At the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) held in New York City from July 9-18, 2018, Margaret Munene of Palmhouse Dairies delivered the following remarks as the Business and Industry Intervention.
“Leave no one Behind”
Mr. Chair, Your Excellencies,
On behalf of the Business and Industry Major Group I would like to thank you for the opportunity to take the floor. As the head of a medium sized dairy business in Kenya that sources milk from over 600 smallholder famers, I am acutely aware that we must all do more to ensure no one is left behind.
Madam Chair, as we look at the SDGs, it is very sobering that since the last HLPF we have seen a RISE in the total number of global hungry, the number of deaths from malaria, and we suspect rural women remain among those left furthest behind.
In the face of this serious lack of progress (indeed we have moved backwards in some areas from 2015), we encourage the High Level Forum to reflect upon the gravity of the situation and to call for renewed attention on poverty, hunger, and health, along with all the other goals, including those under focus this year.
An important element has been the rise in conflict around the world which has led to migration, degradation of rule of law, and greater hunger. Investing in the well being of people not only in cities, but also in rural areas, can do more to ensure no one is left behind.
At the same time, increased uncertainty created by rising tariffs is an impediment to trade and progress. We encourage respect for a rules-based trading system and encourage member states to de-escalate a growing trade war.
Finally, as business and industry, we would like to note the important role of business in leaving no one behind. We must be good employers and we must not forget the billions of people who make their living as small businesses – from vendors to fisherfolk; from farmers to tailors. Their family livelihoods help leave no one behind.