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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN at the High-level meeting of the General Assembly on Middle-Income Countries, 4 December 2018


High-level meeting of the General Assembly on Middle-Income Countries
UN Trusteeship Council Chamber, 4 December 2018
Successes and challenges in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for MICs

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Sven Jürgenson,Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN

Madame President,

Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Eradication of poverty in all of its forms and dimensions is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda recognizes that middle-income countries face significant challenges to achieve sustainable development. However, we must accept that the group of Middle Income Countries (MICs) is very diverse, and there should be no “one size fits all” approach.

We commend efforts made and success achieved by many middle-income countries in striving for the sustainable development. However, we also realize the difficulties ahead.
It is important to keep in mind that national averages based on criteria such as per capita income do not always reflect the actual development needs of middle-income countries and despite notable progress in reducing poverty levels in both absolute and relative terms, it still remains a concern, as approximately 73 per cent of the world’s poor live in middle-income countries.

Estonia is ready to share its best practices to help MICs reform public services and to implement the principles of open governance, to fight against corruption and to increase transparency, reporting and efficiency. As said, MICs is a highly varying group of countries, so our specific activities and projects depend on each individual state´s unique situation and needs.

As a leader in the area of e-governance, and seeing how significant the use of ICT was for Estonia’s development, we think it is crucially important to close the digital divide to help countries fulfill their potential. In this connection, during the High Level week here at the UN, Estonia launched a cooperation project with UNDP to support the development of e-governance. The cooperation project is a major initiative to support the digital transformation of UNDP and developing countries. The aim of the project is to share Estonia’s e-governance expertise through UNDP country offices with nearly 170 countries and territories.

Madame President,

It is very important to keep on supporting the middle-income countries as they progress towards higher levels of development. The challenges MICs face need to be addressed continuously and in a comprehensive manner in order to guarantee that the progress countries have made in terms of income and human development will not be reversed. It is our common duty not to let that happen.

Thank you!


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