Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Polish President at UN Recasts 2030 Agenda in Three Pillars
Polish President Andrzej Duda, speaking today on the first day of the general debates at the opening of 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, recast the UN’s iconic 2030 Agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals – into three pillars that emphasized his vision of a just, secure and humane world.
“Sustainable development, human rights protection as well as peace and security – these are the goals pursued by the United Nations whose achievement has been mankind’s yearning,” Duda observed. “These three rules, the free foundations of sustainable development are: responsibility, solidarity and justice.”
Duda elaborated on his vision:
“Responsibility arises from our obligation to take care of the heritage that we are going to leave to our children and grandchildren. How we are going to be remembered by them and what they are going to write about us in history books. Responsibility is underpinned by the conviction that history does neither begin nor end here and now – but is a succession of generations, destinies and commitments. Responsibility understood this way pertains nowadays especially to social issues and natural environment. Responsible development is a development which cares.”
“Solidarity. This concept is particularly close to the Polish people who led by the social movement bearing this name (Solidarność) carried out a peaceful political transformation a quarter of a century ago, rejecting the system founded on lie and enslavement. What has given the Polish Solidarity its durable foundations to rely on, was a community of sensitivity to the misfortune of other people and respect to any man, regardless of his or her origin or financial situation.
“The third pillar of sustainable development is justice. A just and equitable order as an order in which the sustainable development model can be delivered, is founded on observance of human rights and law of nations. Individual freedom, dignity of human person and inviolability of his or her life, as well as freedom of conscience and religion - these are constituents of the catalogue of inalienable human rights which nowadays call for particular protection. There are by far too many sites worldwide where freedom is constrained by an oppressive political system; where human dignity is violated, and also man's most fundamental right: the right to life is encroached upon.”
In his image, Duda sees a close interdependence among development, human rights and freedoms, while making a direct connection between respect for human rights and the right to life.
“Only respect of human rights, not only the political ones but also social, economic and cultural, allows to fully harness human potential, and eventually, to the implementation of sustainable development model. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that all human rights are derived from the most fundamental one: the right to life,” Duda said.
Contrary to the Polish representative’s address last year, this year Duda only once referred to Ukraine, when he spoke about the hideous refugee consequence of the war in Ukraine. He said Poland has acted out of its sense of solidarity by increasing its “humanitarian and development aid in the Middle East region and to the East. In our efforts to build peace and sustainable development we set great store by education of children and young people. My country has been and will continue to be an active advocate of solidarity in the international arena.”
Duda also refrained from mentioning Russia when he spoke about aggressor states and invaders but was not short of condemning aggressors and invaders. However, he seemed to allude to Russia’s war against Ukraine and its occupation of Crimea.
“Today, I wish to reiterate in most clear terms: we must abide by the rules which is expressed by a Roman paremia: Ex injuria jus non oritur – ‘law is not born from lawlessness.’ No aggressor has right to the territory occupied by him. We reject the system in which it is politics of force and aggression that predetermines destinies of nations,” he said.
Aggression violates a nation’s right to a peaceful, stable and secure existence, and the aggressor must be held accountable for its transgressions, Duda said. Otherwise, bilateral and global confidence will be undermined, he added.
“The effectiveness of global action in this regard shall depend on international solidarity and concerted action between our states. In the meantime, any act of aggression which encroaches on international commitments undermines mutual trust among states and societies. It undermines the order, which was so strenuously built in the wake of World War 2.
“That is why it is so crucially important to make sure that the policy of force would each time meet with a decisive opposition of the international community. In order for the law to be effective, any violation thereof must trigger off execution of consequent measures.”
Duda concluded by emphasizing that “responsibility, solidarity and justice: these are the pillars on which Poland would like to build international community for sustainable development of free nations and equal states.”