Statement von Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter bei den Verhandlungen der Vereinten Nationen zur Post 2015-Agenda (in englischer Sprache)

Porträt von Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter
Thema "Indicators and Goals and Targets"

Thema "Indicators and Goals and Targets"

– Check against delivery –

Mr. Co-Facilitator,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

The post 2015 Summit in September will mark a historic moment. It will be the first time that all governments agree on a broad, universally applicable set of precise goals and targets for sustainable development.

We all have to deliver to make this summit a success. This is of key importance not only for the wellbeing of all of humanity, including that of our children and our children’s children, but also to demonstrate a functioning multilateralism.

But we should not only focus on the success of the summit. What will count in the long run is the implementation of its outcome. We, as an industrialized country, stand ready to contribute our share to achieve the necessary transformation.

Sustainable consumption and production patterns and the efficient use of resources are key in this regard.

The agenda has to generate momentum for a huge push to

  1. End poverty and hunger - fight inequality
  2. Empower People, achieve gender equality and ensure a good and healthy life for everyone
  3. Promote shared prosperity and achieve sustainable lifestyles for all
  4. Respect planetary boundaries: fight climate change, protect and sustainably use natural resources
  5. Protect human rights - ensure peace, good governance and access to justice
  6. Establish a new global partnership

We must act now so that future generations still have the chance to live a decent life. 

We are all aware that the Sustainable Development Goals will form the core of this transformative post-2015 agenda. If we collectively manage to reach these goals and targets, we can achieve the necessary transformation in the interest of our children and of our children’s children.

The proposed set of goals and targets carries the potential to effectively address the interlinked challenges the world is facing.

But we have to look ahead. The agreement on this transformative set of goals and targets which Germany is wholeheartedly supporting was the first step. If we really want to tap the transformative potential of the SDGs, we now have to focus on the implementation side of the goals.

And indicators will play a key role in this regard. It is one of the most important lessons learned from the MDG Agenda that we need to connect strongly goals with targets and targets with sufficient indicators to guarantee an effective implementation.

I therefore would like to thank the Statistical Commission of the United Nations and the Technical Support Team for their work done so far on indicators. But I am not a visionary when I say: There is more work to be done!

Despite its importance, we consider the work on indicators to be first and foremost a technical process.

It is not trivial work to elaborate a set of global indicators, which addresses the transformative aspiration of the targets but stays manageable to serve as the core set every country reports to. Therefore it is important to give time to our statistical and technical experts to elaborate this innovative set with a limited number of indicators which should build on existing international indicators to the extent possible in order to avoid duplication and to make efficient use of resources.

In this regard I welcome the decision of the Statistical Commission to present a proposal by the end of 2015. We will then have time to review the proposal before its adoption in March 2016. Even beyond March 2016, the improvement of indicators will be a continuous task of the Statistical Commission.

But there are still a few more things that need to be done on targets as well:

Firstly, targets must be consistent with, and not fall below UN standards and agreements or contradict international legal frameworks. We should address cases where proposed language does not meet this test.

Secondly, we also acknowledge that the SDG proposal includes some targets on which political decisions will have to be taken. We would support the proposal that the UN system identifies these "x" targets and indicates existing levels of ambition and agreements or commitments in order to make a proposal for appropriate replacements for the "x".

This work should be guided by our common understanding that it is important to preserve the political balance and breadth of the OWG's SDG proposal, including preserving the inter-linkages across the three dimensions of sustainable development.

In this context I would like to reiterate that we should continue our exchange on how to better communicate the agenda for sustainable development.

Part of the success of the MDGs was that they were easily understood - following this success model the new agenda needs an effective communication tool. We welcome the idea of the Secretary-General to reflect the new, holistic and transformative spirit of the agenda in overarching key messages.

These messages should be inspiring, easily understandable and spur action worldwide. As they should also reflect the richness of the agenda, in our view six key messages will be needed, as proposed in this statement today.

Thank you!

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26.03.2015 | Rede Nachhaltige Entwicklung | New York (USA)