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


Mr Co-chair
Our troika would very much like to welcome focus area five, which lays the foundations for a strong, dedicated goal on gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women.

In the title of the goal, it is important to ensure that girls are referenced next to women: ‘Empower women and girls and achieve gender equality’. Similarly, where reference is made to ‘people’ this needs to be broken down into ‘women and men’, and children into ‘girls and boys’. This principle should be extended across the targets in focus area five and across the other focus areas where applicable.

Our troika has a few points to make on the targets under the focus area and on integration across all the focus areas, to ensure consistency with the outcome of CSW58.

Our preferred targets and their expression are as follows:

• End all forms of discrimination against girls and women of all ages [5a];

• Eliminate, prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in all its forms [5b];

• Promote the economic empowerment of women, by supporting women as entrepreneurs, workers, employees and producers; (Mr co-chair, we felt that this area was not sufficiently captured in your paper)

• Increase women’s leadership, voice and participation at all levels in government, business, public and private life [5f];

• Eliminate all harmful practices including child, early and forced marriage and Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting [5g];

• Ensure the equal rights of women to own, control and inherit property, assets and resources, including natural resources, to work and be fairly remunerated, to sign a contract, register a business and open a bank account [5e].

• Ensure equal employment opportunities for women, equal pay for equal work, and women’s equal rights at work [5d];

• Ensure the respect, promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all [5i].

In addition, we would like to highlight that gender should be integrated across each focus area – for example education access and outcomes – and that data should be disaggregated by age and sex in all goals.

Water and Sanitation

Mr co-Chair

We welcome the separate focus area on water and sanitation. Water and sanitation is essential for human health and wellbeing, poverty eradication and sustainable development and has important links with other focus areas, including to food and nutrition security, gender equality, climate change and sustainable consumption and production.

The focus areas document provides a solid basis for shaping the SDG on water and sanitation. Our preferred targets and their expression are as follows:

• By 2030, ensure universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, especially for girls, women and people with disabilities [6a]
• Improve the sustainable use and development of water resources [6b and c]
• Reduce wastewater pollution and improve water quality by reducing the discharge of untreated domestic, agricultural and industrial wastewater and increasing the safe reuse of wastewater [6f]
• Reduce the risk of mortality and economic loss from water-related disasters, including floods and droughts [6h] and
• Strengthen equitable, participatory and accountable water governance [6d]
Thank you