United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Brazil and Nicaragua

10th Session of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals
31 March - 04 April, 2014
Cluster 3 - Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition and water and sanitation
Statement by Brazil and Nicaragua
Mr. Co-Chair,
Brazil and Nicaragua support the statement made by Bolivia on behalf of
the G-77.
Agriculture development and food security are critical for poverty
eradication and sustainable development. Close to a billion people still
go hungry everyday and many more are far from having access to safe,
adequate and nutritious food.
In this regard, the Rio+20 outcome document has rightly emphasized the
need to focus on the situation in rural areas in developing countries,
because this is where hunger and malnutrition are more prevalent. It also
indicates the need for an increase in agricultural production and
productivity, by means of better access of farmers – especially poor
farmers – to markets, technology and financing.
This can only be achieved through the productive integration of
developing countries to international markets in a fair, transparent and
sustainable manner.
We need to step up our efforts to fight agricultural protectionism in all
its forms, not only those measures that are regulated by the WTO
Agreements. In fact, in many cases, it is those measures that are not
covered by the WTO, such as agricultural export subsidies and other
forms of trade distortive support, that have the most detrimental effect to
the participation of developing countries in international trade flows and
to their own domestic rural development.
With these aspects in mind, Brazil and Nicaragua would like to suggest
the following additional items to focus areas 2, on sustainable
agriculture, food security and nutrition:
- Establishing a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and
equitable multilateral trading system, including provisions for the
granting of special and differentiated treatment to developing countries,
especially LDCs (Rio+20 para.118).
- Facilitating/improving market access to agricultural exports of
developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (Rio+20
- Promoting adherence to and use of science-based, intergovernmentally
agreed sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.
- Facilitating integration of smallholder farmers to regional, national and
international markets, as well as improved access to information,
technical knowledge and know-how, including through new information
and communications technologies (Rio+20 para. 114).
- Enhancing adherence to and upholding of the internationally
recognized Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment (Rio+20
Regarding the existing items, we suggest the following changes:
There is an incorrect reference to "drought" in item "c". Drought is a
natural phenomenon and, unlike land degradation and desertification,
cannot be reversed. It needs to be mitigated.
On item l), after "Reducing post-harvest crop losses and food waste
along food supply chains" we propose to add "as well as promoting
sustainable consumption patterns, especially in developed countries".
Item "e" needs to be followed by "according to adequate international
agreements such as the Codex Alimentarius and the Stockholm and
Rotterdam Conventions on toxic waste".
As far as item "m" is concerned it is necessary to clarify the definition of
"harmful subsidies" in the light of WTO agreements, especially the
Agreement on Agriculture, and taking into account ongoing
negotiations. In that regard, we stress that agricultural export subsidies
provided by developed countries cause severe damages to the economies
of developing countries, especially least developed countries, negatively
affecting employment and jeopardizing rural development and food
With regard to item "n", it is important to note that price volatility is
normal to agriculture markets. "Excessive" price volatility is what needs
to be addressed. Additionally, Nicaragua and Brazil would like to ask
the co-chairs to clarify in more precise terms the meaning of "oversight
on commodity markets".
Mr. Co-chair,
Regarding focus area 6, on water and sanitation, Brazil and Nicaragua
would like to present the following remarks.
There is no basis in the Rio+20 outcome document for the reference to a
“water-secure world”. Such a concept is not present in The Future We
Want and neither is it mentioned in resolutions 64/292, entitled “The
human right to water and sanitation”, and 68/157, entitled “The human
right to safe drinking water and sanitation”.
Brazil and Nicaragua would like to request the deletion of such
expression, keeping the focus of the chapeau on the human right to safe
drinking water and sanitation, in line with the Rio+20 outcome
document and resolutions on the right to water and sanitation.
Still in the chapeau on water and sanitation, we would like to propose
the addition of the expression “with full respect to state sovereignty” in
the end of the first sentence, as per paragraph 121 of Rio+20 outcome
Mr. Co-chair,
There is no reference in Rio+20 outcome document to “water
governance” or to “trans-boundary cooperation”, both expressions
adopted in item "f". Such concepts, when referring to targets applicable
at the international level, could be interpreted in ways contrary to the
sovereign right of States over their natural resources.
In order to be consistent with the Rio+20 Outcome Document and with
principles of international law, item "f" should read “improve the
implementation of integrated water resource management at all levels as
appropriate”, as per paragraph 120 of outcome document.
Mr. Co-chair,
In our view, item "g", “expanding water-related vocational training at all
levels”, should be moved to the section on means of implementation,
since it is a central action for capacity-building in developing countries.
The same is applicable to item "k", “investing in water harvesting
technologies”, which should be moved to the section on means of
implementation and included as a measure related to facilitation of
environmentally sound technologies.
In order to reflect commitment under paragraph 120 of Rio+20 outcome
document, the item on means of implementation would have three subitems:
1) Firstly, a sub-item entitled “mobilization of additional resources,
especially for developing countries”;
2) The second sub-item would read “facilitate access to water- and
sanitation-related technologies, especially water harvesting
technologies and wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse
3) Thirdly, “enhance capacity-building, in particular through
expanding international cooperation for water-related vocational
training at all levels”;
In this regard, Brazil and Nicaragua reaffirm that the references to
means of implementation are crucial for the universal scope of the
sustainable development goals, in accordance with different historical
responsibilities and capacities of developed and developing countries.
I thank you, Mr. Co-chair.