the adoption of Egypt Vision 2030 as an inclusive framework for the government’s efforts in these areas. Egypt has submitted voluntary national reports on implementing the SDGs as well. This stems from our conviction to review progress at the national level, especially with regards to implementing the social and economic reform programme. Publishing the voluntary reports also comes from Egypt’s desire to exchange expertise and experiences.

We realise that the aim of any government development efforts should centre on citizens. Therefore, Egypt has devised its development programmes and policies by placing the interest of citizens at the core, to help them achieve their ambitions and respond to their aspirations for decent housing, employment and services. This vision was crystallised in the recently launched Decent Life Initiative. It is considered one of the most ambitious and comprehensive development programmes in Egypt’s history. The initiative seeks to achieve sustainable development, including in the countryside, where the majority of the Egyptian population resides. It is being approached in a way that maximises efforts to bring about balanced regional development and mobilise the necessary investment to improve citizens’ quality of life, namely by eliminating poverty and reducing unemployment rates.

The success that Egypt has achieved in these areas over the past years has been the result of sacrifices by Egyptian citizens for the sake of building their nation and realising their aspirations. Egypt continues to take firm steps towards the implementation of its ambitious economic reform programme that began in 2016 in cooperation with the IMF, the results of which have thus far validated Egypt’s vision with regards to the priorities and demands of the reforms. Our efforts have been widely attested to by international financial institutions and credit ratings agencies. Our progress has also enabled the economy to endure the consequences of the pandemic and allowed the government to take the necessary measures to alleviate its negative effects. We look forwards to continuing engagement in the significant international effort that is the SDGs, leading to the achievement of our common aspirations for a better future for the coming generations.

This viewpoint was adapted from a speech by President El Sisi at the UN General Assembly in September 2021.

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