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STATEMENT DELIVERED BY ITALY AT THE INFORMAL MEETINGS OF THE PLENARY ON THE PROCESS OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATION ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA (February 17, 2015) 

Mr. President / Distinguished Co-Chairs,

We would like to associate ourselves with the expressions of sympathy and solidarity with the nations recently affected by hideous terrorist attacks and wish to align ourselves with the statement made on behalf of the EU and its member states.

Co-Chairs, we completely share earlier comments on the character of the declaration which should be concise, visionary, actionable, communicable, simple.

We would like to thank you for the Elements Paper. It is a balanced document, a good recollection of UN member-states views, expressed in particular during the Stocktaking Session last month, and an excellent basis for discussion at today’s meeting.

Allow me a few initial specific remarks: we agree in general with your document. We especially like the accent on fighting inequalities, addressing vulnerability and exclusion, completing the MDGs agenda, the multi-stakeholder nature of the Global partnership (that should fully include all actors of development), a concept to which we would like to add also the multi-level dimension, from local to global. We also do agree with the specific mention, for its relevance, of gender equality among the common values. We would however have appreciated a specific reference to the importance of integrating economic growth, equity and social justice.

At the same time, when you speak of “strong economic foundations”, we would rather prefer to qualify these foundations: as an example, it could be used the expression contained in the UNSG Report “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth”. Furthermore, the limit of “planet boundaries” should always be coupled with the economic growth and “the well-being for all”, otherwise, in the long run, there will simply not be any well-being at all. And speaking about the planet, we would rather prefer to use the expressions “environmental sustainability” and “ecosystem protection” instead of the “environmental stewardship” contained in your document.

And last but not least, Co-Chairs, nobody disputes that Poverty eradication is the overarching objective of our action, just like the importance of completing the MDGs Agenda. However, poverty eradication should always be declined with Sustainable Development which, in itself, it is not a limitation, but, rather, an enabler for reaching that objective.

Having said this, with a view to try to respond to the questions you asked in your letter regarding our vision and on the transformative character of the future agenda, we are of the opinion that “transformation” implies a fundamental change. What do we need to change? The Post 2015 Agenda gives us the opportunity to change the way we look at and do things, and, for that purpose, I would like to put forward for everybody’s reflection a couple of concepts.

First of all, Italy is of the view that we should acknowledge (and, believe me, we have listened carefully to the discussion) the emergence of a “further transversal dimension” of sustainable development, encompassing peace, rule of law, promotion of Human Rights and effective governance and institutions, as an essential pillar for the construction of a sustainable future for all. We think it would be an important element of the Declaration and it would clearly give the idea of the kind of integrated vision we want to propose for the post-2015.

In this context, a good example of a more integrated vision of sustainable development was recently offered by the open debate of the Security Council on Inclusive Development and Peace, at the initiative of the Chilean Presidency of the Council. In our interpretation, the debate showed a pretty wide convergence of the membership on the important inter-linkage existing between inclusive development and the construction of peaceful and stable societies. In the words of the Secretary General opening that meeting, and I quote, “We now have an important opportunity to broaden the development agenda and highlight the fundamental importance of inclusive societies in building a more peaceful world”. It would be important to take that opportunity. After all, distinguished co-Chairs, as the Austrian Ambassador said earlier, the same UN Charter, that you rightly cite in the first place as a reference of our commitment, in its very first few lines, puts together Peace, Human Rights, Justice and Development.

The second reflection I’d like to put on the table pertains to the concept of a renewed, strengthened, more accountable and inclusive Global Partnership. The broad range of challenges we face requires, in our view, a truly New Deal for sustainable development which should be affirmed with the abundant use of the words “Share”, “Common” and “All”. This words should be at center of our Declaration. Let me quote again the Secretary General who in his report, The Road to Dignity, says “Implementation is not just about quantity. It is also about doing things together, uniting around the problem”.

In defining “a revitalized Global Partnership”, we should therefore make clear that we should share not only challenges and responsibilities, we share first and foremost MoI, capabilities, resources, technologies and know-how, cultures of doing resulting from individual experiences. At the same time, in the Declaration we should also try to reinforce the political message of a real shift towards a new paradigm of development with the concept of “common action”. A common action by all actors, each one according to his own capabilities, for the common endeavor of attaining a truly sustainable development. This is what we really need for realizing the “tomorrow we want”.

Thank you.