Thanks for convening this meeting and the Secretary-General for his report. The report lays out the complex jungle of issues that need to be sorted out in order for us to get the coherent, efficient and inclusive follow-up and review system we need for the 2030 Agenda at the global level.
Finding the way forward is also complex. We need to prepare for meetings that will take place between now and July, in particular the 2016 HLPF, while at the same time designing a robust and integrated system that will serve us well for the next 15 years.
2016 will be an exceptional year for HLPF. It will be the first meeting of the forum after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. In practice it will be “year one” for HLPF. At the same time, July 2016 will be too early to have a full and meaningful review of the implementation of the agenda and the SDGs. We will therefore need to improvise and innovate.
What is clear, though, is that we have to make this year’s HLPF a success. It will only get this one chance to make a first impression. We not only need to attract high level participants – we need them to want to come back next year. We need a meeting that is attractive and interactive.
Preparations for HLPF in 2016 cannot wait until we have in place the full architecture for follow-up and review. Some key decisions on this year’s HLPF need to be taken shortly in order for preparations to move forward. We hence need a “fast track” process to sort out these issues. There is no time for drawn-out negotiations on details, but member states must be allowed to let their voice be heard. We need enthusiasm in the lead up to HLPF 2016, not frustration.
With regard to the broader discussion on the full architecture for the coming 15 years, let me highlight one concern in particular: We need to ensure an integrated follow-up of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Abeba Action Agenda (in accordance with para 26 of the 2030 Agenda). The SG report suggests that HLPF should review SDG 17 every year, without discussing how such a review will be linked to the discussions at the FfD Forum. In a coherent system of follow-up and review, these reviews must complement and build upon each other, and not overlap. The arrangements for the reviews at HLPF and the FfD forum must therefore be prepared in close consultation, not in two separate, parallell tracks.
In conclusion, Mr. President, we believe we need to have more conversations before we enter into negotiations on the many complex, complicated - and interlinked - issues that need to be sorted out in the course of coming weeks and months. As we are designing a system that should serve us well for the next 15 years, it is important that we get the foundations right.