New York (September 24, 2013): The Prime Ministers of Pakistan, H.E. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, and Norway, H.E. Jens Stoltenberg, and the Minister for Development Co-operation of Denmark, H.E Christian Friis Bach, who are also co-chairing a 32 member country Group of Friends on Sustainable Energy for All, agreed that the three countries would push for a goal on sustainable energy for all as part of the post-2015 Development Agenda. The three leaders met on the margins of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly today and were joined by Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief Executive for Sustainable Energy for All.
The three countries have been leading efforts at the United Nations in support of sustainable energy for all. Energy, the three leaders agreed, is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity, and an environment that allows the world to thrive. Realizing sustainable energy is central to eradicating poverty, increasing food production, providing clean water, improving public health, empowering women and addressing climate change.
This trilateral statement follows the recent declaration by the General Assembly to declare 2014-2024 the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All; a testimony of the commitment of all Member States to this crucial issue.
The three leaders pledged their full support to the Secretary-General’s initiative on Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) as a global partnership that can move the world forward. The initiative, a key priority of the Secretary-General, was launched in 2011 to catalyze and mobilize action towards the overall goal of sustainable energy for all by 2030 through three critical objectives:
- 1. ensuring universal access to modern energy services;
- 2. doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
- 3. doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
The leaders agreed that creating a viable framework for achieving sustainable energy for all will require active engagement and participation by all stakeholders, including governments, private sector, civil society, the UN System and the multilateral development banks, including the World Bank Group.
Mr. Yumkella, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, briefed them on the progress of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and, on behalf of the Secretary-General, expressed his strong desire to continue the fruitful cooperation with the Group of Friends on Sustainable Energy for All, and in particular with the governments of Pakistan, Norway and Denmark in their capacity as co-chairs.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan outlined the goals and targets that his government had established in promoting sustainable energy in Pakistan. He highlighted that the Pakistan National framework was aimed at the (a) generation of cheap energy; (b) exploitation of immense renewable and sustainable energy potential and (c) a culture of energy conservation and responsibility. In this regard, the three leaders underlined the need for developing multilateral mechanisms to support country’s efforts. On his part, Mr. Yumkella underscored his readiness to support and assist the government of Pakistan consistent with its national power/energy policy.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway stated that, “energy is a prerequisite for development. Therefore, we need more energy. At the same time, we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hence we must increase the supply of renewable energy and increase energy efficiency.” Prime Minister Stoltenberg also applauded the leadership provided by the UN Secretary-General and reiterated Norway’s commitment and support to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
Minister for Development Co-operation of Denmark, Mr. Christian Friis Bach added: “It is important that we use the SEforALL initiative as a key vehicle to further advance energy into the new development agenda. The SEforALL initiative and the targets on access, renewables and efficiency are key because they integrate the three dimensions of sustainability, promote efforts to tackle climate change and create strong energy partnerships.”
The three leaders also agreed to continue this engagement with the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and the United Nations to ensure promotion and inclusion of a goal on sustainable energy for all through the inter-governmental process towards a post-2015 Development Agenda.