Zero draft –comments by Norway on declaration June.

Last updated: 6/24/2015 // Zero draft –comments by Norway on declaration June.

  • First of all, I would like to thank you the co-facilitators for your continous efforts and for producing a zero draft that has been well received and will be a good basis for our deliberations. I will focus my comments this morning on the declaration.

  • The draft declaration is well written and inspiring. It communicates the vision and the “why” of the agenda, and urges us all to take action.
  • The declaration is clear in communicating the key values and principles on which the agenda is built. The principle of leaving no one behind remains- and should continue to remain – our yard stick for the agenda.

  • To underline this, the declaration should have a strong human rights foundation. We support having a clear reconfirmation that the agenda is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In our view however, the declaration could be further improved. 

  • The draft declaration stresses that today’s challenges are interdependent and call for integrated solutions. The three dimensions of sustainable development are equally crucial for the agenda and should be reflected in a balanced manner. There is, however, room for reflecting this better throughout the declaration.
  • We have great sympathy with your objective of presenting a neat and easily communicable synopsis of the agenda, and you have proposed to do this through a preamble. We might end up needing such a preamble, but we believe that our first priority should be to draft a short, crisp and visionary declaration of, say 2-3 pages. We therefore suggest that we revert to the issue and content of a preamble at a later stage. The current draft preamble has certain  shortcomings, as has been pointed out by many, while some interesting alternative ideas have been put on the table.
  • One concern we have is that the draft declaration is too long. The declaration shouldn’t need to describe the contents of the agenda. Currently, it goes far in paraphrasing what some of the goals and targets are all about. This can be a slippery slope. Partly because we may end up reformulating the goals, partly because a number of goal themes are not covered.  We think it is better to refrain from paraphrasing some than having to include them all. The Goals and Targets speak for themselves. As do the MoIs and Follow Up. They therefore do not have to be elaborated in the declaration.
  • We have stated earlier that we don’t think the so-called “4 P’s” reflect the balanced, integrated and comprehensive nature of our agenda. Adding a fifth P for Peace does not really solve the problem. The fact that Justice starts with a “J” does not make it less important. Substance must come first. The P’s will also lose their communicative effect when translated into many languages.
  • On climate change, pointing to the COP21 is short-sighted as the declaration shall speak to the next 15 years. We share the EUs view that we should include a reference to the 2-degree target and better integrate the text on climate change with other parts of the agenda.
  • In paragraph 43 we would like to also include a reference to the UN development system, as a key enabler to achieving the goals.
  • Finally, we would want to see a more specific reference in the declaration to the fact that we have set out to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.  This is a historic and ambitious objective that should come out more clearly, for example in para 3.
  • We will comment on the other sections as we discuss them during the coming days.

Thank you

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