On behalf of the European Union and its Member States, let me first congratulate and also thank you for having accepted to facilitate the preparatory process of this important Special Event. Rest assured that we will engage constructively in these preparations.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
In this spirit and to try to contribute efficiently to today’s initial discussions, let me share the EU and its Member States’ initial views, following the structure of the food-for-thought paper you have circulated to us:
1. On the modalities (date, duration, format)
– We fully share your characterisation of the event. As decided in 2010, this is not a formal event of the General Assembly but a Special Event to be organized by the President of the General Assembly, with your support.
– As regards the possible dates, we are open to the proposal you put forward to hold the Special Event in September 2013 during the Ministerial week so as to facilitate high level attendance and avoid clashes with other high level meetings. Assuming this can be logistically and financially supported by the UN Secretariat, September 25th is certainly an option we can support.
– As regards the format, we would also be ready to work towards the proposed interactive format (e.g. a one day event with a short opening session; round tables, closing session) to allow for a substantive and interactive exchange of views as well as the participation of civil society and other relevant stakeholders.
2. On the substance (scope, inputs, outcome)
– As stated many times before, the international community must first and foremost not lose sight of the implementation of the present MDGs and make every effort to accelerate their achievement. Therefore, as regards the scope and objectives, we believe that the Special Event could offer the opportunity to collectively:
i) Assess the progress achieved on the MDGs;
ii) Discuss ways to accelerate their achievement of in the run-up to 2015;
iii) and, guided by the lessons learnt, consider key principles and building blocks going forward towards the design of a coherent and comprehensive post-2015 framework, as well as possible ways to bring together the various ongoing processes.
– As regard inputs, as mandated by the 2010 High Level Meeting, the 2013 annual progress report of the UN Secretary General (to be informed by the report of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons and as well as the various on-going thematic and country consultations) will provide a key contribution to the Special Event. In line with our clear position towards the definition of a comprehensive and coherent post 2015 framework, we would also welcome any preliminary contribution that the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals could provide to the September event.
– Finally, as regards the expected result of the special event, we consider that a succinct and focused summary would be best suited to reflect the discussions which we trust will be rich. A summary prepared by the President of the General Assembly, under his authority, could also usefully record areas where a consensus may already be emerging in September, areas for further discussion and where further work would need to be undertaken by the UN Secretary General.
Let me thank you again for your facilitation and confirm our constructive engagement in the preparations ahead.
*Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.