Statement on post 2015 goals, targets and the declaration

Last updated: 1/21/2015 // This statement on post 2015 goals and targets was delivered by Norway's lead negotiator Marianne Loe at the start of the post 2015 negotiations on 20 January.

The Open Working Group took us a long way towards the set of universal, transformative Sustainable Development Goals and targets we need. Norway welcome the important goals and targets for poverty and hunger eradication, sustainable development and gender equality that are contained in the OWG proposal.

We now need to go the extra mile to make sure the future SDGs become as successful in mobilizing resources, partnerships and results as the MDGs have been. We need to make sure we have a set of goals and targets that is communicable and implementable. And we need to make sure they are in line with - and no less ambitious than - existing commitments and agreements.  

Norway therefore supports the proposal by the co-facilitators to conduct a technical proofing of the targets contained in the OWG proposal. And we welcome the offer by the Secretary General of the expertise of the UN system to assist us in conducting such a review.

The purpose of such a review should not be to remove valuable substance from the OWG proposal, but rather to double-check the targets based on certain criteria, including:

  1. To ensure the targets are in line with - and supports the fulfilment of – existing international agreements and commitments. This is not the time to lower ambitions, quite the opposite.
  2. To make sure targets are manageable, communicable and measurable. Only then will we be able to mobilize the action, partnerships and resources needed to implement them.
  3. To check that targets are not duplicating or contradicting each other.

In order to follow up on progress in the implementation of the goals and targets, we will need a set of carefully designed and knowledge-based indicators. Identifying these indicators will have to be a task for experts, and we welcome the SG’s offer of putting the UN system on this task, in consultation with other relevant experts and stakeholders.

We also welcome the introduction in the synthesis report of a set of “essential elements” that may help making the post 2015 agenda communicable, and look forward to discuss how we can make the best use of these elements.

Let me also add a few words on the declaration:

First, let me thank Dr Bhattacharya for his valuable introduction this morning, which gave us a lot of food for thought.

The declaration will be an important political document and a key part of the post 2015 agenda, and will need careful consideration.

The political declaration should be relatively short and visionary and designed to motivate action.

It should reiterate and highlight key values and guiding principles for human dignity and sustainable development, including universal human rights and fundamental freedoms and the importance of rule of law and good governance.

The declaration should be forward-looking and provide the vision and foundation for the SDGs, while not paraphrasing them.  It should set the stage for a  transformative agenda that is people-centered, planet-sensitive and rights-based and leaves no one behind.

The Millennium Declaration should serve as one source of inspiration, as should the Rio+20-outcome document and the SG's synthesis report. 

Thank you

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