I am taking the floor on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey , Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union (EU) reiterates its deep regret for the fact that the 15th annual session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was unable to agree on an ambitious text on energy, climate, air pollution and industrial development and therefore to deliver an agreed outcome.
The two-week session of the CSD15, which took place last May in New York, marked also the end of a two-year implementation cycle which dealt with some of the major challenges of our time: climate change, energy for sustainable development, industrial development and air pollution/atmosphere.
Acknowledging that these areas require strengthened and more ambitious international policy commitments, the EU considers nonetheless that the solutions proposed by the draft decision submitted by the Chair of the CSD15 fell short of addressing these impending challenges and, in our view, would not have provided an adequate and timely response neither to the aspirations of the EU nor to the expectations of the outside world.
The EU remains, however, strongly convinced that global challenges can only be addressed through multilateral discussions and that the CSD, as a rather unique multi-stakeholder forum, could play an even more critical role in promoting sustainable development in an integrated manner at the global level.
In this sense, the EU is also of the opinion that it is critical to find ways to ensure that future CSD cycles, within the existing policy mandate of the Commission, achieve progressive, clear and action oriented outcomes necessary for pursuing our common goal of sustainable development with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The firm commitment of the EU to the CSD process should in no way be challenged. The EU would like, nevertheless, to take this opportunity to renew its constructive and unambiguous engagement to this common endeavour.
Thank you very much Mr. President.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.