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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.

Summary: 24 June 2015, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Mr. Gaspar Frontini, DG DEVCO – European Commission, at the Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations session 22-25 June 2015: Session on Follow-up and Review

Co-facilitators,

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

The EU considers the proposed component on Follow Up and Review a positive basis to build on. It lays the foundations for a multi-level (national, regional, global) framework with national ownership at the core.

We welcome the guiding principles for the process to be transparent and inclusive, robust and evidence-based.

We acknowledge the need to develop further details of the framework’s operation. Guidance from the UNSG and the experiences in implementing the agenda over  the next few years will be important in this regard. However we still see a number of areas where further clarity on the general structure and its objectives would be important.

We welcome that the zero draft describes “promoting accountability” to citizens as a key objective. We firmly believe that this concept should be strengthened throughout the whole section by making a stronger reference to the shared responsibility and mutual accountability, including to the provision of global public goods. The EU would also want to expressly refer to the central role of monitoring for it is an essential element, without which we cannot assess progress towards the goals and targets.

We support the reference to building on existing systems with the need to evolve over time. It is very important to achieve a good balance between limiting the administrative burden, making best use of existing resources and not duplicating existing processes and recognising this is a new agenda which requires transformative ways of measuring progress. Further work is notably needed to better explain the overall purpose of the framework, both in the Declaration and in the Follow-up and review section (III). It should not only be to promote effective implementation (as outlined in the draft), but also to monitor progress, including against a set of global indicators, to assess the effectiveness of implementation (and of the means used for such implementation) and the continued relevance of the agenda, including reviewing goals and targets in light of new circumstances, and to drive sustained political commitment and action, particularly on those areas on which progress against global indicators is off track. Overall we would like to see the importance and benefits of follow-up and review better highlighted, including that it will foster exchange of best practices and mutual learning by states and other stakeholders and enhanced coordination in order to overcome shared challenges; and help countries maximise their progress in relation to their own starting point. It will also enable us to identify new and emerging issues and increase the credibility of our commitments. The importance of incentivising policy-oriented reporting from the various stakeholders, including through showcasing successful examples, should also be better highlighted.

Co-facilitators,

Concerning the national level, we would like to see the link to the regional and global levels strengthened, through dedicated regular reports on the outcome of the reviews. The framework should also include a clear political commitment to periodically publish reports as far as possible in a standardised format to ensure consistency. The suggested four years are an absolute maximum interval if we want to avoid implementation gaps. We welcome the suggestion for the UN Secretary General to prepare guidelines for national reports and review processes. It would also be useful to clarify what information needs to be provided for the streamlined annual SDG report.

Concerning the regional level, we welcome that the section mentions peer review as well as the need to address transboundary issues and shared targets, but we will need to go beyond “discussion” to ensure a meaningful input towards the global level and a useful feedback to the national level.

Concerning the global level, we welcome the fact the zero draft refers to the HLPF as the “apex”, addressing challenges faced by all countries. We also welcome the explicit links to the work of other relevant bodies, such as the GA and ECOSOC and think additional details on operational linkages would be helpful. The draft should also state that the HLPF should draw on national and regional reviews and existing relevant reports from UN agencies and other relevant institutions or bodies, as well as civil society reports. We would like to see more emphasis on the HLPF’s added value, building on existing systems, notably to integrate thematic assessments into a holistic view; to secure political support and the right level of ambition for the agenda; and to achieve concrete results. The section should also include a reference to the outcome of the HLPF which should include recommendations for further action at national, regional and global level.  The ambition that all States should strive to participate in the review process at the global level should be clearly formulated. In addition, the role of the four-yearly GSDR as an important tool for strengthening the science policy interface by providing an integrated assessment of sustainability globally and identifying risks and emerging trends should be better developed. Ongoing work to make the UN development system more fit for purpose should also be reflected.

We welcome the proposed integration of civil society and other stakeholders into the review process. We agree on the crucial role they have in this regard. We encourage all countries to commit to a multi-stakeholder monitoring, accountability and review processes and ensure an enabling environment and set up systems for accountability at national level on the basis of national sustainable development strategies or other relevant frameworks. It will be essential to assess the contribution of the private sector, including socially responsible enterprises and investors and public-private partnerships to the implementation of the agenda at all levels. Foundations and philanthropic organisations (which operate internationally) may also be encouraged to present their contributions and assessment of progress by theme and by region.

We also consider important to include a section on the importance of data, indicators and statistics, in supporting the measurement, monitoring and review of the SDGs.  Indicators should to the extent possible be based on existing data indicators. Disaggregation of data by income, gender, age, and other factors will be essential to ensure that targets are met by all and that no one is left behind. We welcome in that regard that the draft highlights the importance of disaggregated data. We must ensure that higher quality data is collected in a coordinated manner, and to capitalise on new information technologies.  A focus on quantitative and qualitative data, including open data, and statistical systems and administrations at the national level and sub-national level will be especially important in order to strengthen domestic capacity, transparency and accountability.

The diagram provides a useful illustration at this stage. It should however show that the information flow must be in both directions, from national level up to global level and the other way around, and it will be important to be clear that this is illustrative rather than a one size fits all proposal.

Finally, the EU considers it essential to clearly spell out that there should be one overarching follow-up and review framework integrating the monitoring and follow-up of the Addis outcome and considering implementation in its entirety. While there is a useful reference both to goals and targets and MoI in the zero draft it should be clear that MoI go beyond Goal 17 and include the Addis outcome.

Thank you.

  • Ref: EUUN15-103EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: General Assembly (including Special Sessions)
  • Date: 24/6/2015

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