STATEMENT BY H.E AMBASSADOR LE HOAI TRUNG, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF VIET NAM ON BEHALF OF BHUTAN, THAILAND AND VIET NAM AT THE SECOND MEETING OF THE OPEN WORKING GROUP ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
GOALS, 17 – 19 APRIL 2013, NEW YORK.
Mr. Co-Chairs, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have the honor to make these remarks on behalf of the Troika composed of Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam. I would also like to associate our Troika with the statement delivered by Ambassador Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji as Chair of the Group of 77 and China.
I would like to thank you, Mr. Co-chairs, for your efforts in the preparation work leading to this meeting, especially in your consultation with Member States regarding both substantive and procedural and logistical issues to ensure that the process will be inclusive, transparent and driven by Member States.
Today we launch a debate on the conceptualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Hopefully, we will build a robust analytical and constructive framework through which we will be able to identify areas of priorities in an integrated manner at the end of which simple, practical and implementable Sustainable Development Goals reflecting all three pillars of sustainable development will emerge. The MDGs nevertheless have become very successful in galvanizing global efforts to eradicate poverty and to promote human well-being. At this stage, I truly believe we can build on our common strength, which is our shared understanding and desire to further the well-being and happiness of humanity while protecting, conserving and nurturing the physical world we live in.
I would like to reiterate that the guiding principles of the SDGs must be in conformity with international law and respect all Rio Principles, including the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities.
We have discussed at length in many of our discussions here at the UN about the strengths and weaknesses of the MDGs and the need to build on the lessons learned from the MDGs, addressing the gaps and the unrealized targets. The reality is the MDGs worked in our countries. They were simple, concrete, easy to communicate, to understand and to measure. In this context, we should build SDGs upon the lessons learnt from MDGs, yet allow those who are having obstacles realizing the current MDGs space for convergence in terms of progress with others, while expanding further goals stemming from the conversation we have today and during the SDG formulation process.
While poverty eradication should remain an overarching goal, the new framework should also aim to incorporate the following elements: ensuring sustainability, building resilience and reducing inequality.
Ensuring sustainability: Sustained and inclusive economic growth and job creation with a focus on youth employment should be further pursued. In this regard, education for all as well as quality education should be key to promote and create quality human capital and consequently to address youth unemployment.
The new framework should also take into account the inter-generational aspect of development. Water, food and energy security are aspects that can help address this inter-generational sustainable development.
Building resilience: The new framework should incorporate instruments that help absorb shocks and build resilience. Fundamental health-related goals of the MDGs are still relevant but the new framework should be ambitious. We should strive to move towards a world where all citizens are provided access to health coverage.
Moreover, the development gains can be wiped out overnight by increasingly common large-scale natural disasters. In this regard, disaster risk reduction and preparedness should be duly incorporated.
Reducing inequality: All the gains we will be achieving will be meaningless if they cannot be shared by all parts of society. While the international community has made overall progress towards achieving the MDGs, internal disparity persists in many parts of the world. The new framework should strive to address both international and internal disparity.
We have identified a non-exhaustive preliminary list of priorities in the 3 pillars of sustainable development.
On the economic pillar: financial stability, sustainable economic growth, taking steps towards transforming into green economy, development of clean and renewable energy; sustainable production and consumption patterns; food security; sustainable agriculture and rural areas; sustainable and equitable development across regions and localities.
On the social pillar: sustainable poverty eradication, decent and sustained employment; social justice and progress; social welfare and protection; human development (education, health), sanitation; preservation of cultural values and respect for cultural diversity; and community vitality.
On the environment pillar: sustainable use of land, water, minerals and oceans; mitigation and adaptation of adverse impacts of natural disasters and climate change; resilience in biodiversity, ecology, forestry.
In conclusion, we would like to reiterate our firm commitment to engage and participate constructively in the OWG process.
I thank you for your kind attention, Mr. Co-Chairs.