Mr. President / Distinguished Co-Chairs,
We wish to align ourselves with the statement made by Commissioner Mimica on behalf of the EU and its member states.
Italy is strongly committed to contribute to the efforts of the international community to shape a universal agenda which, in the word of the Secretary General “ places people and the planet which nurtures us, at the center”. Making sure that the post-2015 Agenda provide the necessary framework to build our shared future and to respond to our common challenges has been at the core of the priorities of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the last semester of 2014.
The Conclusions adopted by the EU Ministers on last 16 December, as Commissioner Mimica has said in his statement, confirm the strong willingness of the EU to play its full part in order to build a consensus on an ambitious, transformative and inclusive post 2015 agenda.
We welcome the proposal of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, as the main basis for integrating sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda, as well as the Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, and other inputs. We also welcome the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary General, and its ambition to try to reduce to a coherent framework a vision for carrying forward a universal transformative agenda, underpinned by human rights and aimed to end poverty, transform lives, and protect the planet.
We are strongly convinced that the new agenda should aim at eradicating poverty in all its dimensions recognizing that it cannot be considered only a problem of some countries, but it must be tackled addressing its structural causes which undermine the stability and life of all societies, including the most affluent. The agenda should integrate the three dimensions of sustainability, social, economic and environmental. It should also fully recognize a fourth dimension encompassing peace, rule of law and effective governance and institutions as an essential pillar for all countries and people in the world. Our future agenda should promote an inclusive human development approach fostering cohesive societies and resilient and sustainable economies. It should recognize the importance of equity among individuals, social groups, countries, territories, fostering an inclusive development that promotes employment and decent work and that it is founded on environmental sustainability.
Sustainable prosperity and the wellbeing of all is tightly interlinked and dependent on environmental sustainability. We believe that the agenda should reaffirm the need to trace new pathways to human well-being through sustainable development. It should provide opportunities for building an inclusive green economy. Promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, fostering resource efficiency and preventing and minimizing pollution, including through sustainable management of chemicals and waste are all core actions aimed at making our economies and lifestyles more equitable. We strongly support the integration and mainstreaming of climate change and of biodiversity in the post-2015 agenda as we recognize that it is a critical foundation of the earth’s life support system on which our present and future welfare depends on.
We also underline the need to highlight Gender Equality as a cross cutting dimension of the whole agenda with the aim to transform the root causes of gender discrimination and violence against women and girls. The agenda should strongly promote the economic and social advancement of women and girls and fully recognize their role as agent of sustainable development.
We must therefore commit ourselves to define and approve an ambitious Political Declaration containing a strong commitment to a new development vision. A development clearly and consistently oriented towards equity, the active participation of all social actors, peaceful relations, the enhancement of environmental resources, respect for universal human rights calls for all actors at the international , national and local level to take collective responsibilities and express a strong will to change.
Sustainable Development Goals and Targets need to be supported by a set of well-defined and scientifically reliable indicators. Robust and measurable indicators, focused on results, are essential for reporting and allow for effective implementation and monitoring of the targets and goals. The work on defining Indicators could be carried out through a technical expert-based process, rather than directly in the intergovernmental process, taking account of available experiences, best practices and expert knowledge including building on the important work of the Friends of the Chair of the UN Statistical Commission. We are also convinced that we need to mobilize the Data Revolution for sustainable development and are looking forward to keep on working along the lines and recommendations contained on the report of the Data Revolution Group.
The new paradigm of development that emerges from the preparatory work will need to stand on a renewed, strengthened, more accountable and inclusive Global Partnership. The broad range of challenges of the post-2015 agenda and its implementation process require a New Deal for sustainable development based on the guiding principles of universality, shared responsibility, mutual accountability, consideration of respective capabilities, and the adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach. The transformative and universal nature of the agenda requires that all countries and stakeholders, including the private sector, should play their full part as the success of such agenda will depend upon their full and effective involvement, as active partners in the implementation process.
We consider Accountability as a guiding principle in the exercise of forging the new agenda and a means to strengthen the effective participation and contribution of people in every country to policy choices affecting them. In this context, we are ready to work for a strong Review and Monitoring framework based on the principles of openness, participation and transparency. In the light of the principle of universality, all stakeholders should be called upon to play a meaningful role in this new framework. We would also welcome a multi-sectoral integrated approach that would be able to capture progress in all three dimensions of sustainable development, build appropriate interlinkages and move forward towards a more effective policy coherence at all levels.
The work done so far constitutes a very sound foundation leading to the September Summit. We particularly appreciate the multi-stakeholders’ involvement in all the debates and the full commitment of the UN. In this context we must all recognize that the implementation of the future agenda requires profound changes also in the way we work. In particular we must commit ourselves to what the Secretary General in his report has called a UN system “fit for purpose”. We must commit to adapt the UN system to the new thinking and new approaches through a strengthened link between the normative and operational role and new and innovative business models, less fragmentation, renewed partnerships, as well as new accountability frameworks and monitoring mechanisms.
Mr. President / Distinguished Co-Chairs,