I speak on behalf of the European Union.
Thank you for convening this timely meeting. We look forward to engaging in fruitful discussions and consultations on how to best prepare for this important meeting in 2010.
I will start by commenting on the scope of the meeting. The European Union believes that 2010 is the last chance we have to make a revitalized and truly concerted effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Therefore, we are convinced that the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly should focus on precisely the achievement of the MDGs.
We would like to underline the broad nature of the MDGs. There are many cross-cutting issues underpinning the successful realization of the MDGs, such as for example climate change, gender, and governance. These crosscutting subjects should in our view be part of the discussion on how the MDGs can be achieved, including at the round tables and highlighted in the reports produced as input to the meeting. We would like to suggest that the title of the meeting is short and interesting in order to raise awareness, including at the highest levels.
With regard to duration and timing, the European Union is somewhat hesitant about the proposed three day long meeting. We think that a shorter meeting will increase the chances of high-level participation since many Heads of State and Governments might not be able to stay for a longer time.
The meeting should be back-to-back with the opening of the GA and we would prefer to avoid having the meeting during a weekend. We therefore welcome the proposal you just mentioned, Mr. Co-facilitator, to hold the meeting between 20-22 of September.
When it comes to structure and format, the EU thinks that the round tables should not all cover the same themes, but instead focus on different cross-cutting issues. This should hopefully allow for a thorough discussion of different issues affecting progress on the MDGs as well as allowing for several MDGs and their interlinkages to be discussed at the same time. The round tables should be interactive and encourage concrete exchange of views.
Regarding participation in the plenary meeting and interactive round tables, the EU would like to see broad and active participation of all stakeholders in the meeting itself, including the plenary and the round tables. Civil society, NGOs, private sector, Bretton Woods Institutions, UN agencies, regional development banks should be given adequate possibilities to participate and contribute to the meeting. The Monterrey conference in 2002 set a good example for such broad participation.
We also expect that the European Commission (the future EU delegation) will be able to participate fully.
On the preparatory activities, including civil society and private sector participation, we would welcome hearings with civil society, NGOs and private sector. In addition, we believe that regional and other meetings in the lead-up to the high-level meeting could help identify issues related to the achievement of the MDGs and provide useful input to our deliberations in September 2010.
The EU would like to see an analytical approach to the reports for the meeting, identifying which policies and strategies work and which do not, and how successful policies can be scaled up, including an assessment of what is needed to achieve the MDGs.
And so lastly, the outcome. What is needed, in our view, is a short, strong, political declaration containing a renewed commitment to achieving the MDGs by 2015. It should include a clear compact by all stakeholders for a strong collaborative and coherent approach. The outcome should also focus on which actions are needed to reach the MDGs.
We have now reached a stage when we would welcome a draft text from the facilitators for our further consultations.