Photograph: predsjednica.hr

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic expressed in the United Nations on Thursday strong support for the new UN development agenda for the period 2015-2030, saying that its implementation required a strong and efficient United Nations as well as global commitment and cooperation.

Participating in a high-level thematic debate of the UN General Assembly on ways to accomplish the goals of sustainable development, President Grabar-Kitarovic underscored that the world today was faced with many challenges that knew no borders and that required a collective response.

As the UN Charter says, it is our collective responsibility as members of the UN to preserve international peace and security and undertake effective collective measures to prevent and remove threats to peace, she said.

That can be achieved successfully only if we concentrate on the causes of conflicts and instability and resolve them with thorough and sustainable development policies, she underscored.

At its summit in September 2015 the UN adopted its development agenda for the period until 2030 which incorporates 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets.

They seek to realise the abolishment of famine in the world, secure health care and education for all and gender equality. All people should have access to drinking water and sewage and energy. In addition, countries have to promote sustainable economic growth, develop infrastructure, reduce inequalities, secure sustainable housing, sustainable consumption and production. Urgent steps need to be taken to combat climate change, protect the seas and other eco-systems and develop institutions that protect human rights. These goals replace the Millennium Development Goals that expired at the end of 2015.

The President emphasised that the implementation of "Agenda 2030" required a strong and efficient United Nations and that it was necessary to set clear directions and increase efficiency and the exchange of information and communication within the UN, as well as secure strong monitoring and strengthen responsibility.

It is necessary to build a stronger link between sustainable development and peace and security, she said.

Aid has to go where it is needed the most, she underscored, noting that it was necessary to take account of politically specific situations and not have a uniform approach.

She added that it was necessary to enhance cooperation between the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Croatia is ready to support meaningful partnerships and exchange its best practises and experience, notably in post-conflict development, Croatia's president stressed.

The UN development agenda for the period 2015-2020 is not just another document but a plan for the future of humanity, she said.

Our approach to all seventeen goals of sustainable development has to be quick, coherent and sincere. Otherwise we will lose more than we can ever get back, she added.

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