19 October 2015, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Mr. Antonio Parenti, Minister Counsellor, Head of the Economic, Trade and Development Section, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Second Committee debate on agenda item 20: Sustainable Development
I have the honour to pronounce this statement on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
The EU and its Member States welcome the newly adopted 2030 Agenda which finally integrates all three dimensions of sustainable development, reflecting inherent interlinkages and synergies between social, economic and environmental issues. The Agenda constitutes a new universal paradigm for poverty eradication and sustainable development, and the EU and its Member States are fully committed to its effective implementation in the years to come. For this reason, as already mentioned in the statement delivered in the debate on working methods, we see the need to rethink the agenda of the Second Committee to align it better with 2030 Agenda and make it fit to successfully deliver on new tasks and challenges ahead. In order to increase the relevance and added value of the Committee, we will need in particular to reconsider the way we deal with the sustainable development agenda item, under discussion today, and with its related resolutions, the number of which has significantly increased over the years, making it challenging for all delegations, especially the small ones, to give appropriate attention to so many important issues.
At this juncture, let me tackle in more details several of many important sustainable development issues, keeping in mind that time constraints do not allow us to comment on each of the various sub-agenda items and initiatives introduced under agenda item 20.
The EU and its Member States have made securing an ambitious, legally binding international agreement a top priority in 2015. In our view, COP 21 in Paris must deliver an Agreement that is inclusive, fair and effective at keeping the world on track for the agreed objective of limiting global temperature increase to below 2 degrees. It must address mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation in a comprehensive and balanced way and help accelerate transition towards sustainable carbon neutral, climate resilient economies. The key elements for the Paris agreement are the following: to deliver on a clear, operational long-term emissions reduction goal in line with scientific findings: 50% GHG emissions reductions by mid-century compared to 1990 levels and GHG emissions near zero or below by 2100; strong rules for holding all Parties accountable for their commitments and a dynamic five-yearly mitigation ambition mechanism for regular stock-taking and strengthening of Parties’ greenhouse gas reduction commitments over time. In that respect we welcome the submission of INDCs so far and urge all Parties which have not yet done so to come forward with fair and ambitious INDCs before Paris.
The adoption of a target for land degradation neutrality under SDG 15.3 is a clear recognition of the seriousness of the issue at global level and one which has implications in terms of action at national level to address soil and land degradation. The UNCCD COP12 meeting currently underway in Ankara, Turkey, aims to clarify the key role the Convention will play in supporting the implementation of SDG15, in collaboration with the other Rio conventions, relevant United Nations agencies and stakeholders.
The current rate of species extinction and deterioration of basic ecosystem services is an issue of global concern, with significant implications for the capacity of biodiversity to meet human needs in the future. The EU and its Member States have taken strong commitments internally and externally in this regard. Internally, we are undertaking this month the mid-term review our biodiversity strategy to 2020, which headline target was set by EU Heads of State and Government in 2010, and the 2020 biodiversity targets can only be reached if implementation and enforcement efforts become considerably bolder and more ambitious. Externally we have committed to step up our contribution to averting global biodiversity loss’ and are committed to work towards the CBD Aichi objectives and the implementation of SDG14 and 15 in particular.
Disaster Risk Reduction
The EU and its Member States are committed to reducing vulnerability and building resilience to future stresses and shocks as pre-requisites for poverty and hunger reduction and sustainable development. Disaster Risk Reduction is already being integrated into numerous of our policies as well as financial assistance programmes including development cooperation and humanitarian aid, with a particular focus on disaster-prone countries. The EU and its Member States are ready to play their full part in supporting the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Small Islands Development States
The EU and its Member States have a longstanding cooperation and a tradition of partnership with SIDS. We have supported and will continue to support SIDS’ efforts to address their specific vulnerabilities and we are committed to the implementation of the S.A.M.O.A. pathway. In this regard, we are looking forward to the formal creation of the partnership framework called by the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway, and stand ready to contribute to its efficient functioning, nurturing existing partnerships and encouraging new ones among SIDS with SIDS and for SIDS. The framework needs to keep the Samoa conference promises, and remain flexible to also be able to seize the opportunities offered by other kinds of partnerships developed in and around the UN system, maximizing their benefits to SIDS.
Now that the 2030 Agenda has been adopted, and integrates various targets related to sustainable tourism, we would see a clear added value in consolidating the work done by the Committee over the years on sustainable tourism, highlighting in an integrated manner the many contributions that tourism, if well managed, can provide to poverty eradication and the three dimensions of sustainable development.
Let me conclude by reiterating the EU and its Member States’ willingness and readiness to engage constructively in the Second Committee’s deliberations in the weeks to come. You and the whole Bureau can count on our support.
| Top |