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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

I have the honour to speak on behalf of EU and its 27 Member States.

At the Conference of Rio, governments committed to promote patterns of consumption and production that reduce environmental stress and will meet the basic needs of humanity. Ten years later, the international community recognized in Johannesburg the need to shape and launch an ambitious and actionable 10-year framework of programmes (10YFP) at CSD19 for the period 2011-2021 in support of regional and national initiatives to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP).

This need has been reconfirmed in the Chair’s summary of CSD18, stating that Sustainable development calls for fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume. In order to carry out effectively these fundamental changes, the EU wants to reaffirm the urgency for all countries to endorse a 10YFP at CSD19 and to express high political support for this work.

Moreover, it will be an important step towards UNCSD2012 (Rio+20) as a concrete and actionable response to various challenges on the way to green the economies worldwide while addressing social concerns and acting in synergy with other recent important commitments. One of these recent commitments is the Strategic Plan adopted at Nagoya which foresees that by 2020, at the latest, Governments, business and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for SCP.

The EU would like to thank H.E. Ms Lucia Chandeck Cummings, Minister of the Environment of Panama, for having hosted the High-level Intersessional Meeting of the CSD on the 10YFP on SCP and H.E. Mr Laszlo Borbely, Minister of the Environment and Forests of Romania, Chair of CSD19 for his active support and involvement. This well attended meeting offered an excellent opportunity to start shaping the 10YFP and we welcome the Chair’s summary that includes, in our view, constructive and relevant proposals for building the 10YFP. We were happy to note that several of these proposals were recaptured in the Resource Paper prepared by the Bureau for the CSD 19 decision.

EU welcomes the UNEP GC 26 decision on 10 YFP which recommends the endorsement of the 10YFP by CSD19.

The 10YFP should be based inter alia on valuable experience of the Marrakech process on SCP and already very important work which has been done on national, regional, and global level.

On the Structure of the 10YFP

Concerning the structure the EU holds the opinion that the 10YFP to be adopted at CSD 19 should consist of 2 parts:

– The first part should describe the core elements of the 10YFP: the vision, the global common goals, the program areas and criteria, the functions as well as the institutional structure of the 10YFP. This should be part of the decision at CSD 19.

– The second part should describe the programs along a common template. This part should have the status of a non negotiated document to remain open and flexible in order to add and/or modify the programs over the period 2011-2021 covered by the 10YFP. In order to adopt the 10YFP at CSD 19 we would like to see a list of possible programmes included in the outcome of IPM.

10 YFP should be based on valuable experiences such as the Marrakech process on SCP and the SAICM model, the first Part describing the core elements of the 10YFP should be based on agreed elements of Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and the JPOI as well as on new additional elements brought up by new processes, as follows:

On Vision, Goals and Principles of the 10YFP

While unsustainable consumption patterns are severely stressing the earth’s resources, large segments of the population still lack access to basic needs. This combination of over and under-consumption has resulted in enormous disparities.

The 10YFP should include an ambitious common global vision of shared prosperity and human development within the carrying capacity of the planet with developed countries taking the lead in accordance with JPOI and Rio Principle 71.

The 10YFP should reaffirm that changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns is one of the three overarching objectives of sustainable development.

As of the global common goals, the 10YFP should simultaneously promote a competitive, inclusive economy delivering high level of employment, decent jobs and social cohesion and an energy- and resource-efficient economy, by decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and stimulating the creation of new economic activities within the carrying capacity of ecosystems. The 10YFP should also support the global community to implement a broad set of existing sustainable development commitments and to meet the related objectives, providing a valuable input to the achievement of the MDGs and the implementation of the relevant MEA’s.

We broadly agree with the five objectives set out in the Resource Paper. But we also strongly stress the need for a life-cycle perspective when designing and managing materials, products and processes and the need to use the full diversity of policy instruments to stimulate and reinforce sustainable economic, environmental and social outcomes. The 10YFP should also aim at ensuring a just transition towards SCP patterns through strong and efficient social protection systems, social dialogue and vocational training programs.

On the Functions of the 10YFP

Regarding the functions, the 10YFP should support local, national, regional and international initiatives on SCP by providing a global platform for governments and stakeholders to strengthen their efforts, including their collaboration and partnerships, on SCP. Key functions should be knowledge sharing, networking, awareness raising and education and enhance mechanisms for capacity building, technology and knowledge transfer systems. The 10YFP should also enable frameworks and strategic planning for SCP, provide incentives and facilitate mainstreaming SCP into the work of all relevant national, regional and international organizations and processes. It should also involve all relevant stakeholders, in particular businesses through their Corporate Social Responsibility activities, as key to achieving the shift towards SCP. And finally, a key function of the 10YFP should also be to review regularly progress towards SCP in particular at the global level, using inter alia sustainable development indicators.

On the Institutional Structure of the 10YFP

The 10YFP should be supported by an efficient institutional structure deriving from existing UN structures, promoting inter-agency collaboration and involving major stakeholders, in particular business. It is also of high importance that this structure should be able to address the 3 dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced and integrated manner and should be supported by a globally recognized, credible and coherent science base, inter alia the work of the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management and International Panel on Climate Change.

Therefore and given the cross-cutting nature of SCP, the EU supports the establishment of a single secretariat within an existing UN institution based on its proven comparative advantage, to serve as coordinating function. This secretariat should coordinate with all relevant UN agencies, any of which could lead programs in their respective areas of expertise2. It should also be steered by a Bureau made up of representatives of the various regions and of the stakeholders involved in the 10YFP. National focal points including for major groups should also be appointed to implement the 10YFP efficiently and report back to the secretariat. The Bureau and Secretariat could be also supported by regional knowledge hubs (RECs, SCP-Centers, Research Centers). At national level the work could be facilitated through national networks, cross-sectoral and cross-departmental or cross-ministerial commissions.

On Financing the 10YFP

The EU is of the view that existing multilateral and bilateral funding sources should be the main mechanism for financial and technical support for the implementation the 10YFP. The EU is also convinced that the effective integration of SCP related programmes and initiatives into the existing cooperation activities will be an important element for a successful implementation of programmes and initiatives under the 10YFP. Existing sources of relevant global funding should be utilized to provide catalytic funding for the establishment and coordination of SCP programmes. In addition to relevant stakeholders, in particular private sector, should be also invited, on a voluntary basis, to support programs. The secretariat could be financed, either directly or through a percentage on the programs budgets. Private sector could play an important role in implementation of 10 YFP, i.a. through sustainable and responsible investments.

On Program Areas and Criteria for Programs

The policy document should also define program areas and areas for program development in order to structure the actual programs and specify the scope of the 10YFP. The EU sees two main types of program areas, cross-sectoral and sectoral, in both life cycle perspective is important. The program area having a cross-sectoral nature should encompass in a balanced way programs on each stage of the life-cycle (production oriented programs, product oriented programs, consumption oriented programs) or cross-stages programs. The program area having a sectoral nature should encompass sectoral programs that should each have a life cycle perspective.

Regarding the criteria to be fulfilled by the programs, the EU would like to emphasize both consumption and production patterns, including resource efficiency and sustainable use of resources, contribute to progress on the 3 pillars of sustainable development, cover various policy instruments in particular by encouraging the use of a mix of efficient instruments in each program, be based on solid scientific and policy knowledge base, and involve relevant stakeholders.

On the Programs of the 10YFP

Now let me address the second part of the 10YFP on actual programs. They should be set up on a voluntary basis while falling under one of the program areas and meeting the criteria defined in the first part of the 10YFP. These programs should respond to national and regional priorities and promote synergies between different policy areas while avoiding duplication with other existing initiatives. The programs should be described along a common template, covering the objectives, activities, delivery mechanisms, indicators to measure progress and leading actors. This second part of the 10YFP describing the programs should remain open for adaptation during the period covered by the 10YFP.

The EU is pleased to announce that 6 programs drawing on the experiences of the Marrakech process have been tabled. Three of them are already under preparation within UNEP: one on sustainable tourism in partnership with France, one on sustainable lifestyles in partnership with Sweden and one on education and research in partnership with Italy. The other three programs: a program on sustainable construction and buildings by Finland, a program on labelling for sustainable products by Germany and a program on product environmental footprinting and communication by France will form a good base for further work. The EU would like to see all these 6 programs launched with a wide participation of countries and stakeholders.

In conclusion Mr. Chairman the EU we hope that the discussions at the IPM will contribute to a convergence of views on the structure of the 10YFP, the core elements and programmes. We are convinced that all the elements necessary for a successful conclusion of our discussions on the 10YFP will be on the table at the end of our discussion at the IPM and that we will be able to adopt it at CSD19. We will be available to work in this direction with you and all partners in the CSD.

Thank you for your attention.

1 §306 of CSD18 Chair’s Summary.
2 Based on the Chair’s summary of the Intersessional meeting in Panama. As decided at the last WPIEI, the first part of this § will be reviewed when the decision of the UNEP Governing Council is available.

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