Sumario: 25 January 2012, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Carsten Staur, Permanent Representative of Denmark, at the UNCSD 2012 - Rio+20 Initial discussions of the zero draft (25 - 27 January 2012) Session 1: Discussion and comments on the zero draft of the outcome document
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
Mr. Co-chair, Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me again to thank the co-chairs for their hard work in providing us with a zero draft for the outcome document. As already indicated in our opening statement, the EU and its Member States believe that the zero draft can serve as a basis for negotiations and we would like to reiterate our willingness to work with partners towards a politically ambitious, forward-looking and action-oriented outcome in Rio.
We are however concerned about the overall balance of the text and the fact that important issues have been either neglected or dealt with in a somewhat insufficient manner which I will elaborate on a bit further in the following. With regards to sections I and II, we have presented our comments in our submission to the Secretariat for the inclusion in the revised zero draft/compilation text.
First of all, as regards the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication the overall narrative and rationale should be developed further by highlighting the many positive opportunities that a green economy provides for sustainable development and poverty eradication - we are eager to work with all partners to translate this concept into action. Furthermore, the EU and its Member States are of the view that the social and economic dimensions will need further elaboration.
We strongly believe that more explicit recognition needs to be given to the fact that the transition towards a green and inclusive economy requires a combination of international, national, sub-national and, bottom-up initiatives - many of which are currently reflected in section III of the document - and actions, which are essentially described in section V. These different levels of action have to be linked more clearly in the document. We believe that a roadmap approach is a useful tool which should include concrete international actions towards achieving a Green Economy. Section V provides a solid first attempt to agree upon concrete actions and thematic objectives but in order to achieve tangible results inRio we need to elaborate and interlink these sections and bring them together into one clear and effective framework for action.
As regards the institutional framework for sustainable development, it is widely acknowledged that the current framework must be reformed in order to more effectively integrate all three pillars of sustainable development and support a more effective implementation at all levels of decisions taken. The zero draft presents different options in this regard. We are ready to explore and engage in a in depth discussion of all options, aiming at reaching increased efficiency and coherence whilst taking into account potential overlap in functions and mandates of existing organizations and processes.
With respect to the issue of strengthening the international environmental governance, the EU and its Member States firmly believe that the establishment of a fully-fledged environmental organization as a United Nations specialized agency for the environment, based on UNEP and located in Nairobi, will be the most effective manner in which to further develop the environmental dimension of sustainable development. The official support to this proposal by more than one hundred countries is a clear signal thatRio+20 should be ambitious on this issue. A framework and a calendar should be clearly specified. In addition, we would like to see more ambitious commitments on enhanced synergies among multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
We believe the social and economic aspects of sustainable development have not been sufficiently taken into consideration in the zero draft. Issues such as employment, equity, health care, education, resource efficiency and ecosystem services should be given greater attention in the document.
It is also clear to us that we will need to reflect the changes in the global economy, and the emergence of some developing countries as major economic actors on the global stage. This very positive development was not foreseen in Rio twenty years ago, but will have to be reflected in the solutions that Rio+20 identifies. Concerns remain over the least developed and small island developing states, which will need to be addressed.
The EU and its Member States have noted the proposal to establish an inclusive process to devise a set of global goals on sustainable development. We have clearly indicated in our joint contribution that goals would be instrumental to give renewed impetus to sustainable development. We would, however, like to stress that the potential development of such goals would have to be coherent with the MDG-review, thereby contributing to the post-2015 agenda.
In order to provide a successful outcome in Rio, it will be crucial to embrace a multi-stakeholder approach - to engage a range of actors, including the private sector and the civil society, in particular the youth and women, as partners and drivers of change. We need to devise actions to further involve the private sector and catalyse investments that are socially and environmentally responsible and accountable. We would like to see this element strengthened in the document.
The EU and its Member States recall that democracy, good governance, human rights and rule of law are crucial elements of sustainable development at all levels and must be given much more attention in the document. The issue of gender equality, including women´s empowerment and women as drivers of a green economy, must be given a prominent place in the document. Furthermore, with a global population now surpassing 7 billion people, we are both surprised and concerned about the fact that population-related issues are not covered in the zero draft.
With respect to means of implementation we need an innovative approach. Rio+20 will require a combination of measures including funding, capacity building, cooperation on technology, research and innovation, trade, investment, public awareness, education and training programmes. Regarding finance issues in particular, there needs to be greater emphasis on the need to rely on all sources of finance, including, innovative financing and domestic resource mobilization. The EU and its Member States being the world´s largest provider of official development assistance (ODA) we are firmly committed to the MDGs. Our commitment to the collective target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) has been reaffirmed at the highest political levels. While ODA certainly has an important catalytic role to play, we believe that other sources of finance are critical in order to mobilize resources for development.
Finally, the importance of improved access and reduced costs by facilitating trade in environmental goods, technologies, and services, through the reduction or elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers, should be underlined.
Success in Rio will be measured on the will and ability of all stakeholders to agree on concrete deliverables, substantial mandates and launching of initiatives with a measurable and lasting effect.
Let me therefore in conclusion assure you that the EU and its Members States stand ready to engage constructively in the negotiations to come. We are looking forward to work with our partners towards an ambitious and forward-looking outcome. All member states of the United Nations have a joint responsibility and mutual interest in achieving a truly forward looking and action-oriented outcome document to be adopted at the highest political level in Rio.
I thank you for your attention.
*Croatia, theformer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia andMontenegro continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.