United NationsDepartamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales Desarrollo Sostenible


Statement by Mr. Bernard Charles Mifsud
Deputy Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malta to the U
nited Nations
Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable D
evelopment Goals
31 March – 4 April 2014
United Nations, New York
At the outset we would like to thank you for your c
ontinued hard work and able leadership in
this Open Working Group, as well as for your revise
d document dated 18 March 2014. We
would like to make the following comments on a numb
er of focus areas identified in your
document which are a priority for my delegation.
We are pleased that in the document under focus are
as 12 and 19, the document includes
separate references to migration in an appropriate
format. As we have stated in the 9
of this Open Working Group, while we recognize the
importance of migration as a multi-
faceted issue, we emphasize the fact that migration
should be accurately reflected in any
document. We therefore strongly support the referen
ce to planned, well-managed and legal
migration; and improving planned and managed migrat
ion policies within the two respective
focus areas.
Education is one of the most important keys to succ
ess for sustainable development, and thus
for the whole post-2015 process. We had highlighted
our views on this topic during the last
meeting, and we thus welcome the inclusion of unive
rsal, free primary and secondary
education for girls and boys, among the other areas
identified in the document. Such
universal access to education for everyone is essen
tial, not only as a basic human right, but
also as one of the main vehicles for eradication of
poverty and development in all countries.
We see all issues in focus area 4 as a solid basis
on which we could build SDGs.
Health and Population Dynamics
Focus area 3 includes a variety of areas which are
important in realizing the right to the
highest standard of physical and mental health. We
are pleased that ideas presented by my
delegation during the last meeting are also reflect
ed under focus area 3.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment
Focus area 5 is an essential area for the success o
f future SDGs. We all recognize that there is
still much to do in ensuring women’s empowerment an
d gender equality. We would like to
once again point out however that point (i) in focu
s area 5 is unacceptable to my delegation in
its current form. We urge the co-chairs to focus, i
n their next revision, on what point (i)
would actually mean in reality rather than to inclu
de non-consensual terms. We believe that
all UNMS can agree to specific areas that are clear
ly defined, quantifiable and doable, rather
than to include specific language which has proven
difficult and highly controversial in
similar discussions.
I thank you.