United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Belgium

BELGIUM
Permanent Mission of Belgium to the United Nations 823 U.N. Plaza, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017
E-mail: belaiuTmel(.a (u21n2.i)n 3t78-w63e0b0s,i tFea:x (h2t1t2p)a 6/8w1w-7w61.8un.int/belgium
Mr. President,
Excellencies,
There is a growing number of countries that have decided to charge a Minister explicitly
with a portfolio for Sustainable Development. Belgium has decided ever since 1999 to be
one of them. And I am glad to be able to attend here at the first opportunity since I have
been appointed to this function, even more because this is an important CSD-session.
tIhne a fdodlliotiwonin gto. the EU-Presidency's intervention I would like to contribute by highlighting
Belgium attaches great importance to adopting and consecutively meeting internationally
agreed steps forward on sustainable development. In 1997, we were among the first
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reporting, planning, consulting, implementing and monitoring with a view to developing
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for sustainable development, which contains a true international inspiration and
orientation.
In the same spirit, our regions work together with other sub-national regions of the
world within the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development, also
called NRG4SD, to achieve sustainable development trough cooperation and exchanging
experiences and best practices.
Multi-level and inter-level action. international cooperation
Belgium is deeply convinced that a steering and framing Sustainable Development
policy-framework is fundamental and necessary for all actions to be taken by all
stakeholders and governmental actors to reach the agreed international goals. And
initiatives to interlink the pillars of sustainable development are indeed taken in the
Belgian Regions and Communities and at the federal level, as well as by the local
authorities.
Still, continuously improving and updating our approach is what we look for. We
identified that it is vital to optimally coordinate all actions taken by our federal and
regional levels of government in an effective and ambitious way, thereby using our
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intergovernmental response to the 2005 commitment of Johannesburg. Synergies,
opportunities and added-value of a coherent SD-policy are key words in this NSDS. The
cooperation between the federal and the regional governments, the local authorities and
Ianll ostthrievri nsgta fkoerh obledtetresr ,in i tt hisis l oexgeicracils teo i sk eenespu oreudr. own actions connected with the CSDsessions
and other international fora. On the other hand, it is self-evident that we look
at what's happening abroad. Sharing experiences with other countries on their
development of national strategies and their SD-policy process is considered vital. Our
first experiences in the peer reviewing process with France, the UK, Ghana and Mauritius
are very positive, inter alia because of the usefulness of its methodology for others and
of its recommendations. These experiences form a good basis for future work in this
group and for deepening the North-South-dimension of this exercise. In line with this,
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Social dimension and cross-cutting issues
Being also in charge of Social Economy, I am also very specifically aware of the
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vital to important facets of social development, be it poverty eradication, health,
education or gender equality. The inter-linkages of SD-actions for reaching the MDG's
must therefore be central to all our actions. Also this CSD must therefore, with the
upcoming Millennium Review Summit, address this issue and contribute in a strong
manner to the Summit. Close interaction between sustainable development and
development, not excluding innovative proposals for financing, is of high importance.
The federal parliament underlined this a week ago by agreeing that access to water is a
fundamental right.
In meeting this objective of systematically interlinking, we would like to highlight 3
cross-cutting issues in particular. Gender equality and education for sustainable
development are not only accelerators by contributing strongly to the creation of better
living conditions for many people but also by spreading sustainable development to
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mentioned cross-cutting issues is ultimately vital to overcome the key obstacles
mentioned in the analysis of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. At the Ostend
Sustainable Production and Consumption Regional Stakeholders Meeting and at the
Vilnius High Level Meeting on Education for Sustainable Development we demonstrated
that we strongly believe in the mobilizing role of these themes in contributing to a real
partnership between governments, stakeholders and all individual citizens to safeguard a
right future for our planet. We will continue to do so.
At this moment brochures about the second federal sustainable development plan are
being distributed. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Thank you.
Stakeholders