United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Australia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom

Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group, 11th Session, May 2014
Constituency Statement
It is my honour to present the Australia, UK and Netherlands troika’s contribution this morning on poverty and food security.

But first I would like to thank the co-chairs for the current Working Document, which provides a good basis for our discussions, and also for your leadership of the current inclusive process which we consider has been effective. We do not believe there is a need to change this process and move to intersessional meetings. As well as changing the nature of the group, this would make it impossible for members of the group attending from capital to participate. We are confident the current process, under the able guidance of the co-chairs, can address the substantive issues raised in the many useful contributions today.

Poverty and equality, sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition
The elimination of poverty in all its forms remains the overriding priority for the post-2015 agenda. Ending poverty is essential for sustainable development and creating prosperity for all people. We must also tackle vulnerability to extreme poverty to ensure the end of poverty is permanent.
We welcome the Co-Chairs’ focus area on poverty eradication, which provides a strong basis for a stand-alone goal. We support all of the issues covered by the focus area. Our preferred targets by 2030 and their expression are as follows:
- eradicating extreme poverty, we need to bring the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to zero (1a)
- reduce the number of people vulnerable to extreme poverty and living on less than $2.00 a day
- reduce the proportion of people living below their national poverty definitions (1b)
- implement nationally appropriate social protection measures, including floors, to reduce vulnerabilities of the poor and marginalized (1c)
- build resilience to, reduce deaths and economic losses from natural disasters (1d)
- achieve productive and decent employment for all, including women and young people (1e)
- ensure equality of economic opportunity for all women and men, including secure rights to land, property and other productive assets (1f)
- ensure access to financial services for all women and men.
Eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, with no one left behind, will not be possible without promoting equality of opportunity. We would like to see the promotion of equality integrated throughout the SDGs.
We highlight the importance of developing and using evidence based methods for evaluating progress based on high quality, timely, data disaggregated by age, gender, income, disability, social and ethnic group. In order to ensure we leave no one behind, targets in the new framework should be met by all relevant social and income groups. We must also ensure we recognise success, progress and milestones on our way to meeting our ultimate goal of eradicating poverty in all its forms.
Inequalities can be addressed by integrating the following measures throughout the framework:
- reducing poverty in all its dimensions
- eliminating discrimination in laws, policies and practices, including those between women and men
- reducing inequalities among social groups, including economic, social and political inequalities
- empowering and inclusion of marginalized groups, including indigenous peoples, minorities, migrants, refugees and IDPs, persons with disabilities, older persons, children and youth
- promoting differentially high per capita income growth at the bottom of the income distribution.
Food security and nutrition are fundamental to sustainable development, and economic growth, while progress on poverty reduction is critical to food security and nutrition. Child malnutrition has profound and life-long consequences and is a barrier to productive lives. Under-nutrition reduces economic growth and incomes. Addressing hunger and malnutrition must remain central to the post-2015 agenda. Economic Growth and poverty reduction alongside sustainable agricultural practises, robust supply chains and open, fair and well-functioning markets and trade policies are essential to achieve long-term food security for all people.
We welcome the co-chairs focus area on ending hunger, achieving food security and nutrition which provides a strong basis for a stand-alone goal. We support many of the issues covered by the focus area. Our preferred targets by 2030 and their expression are as follows:
- end hunger and ensure all people have access to safe, affordable and nutritious food all year round (2a)
- end malnutrition in all its forms, notably stunting and wasting in children under five years of age and addressing the nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating women (2b)
- ensure sustainable food production systems with high yields,
: including sustainable agriculture, ocean and freshwater fishery practises and systems (2c)
- reduce the global rate of loss and waste along the food supply chain (2e)
- promote climate-smart agriculture that is resilient and adaptable to extreme weather including drought, climate change and natural disasters, and reduces green-house gas emissions (2g)
- increase open, fair and well-functioning markets and a development friendly trading system, including by eliminating harmful agricultural subsidies.