Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on behalf of France, Germany and Switzerland

Dec 13, 2013

(as prepared for delivery:)

"Co-Chairs, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the honour to present this statement on behalf of France, Switzerland and my own country Germany.

A truly universal agenda applicable to all countries should build on the universality of human rights, respect for which is at the very core of human development. From a human rights perspective, poverty eradication and sustainable development are a matter of justice. A human rights vision is universal, based on the dignity and equality of all human beings, without discrimination, protected through strong and independent rule of law institutions.

The MDGs were inspired by the values and principles of the Millennium Declaration – values which are still fundamental today. Yet the MDGs do not reflect the human rights based development approach including protection against discrimination of any kind. Such an approach could help to focus the Post 2015 agenda on people, on their expectations and needs, on their empowerment and well-being.

Since human rights and sustainable development objectives are interdependent and mutually reinforcing, addressing human rights issues within the Post-2015 Agenda will be essential for truly sustainable development.

We already have a good basis to draw from: both the Rio+20 Outcome Document and the UN Millennium Declaration reaffirm the importance of respect for all human rights, including the right to development. In addition, we should build on the lessons learnt from the Agenda-21-process in order to reflect the interdependency of human rights and the social, economic and environmental conditions for sustainable development.

A human rights-based approach includes civil and political rights and issues such as political participation, personal security and access to justice, which have been neglected in the implementation of the MDGs. Human rights and other international standards and principles are helpful in identifying goals, targets and indicators for measurement.

The right to development relies on the full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It highlights the respect for human rights as a precondition to enable any person to assume responsibility for development and to enjoy it.

Of course, the implementation of the post-2015 agenda will not be carried out by states alone. We also need to integrate the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into the post 2015 agenda.

The principles of equality and non-discrimination provide the basis to adequately prioritize resources to realize the human rights for all individuals. It is mandatory to ensure that those who are vulnerable and marginalized are now specifically targeted.

Monitoring and accountability mechanisms need to be significantly improved compared to the MDG system and should ensure effective and meaningful participation of all stakeholders. Data availability and quality, especially if monitoring is to be in line with human rights standards and principles, remains an enormous challenge.

Co-chairs,

allow me a few words on Global Governance:

The world is facing increasing interdependences in the economic, social and environmental areas as well as security challenges. These call for a multilateral framework with enhanced transparency, effectiveness, coherence and reduced fragmentation as recommended in the Rio+20 Outcome Document.

Global governance should be strengthened for improving international trade and financial systems, the environmental global governance or the shared management of natural resources. We believe that the following measures will be critical for creating a global favourable environment for sustainable development:

We cannot achieve food security if we fail to successfully address governance issues at the international and at the country level, including the reduction of agricultural prices volatility.

Domestic resource mobilization will remain limited and threatened if we fail to collectively adopt stricter rules against tax evasion, illicit flows or tax havens.

Water security will not be achieved if we don’t promote shared management of water resources and better water quality.

We regard the new High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development an important step towards a strengthened institutional framework for sustainable development and the post-2015 agenda. It should:

o   promote policy coherence within the UN system;

o   integrate sustainable development in UN-system wide policies and programming;

o   and allow for conducting regular reviews – in our view preferably among member states – on the follow-up and the implementation of sustainable development objectives in the context of the post-2015 agenda.

And last but not least: the international financial institutions and multilateral development banks are decisive actors for financial stability and for development. They should integrate sustainable development into their work programs in accordance with their respective mandates.

The full version of this statement will be circulated.

I thank you."

© GermanyUN

Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on behalf of France, Germany and Switzerland

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