Post-2015 development agenda intergovernmental negotiations, 22-25 June No 7: 3rd and 4th meetings – conclusion of the discussion on the declaration 

Co-facilitator (Kamau) opened the meeting, saying that they have heard general comments and some on the declaration. The previous day he had extended a warm welcome to many groups but failed to mention a “trusted ally” of the membership and of the Co-facilitators, namely the UN organizations, and looks forward to their interventions on technical matters to make sure that the process will consistent with other international agreements. The discussion then continued on the preamble and declaration in the zero draft of the outcome document.

France said that the document is a satisfactory beginning. The preamble could include the nine elements of the Secretary-General’s report and the ‘5 Ps’. The vision in the declaration should be balanced, eg strengthening universality and cross cutting aspects, and the linkage between the various goals and the human rights approach.  CBDR for the whole of the agenda should not be included to avoid ambiguity. The reference to sexual and heath and reproductive rights is essential and the declaration should better reflect the essential dimension of gender equality and the empowerment of women. They emphasized a belief that this agenda should be based on MOI that are adapted to the task, noting that the Addis negotiations have not been concluded.

Belgium noted that the declaration is short and highly accessible and should be balanced, not burdening the text with unnecessary repetition. 

Germany said that the agenda, like the MDGs, should be easily understandable to spur action worldwide. They welcomed language on a paradigm shift in the Zero draft, which should be strengthened further. Like many others, they cannot accept the principle of CBDR as an overarching principle to this holistic agenda. On goals and targets it will also be difficult to convince Heads of Government to endorse an unfinished document where levels of ambition on some aspects are missing and there are “Xs” as placeholders. They agree with G77 that the sensitive political balance achieved in the OWG, should not be endangered, and technical proofing must not touch any substantial content of the SDG proposal. 

Palestine highlighted that there is almost consensus in re-emphasizing the agreement that no-one should be left behind. However a speaker on the previous day had suggested that the reference to people living under occupation should be deleted. This would exclude the State of Palestine and should not be the case. 

Spain referred to the need for the language of the declaration to be political. Meanwhile the three dimensions should be well-balanced with more emphasis on a human rights approach and gender equality. They support the preamble, but the principle of justice is also indispensable. The main challenges of the agenda, the pillars from the 17 SDGs, could be included in the declaration. Since the agenda has to be appropriate for all states, coherence of policies is appropriate and should be brought out in the declaration. 

Australia would like the preamble as a short mission statement, including eradicating poverty and gender equality, which is the greatest form of discrimination globally. Without gender equality and the full realization of women and girls’ human rights, the efforts and potential of half the world to achieve sustainable development are not being utilized. While the Addis Accord can be confidently referenced as the MOI pillar for the post-2015 outcome, the document should not be peppered with references to other texts. CBDR was formulated in a specific historical environmental context and is not acceptable in a broader development agenda. They support Colombia on the critical role that science will play to help realise the ambitious agenda and welcome efforts to acknowledge the key role played by a range of stakeholders including, civil society, business, philanthropics and the private sector. 

South Africa speaking on behalf of the G77 and China, said that the preamble should be removed. On the declaration they welcomed the reference to the centrality of poverty as an overarching priority and wish it to be addressed as a multidimensional phenomenon. The right to development, among other areas of Rio principle number seven should be lauded. They are concerned at the distortion of CBDR in the context of climate change. Developed countries have a historic responsibility when it comes to climate change. The issue of migration requires recalibration to reflect the mutual benefits to both sending and receiving countries. They are concerned at continued loss of life of migrants. Migration can contribute to development, if properly managed. They also reiterated that the Secretary-General’s synthesis report cannot serve as the basis for the negotiations of this agenda.

Tunisia highlighted issues such as respect for human rights, human dignity, justice, equality, gender equality and the primacy of the rule of law and accountability of institutions. Proposed that the positive role of migration should be included both for countries of origin and host countries. They wish to see a strengthening of the role of sport in the implementation of development and peace, as introduced by Monaco. They welcomed the reference the efforts to the transfer of technology mechanism, which should cover the three pillars od sustainable development.

Uganda said that the preamble should be re-worked and that the declaration should stress the fundamental importance of policy coherence as an enabler. Attention should be given to poor countries that have been left behind in the realization of the MDGs. On MOI, the level of ambition is too high to be achieved using the current work methods and technologies and there is a need for an mechanism to enable the science and technological community to offer a game-changing relevant technology for the implementation of the agenda. The private sector is a critical constituency and there should be systematic engagement at the national level while ensuring that the responsibility remains with states.  Gender inequalities should be included when addressing structural obstacles.

Ecuador said that the preamble should be deleted or edited to include the focus on the human person, including eliminating inequalities. It should address the needs and human rights of those in vulnerable situations including women and girls and boys and the disabled. They are concerned at the negative approach to migration, which is an inter-sectoral issue. The special needs of middle income countries should be referenced. The MOI are not even outlined in this draft

Belarus, on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Family, said that the current draft does not mention the role of the family in global sustainable development. The family should be included in the text, especially children. Belarus also proposed wording on trafficking, which involves most often women and children. 

Maldives, speaking on behalf of AOSIS, spoke specifically on oceans and seas. The declaration should speak to all the goals in a balanced way, without introducing new concepts. Some paragraphs can easily be merged.  On the SDGs the whole report of the OWG should be included. On the ‘Xs’ they asked how some of the targets can be measured -- Ambassador Kamau asked for a clear answer to this from the UN Secretariat.

Chile said that the preamble represents some difficulties, as the language is not their mother tongue, and they therefore suggest focusing mainly on the declaration. They emphasize shared responsibilities and the participation of civil society and other Stakeholders, and the focus on areas including the gender dimension. All processes have to be transparent with accountability and the special needs of countries should be recognized including in access to health and nutrition.

Armenia acknowledged that they should be objective in deciding what is included in the declaration, which is a political text and should be realistic.  All the texts for the post-2015 development agenda should be compatible, as they are shaping terminology for the next 15 years. The text in FfD is more comprehensive than paragraph 17. Migration should not be equated with other challenges, as it is a human condition. There are also different levels of partnership including the regional level.

Cuba should include references to human rights, the right to development and CBDR. On MOI, the outcome of the Addis conference is one, but not the only one. The declaration should include, among other issues, the precept in the UN Charter of “We, the peoples…” They also referred to war and nuclear disarmament.

Bangladesh specifically mentioned that the three pillars are not balanced. There should be a stand-alone paragraph on migration. The chapeau of the OWG report should be brought back into the text. The two processes for FfD and post-2015 are complementary. The role of parliaments should be included.

Kazakhstan also referred to the role of parliaments in the implementation of the SDGs and support those calling for stronger language with a stand-alone paragraph. 

Egypt says that the declaration does not clearly define the North / South divide. They would like a positive reference to migration.

Montenegro referred specifically to human rights, particularly the human rights of women, should be strengthened throughout the document. Civil society should be involved in working for the implementation of the agenda. Transparency and accountability should be included and the ‘Xs’ replaced in the text. 

Morocco discussed the enabling environment for economic opportunities, especially foe women and youth. They highlight the important contribution of migration to development.

Syria welcomes the inclusion of the eradication of poverty in the declaration. They also referred to the right to development.

Norway said that draft declaration is well written, inspiring and clear in communicating the key values and principles on which the agenda is built. It should have a strong human rights foundation. The three dimensions of sustainable development should be reflected in a balanced manner. The declaration should not need to describe the contents of the agenda. Currently, some of the goals and targets are paraphrased which could lead to reformulating the goals. They and the targets speak for themselves, as do the MOIs and follow-up, so they do not have to be elaborated in the declaration. Finally, we would want to see a more specific reference to the fact that we have set out to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, which is a historic and ambitious objective that should come out more clearly. 

Bolivia welcomed the reference to the eradication of poverty in the declaration and also commented on migration as being something that is positive. 

Russian Federation said that they are satisfied with the recognition of eradication of poverty in the declaration. They drew attention to combatting NCDs as well as traffic accidents. The family is a driving force for achieving sustainable development.

Saudi Arabia highlighted respect for culture and religion. The FfD is a complementary MOI and support having a discussion on technology mechanism, but not to reopen the SDGs keeping it as it is.

Ghana noted that major challenges that have been encountered in speaking to the objectives are not included, eg health and education are not mentioned in paragraph 12.

Croatia said that they endorse communicating the agenda. 

Finland said, on paragraphs 15 and 22-28 of the declaration that it should highlight transformative issues, such as gender equality and empowerment of women, especially the respect, promotion and protection of human rights of women and girls, including their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. It should refer to the Beijing Platform of Action, the ICPD Programme of Action, and their review conferences, and the reaffirmation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Non-discrimination should also be emphasized The revised targets should be integrated into the next draft and they see no need to annex the introduction of the OWG proposal when the Declaration is agreed.

Singapore referred to the consensus for the process to be country led and they prefer the section on follow-up and review to be less prescriptive and to take into account national priorities, particularly with the global indicators. On the goals and targets they focused on oceans and seas and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas.

India discussed CBDR, suggesting debunking six myths about it: the principle of differentiation is in contradiction to a universal agenda; this principle is a historical relic and has no contemporary relevance; this principle is only applicable to environmental action; this is merely a political principle and has little or no professional relevance; North South divide in international cooperation has already vanished and those who invoke this principle are flogging a dead horse; and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities means inaction by some on a global agenda. 

Argentina made a number of specific suggestions on the declaration, especially in line with the relevant resolutions and the Rio+20 outcome. There should be a reference to funds for new and additional resources. The responsibilities of developed countries for additional resources should be specified as different from ODA. Follow-up and review should be considered with the sovereign rights of countries.

Liberia said that support to developing countries should be in line with the Common African Position (CAP). The children, youth and women must be allowed to play a fundamental role in development. The centrality of children and youth as well as women should be strongly enunciated. The role of parliamentarians should be recognized. ODA must be provided on the needs of developing countries, not on the priorities of donor countries. The health of any people or country is important and growth cannot take place when the health of the people is undermined. Health resilience is therefore important and should be captured in the post-2015 development agenda.

Netherlands cautioned against summarizing issues that are elsewhere and while not wishing to repeat the goals and targets elsewhere in the declaration. If this is to happen they would want to add some concerns to the content such as the rule of law, justice and human rights to be reflected more strongly. Particularly, they would highlight the importance of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and would further like to concretize the notion of Leaving no one Behind, elaborate the importance of gender equality and women's empowerment, and the role of young people, including boys and girls.

Serbia would like to stress the importance of preserving the achievements of the OWG document. The goals cannot be implemented by Governments alone, but by all sectors of society including civil society, NGOs, academia and the private sector. Language on human rights and gender equality should be strengthened.

United Republic of Tanzania said that the nine bullets should be deleted or expanded, and that attempts at ‘cherry-picking’ should be avoided. Some issues are also lacking in the declaration, including the explicit needs of the outcomes and summits addressing the issues of SIDS, LDCs etc. Should avoid talking about religion, culture and ethics.

Colombia said that paragraph 3 talks about inequalities and should specify that they are between and among countries. They also welcomed the reference to science and technology for development but suggested that it be strengthened, including cross-cutting research. 

Republic of Korea said that they welcomed the emphasis on human rights, but would like to see more content on it and that the list of UN conferences should be more comprehensive. They also welcome the references in the section on the new agenda declaration to human rights, gender equality, education and health, as well as marginalized people, governance and rule of law, and value of diversity. On education they would like to see the language more consistent with MDG4 and also the outcome of World Education Forum to be reflected.

Lichtenstein said that justice and dignity should be added to the preamble. They would like to see a reference to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in the context of the declaration. They will send suggestions for language on gender empowerment and women’s empowerment, which should also be strengthened. 

Japan commented specifically on the CPDR following the intervention by India.

Benin, speaking on behalf of the LDCs, referred specifically to gender equality and women’s empowerment in their statement on the declaration, in the context of the Milan Declaration on LDCs of 2015.

Israel spoke in answer to the interventions by the State of Palestine and others.

El Salvador said that the text for the declaration should focus on the human being. The three pillars must be reflected in a balanced way. There should be a holistic approach in looking at ageing and are concerned at the lack of a mention of age in paragraphs 17 and 22. Statistics should be collected on those over 49 and also should be collected more broadly on gender. The MOI should be proportionate to the ambition of the agenda.

Costa Rica in their intervention said that the declaration requires a human rights approach including the right to development and also suggested adding health in addition to education in paragraph 15. They referred specifically to gender equality and the realization of the rights of women and girls in paragraph 18. 

Ambassador Donoghue noted that during the discussion on the preamble and declaration that key issues have been identified.  Ambassador Kamau added that they had a clear sense as to where some of the changes should take place. On process they had agreed to move forward without going into line-by-line negotiations. They therefore need to find the right balance among all the inputs received. There are only 13 days left for debates and negotiation. He therefore appealed to delegates to remain flexible. On substance, they had heard a lot and most of it is editorial work that needs to be done. The challenge will be to try to maintain the light motif in the text. This is not a legally binding instrument. They are trying to produce a declaration without being legally bound to every word. It has been good to see movement in the intellectual debate. CBDR needs to be debated to reach common understanding. The question is what is the shared responsibility and how is it different between states. Each section will be taken as a stand-alone section and this has been the input on the declaration. 

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