United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam

ELEVENTH SESSION OF THE OPEN WORKING GROUP
ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (OWG-SDGS)
5 – 9th May, 2014, New York
Intervention by Viet Nam on behalf of Troika Bhutan/Thailand/Viet Nam on General comments and Focus area 1 (poverty eradication)

1. Overall assessment of Co-Chairs’ Working Document of 17 April 2014
- I speak on behalf of the Troika consisting of Bhutan, Thailand and my own country Viet Nam. We align ourselves with the statement by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Bolivia on behalf of the G77 and China.
- Thank Co-Chairs for preparation of working document, capturing the discussions in previous sessions of the OWG. Let us reassure you of our support.
- Take note of the Co-Chairs’ effort to “cluster” focus areas to reduce the number of focus areas, but are concerned that such “clustering” has been at the expense of the economic pillar. Though numbers do not tell the whole story, this does create an imbalance among the three pillars of sustainable development. In particular, we emphasize the importance of infrastructure in sustainable development.
- Emphasize the importance of the economic pillar, particularly economic growth, to developing countries, including LDCs and LLDCs, as the necessary precondition for the realization of any and all other goals. (experience from the MDG implementation has shown that countries and regions that have done better are those that have seen sustained economic growth).
- Note that many targets are at set as global targets, therefore understand that national targets are to be set by individual countries appropriate to their national circumstances; and also that for those targets, countries at a higher level of development have to do more to achieve the global targets, in line with principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
- Will make specific comments and proposals when it comes to the relevant focus areas.
- Look forward to a zero draft with a narrative, as indicated by the co-chair.

2. On Focus area 1
- Reiterate that poverty eradication is the overarching objective of the entire SDG framework. And the aim is to reduce multi-dimensional poverty. With that understanding, we fully concur with you Co-chair that Focus area 1 cannot be expected to achieve this overall objective. We believe FA1 is complemented and supported by other FAs, including those on education, health, employment, equality…
- Support the overall thrust of this focus area.
- Support targets (a), (c) with no further comment.
- Support target (b) and propose to specify how much reduction we are aiming at
- Support the essence of (d), and propose that in addition to resilience to disasters, must build resilience to economic and social shocks/crises. This is crucial to ensure the sustainability of any poverty reduction effort and results. Developing countries were severely affected by recent crises, especially financial and economic crisis. It’s therefore important to focus also on economic resilience.
- Note that (e) appears also under Focus Area 8 on economic growth and employment, which is more appropriate.
- It is also important that means of implementation is specified.