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Mr. President, Distinguished colleagues,

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by Commissioner Vella on behalf of the EU and its Member States and would like to further emphasize some points.

We need leadership, ambition and an effective structure to guide the transition toward sustainable development and poverty eradication. Such a structure would need to have the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) at its peak. In particular, the HLPF should be the primary global forum for a multi-tiered monitoring, accountability and review mechanism of the post-2015 Development Agenda and its SDGs.

The UN system as a whole must be involved if we are to take the integrated, universal and transformative approach inscribed in the proposed SDGs and in the current draft of the post-2015 Agenda. As Assistant Secretary-General Thomas Gass highlighted last week, the SDGs should not become a set of “silos.” This is why it is crucial for the HLPF’s working methods to involve the entire UN system, building in particular on the ECOSOC integrated segment and on the Development Cooperation Forum. More work and discussion are needed to clarify all the details of such a complex structure.

In this context, we welcome the ECOSOC dialogue on the long-term positioning of the UN development system. Policies, field work, cooperation activities and financial flows need to be better aligned to assure that everyone is pursuing the same sustainable development goals.

The HLPF must keep its doors open to allow fulfilment of all the decisions contained in Resolution 67/290. Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the major groups, other stakeholders and civil society as a whole for their significant contributions to this session.

We have learned a great deal during this HLPF. Allow me to recall some issues that we consider particularly important.

It is vital to strengthen the sub-national, national and regional levels for measuring the implementation of the post-2015 Agenda. At the regional level, peer review processes could be implemented following the best practices developed in each. For the science-policy interface, we support the ongoing efforts of the scientific community to move from fragmentation to a more multidisciplinary approach. We believe that the future Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) should measure progress towards SDGs also by building on available UN reports, in particular the UNEP GEO 6. The HLPF deliberations at the UNGA should also respond to GSDR findings.

Italy stands by the commitments it made at the Samoa Conference. Together with other partners, we are working to strengthen cooperation with the Pacific Small Island Development States (PSIDS) through the Partnership Environmental Programme. In collaboration with the UN, we are organizing a Ministerial Conference of all SIDS at the Milan Expo this October, with a view to assessing progress made since the Samoa Conference. Last month, at the EXPO, we hosted a Ministerial Conference of African Least Developed Countries which adopted the “Milan Charter.” In October, we will organize a high-level event on the contributions of finance and innovation to food security and inclusive growth in the agriculture and agro-food sectors.

Mr. President, Distinguished colleagues,

I wish to conclude by recalling the importance of including natural resources in our policy planning. Next year the UN Statistical Commission will deliver a global framework of SDG indicators. This will offer us the opportunity to move decisively “beyond GDP” indicators and launch partnerships on capacity-building in this sector. It will also lay the basis for increased synergies between the HLPF and the UN Statistical Commission.

Let’s use this HLPF session to plant the seeds for a new vision that will guide us in implementing the new Agenda. Let us shift towards a nexus approach that views complexity as a resource for the well-being of people and the health of the planet.

Thank you.