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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.

Summary: 23 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

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

We support the approach proposed, by which the main text in the Declaration is followed by the second component of the outcome document of the Summit, the Sustainable Development Goals and targets. We also support having a very short introduction for this key component.

We largely welcome the focused introduction proposed. It integrates in the outcome document of the Summit the main specific key messages on SDGs and on targets drawn from the introduction of the proposal of the Open Working Group. This simple frame for the SDGs and targets is particularly important so that they are understood by the public, and is therefore crucial to their success. Clear and consistent communication about the SDGs is a priority, as mentioned already.

In particular, we welcome some clear and concise elements in this introduction to the SDGs and targets:

  • A brief recapping of the process of the Open Working Group and its outcome.
  • Some key principles about SDGs, coming from Rio+20. This includes stressing that SDGs are global in nature and universally applicable, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.
  • We support confirming that SDGs and targets are integrated and indivisible, and that targets are defined as aspirational and global, with each government setting its own national targets, guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances.
  • We also welcome a clear paragraph on indicators, which integrates recent developments, including the agreement by the UN Statistical Commission on a roadmap and a process ahead.

We are ready to engage constructively with others on this short introduction, which should remain concise and focused on SDGs and targets.

We agree on the importance of the interrelation with leading UN agreements and processes, although it is questionable whether engaging in selective quotation is the best way forward, having regard to the many landmarks in other fields than those suggested, including human rights. The last paragraph of the draft introduction, concerning other fora, seems a very general message that is actually relevant to the whole agenda.

We welcome the fact that the text put forward by the co-facilitators keeps on the table, with a strong recommendation to countries, the paper for the revision of 21 out of 169 targets. We also appreciate that this paper has been updated to reflect the last conversation on this matter.

We agree that it is necessary to integrate these constructive efforts in the outcome document for the Summit, and to adjust accordingly its component on goals and targets. This recommendation is made in a careful manner that preserves the content and the balance of the OWG proposal, which is also a priority for the EU. We should not invite our Heads of State to agree on a text that is unfinished, as the references to Xs still show. And we cannot ask them to endorse some expressions that are not aligned with existing international frameworks, such as international conventions and the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference, on which the OWG process and proposal was based. We therefore consider that the focused proposal on the 21 targets recommended by the co-facilitators must be integrated in the draft outcome document.

Thank you.

  • Ref: EUUN15-102EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: General Assembly (including Special Sessions)
  • Date: 23/6/2015

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