Sumario: October 31, 2002: Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN, on behalf of the European Union, on Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields. FIFTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - SECOND COMMITTEE: Items 92 (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia and the Associated Countries - Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, align themselves with this statement.
With the Millennium Summit, Monterrey, the World Food Summit + 5 and Johannesburg, the cycle of major UN Conferences has come to a natural watershed. Bringing coherence and consistency into the follow-up-processes of these - and the other major UN conferences of the past decade - is one of the most important challenges in bringing each follow up process into a common framework.
For the European Union, the Millennium Declaration constitutes the overarching policy framework, also for the economic and social work of the UN. And it is a starting point for an integrated follow-up to all major UN conferences and a means to build on the many linkages between them. The Millennium Development Goals provide us with concrete, measurable targets in the economic, social and environmental areas. The coordinated approach must focus on the application of these Goals as an organizing principle for the work of the General Assembly in the in the field of development. The leadership in taking the Millennium Declaration agenda forwards has to come from the UN. If we succeed, we could effectively establish the UN as a key multilateral policy maker in relation to the broad development agenda. If we do not succeed, we would have missed a unique opportunity.
The EU recognises that we are undertaking a major task. It is one that will endure well beyond this General Assembly. It is a task we must not shy away from. We should work hard to substantially change the way we are doing business in order to support actual implementation of the commitments embodied in the agreements and outcome documents.
The challenge facing us today is to assert end ensure the relevance of the UN System. In particular for the second and third committee, ECOSOC, the General Assembly and the functional commissions. We are mindful of the need to make better use of the existing mechanisms of the UN system in the development field. By utilising the existing structures and institutions, we should work hard to avoid any duplication of work. At the centre of every process, resolution or other action we should focus on support to enforce the actual implementation at field level.
In order to facilitate our thinking, the EU is ready to support the establishment of an ad hoc open-ended working group that will look into the matter. It is important that it be a working group with a concrete and time bound mandate. The secretariat should, based on their ideas in relation to the reform of the UN, give input to the working group. The ad hoc open ended working group would have to look, within the framework of the Millennium Declaration, at the way our work in the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the functional commissions as well as our dialogue with other stakeholders can be made relevant at each level in order to support achieving the Development Goals.
By strengthening the United Nations, we also strengthen the international system. But the UN does not work in a vacuum. The conference follow-up obviously has to be done in the spirit of partnership that also comprises the stakeholders we have come to see as part of our work, not least the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO. The EU would also like to underline the important and necessary task to include the civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders as much as possible. Implementation at field level is an enormous challenge, and in order to meet the goals by 2015, we need to draw on the resources of all development champions from the private and public sectors at all levels. We must apply new, innovative and useful modalities to foster stakeholder participation, also at the General Assembly.
Real achievements at the country level will be the measurement of whether we have successfully followed-up to the conferences. We should focus on ways to add value to the implementation processes. The primary responsibility for achieving sustained economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty - and ultimately all the development goals - rest with each country. We must, therefore, see to it that our efforts focus on achieving policy coherence and supporting these implementation efforts at country level on the basis of nationally owned development frameworks, such as the PRSP's and sustainable development strategies as well as coordination mechanisms like the CCA/UNDAF.
We look forward to taking the work on integrated conference follow-up forward in a collaborative and informal manner with all our friends. This is not a north-south or developed-developing countries matter. Rather it is a question of housekeeping, of putting into action at the UN, what our political leaders have decided.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.