United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Colombia and Guatemala

GUATEMALA/COLOMBIA STATEMENT ON GENDER, EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND HEALTH – SDG OWG
APRIL 1ST 2014 (AM SESSION)

Firstly, We would like to reiterate that the priority this week should be on reducing substantively the number of focus areas. As said yesterday, clustering is only a visual devise and does not reduce the number of focus areas that need to be translated in goals and targets.

Secondly, [we call upon the co-chairs to facilitate an intergovernmental process in order to already begin to identify areas of consensus, of convergence, as well as areas that will require additional time…. We feel we have been in a holding pattern for over one year and would now like to land….]

Once again, we echo the African Group, CARICOM and many other delegations that have stressed the need to reflect cross-cutting issues by sharing targets across more than one goal.

We reiterate that this does not equate to duplicity. Again, this is a misunderstanding, a misconception. Rather, if targets are shared across more than one goal what we are achieving is
1. Reducing the number of targets
2. Structuring the targets in a way that will incentivize different line ministries in each country to collaborate and overcome silos. This is what sustainable development is about

We welcome a goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment and affirm that all targets under this goal are shared with other potential goals. The targets on this goal need to include the following:

[We support the targets identified by Pakistan which are aligned with those we are proposing]
• Preventing and eliminating all forms of violence against girls and women and ending discrimination
• Education: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015 – MDG
• Governance - Ensure equal right of women to own and inherit property, sign a contract, register a business and open a bank account
• Inclusive growth - Ensuring equal employment opportunities for women and equal pay for equal work


With regards to a goal on health and population dynamics, we must build upon the MDGs and also go further, deeper.

• We must fully implement the MDGs targets on maternal health
• Ensure progress towards quality universal coverage
• Improved healthy life expectancy , which would include reduction of the burden of disease from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases and priority non-communicable diseases.
• The issue of reproductive rights and services is controversial as we have heard by many delegations. Thus, we propose that we should stick to the MDG language which is target 5 b: “achieve by X universal access to reproductive health.
• Increased life expectancy, linked to child, maternal and adult mortality. Eventually, indicators could bring in the MDGs:
- End preventable infant and under-5 deaths
- Increase by x% the proportion of children, adolescents, at-risk adults and older people that are fully vaccinated
- Decrease the maternal mortality ratio to no more than x per 100,000
• Reduction in the environmental causes of disease such as exposure to harmful pollutants and substances, unsafe drinking water, and insufficient nutrition
• Functional health systems with adequate human resources and infrastructure

With regards to employment, we think this goal should be bundled with that for economic growth. The 4 targets identified in the HLP provide a good basis from which to work:
• Increase the number of good and decent jobs and livelihoods by x
• Decrease the number of young people not in education, employment or training by x%
• Strengthen productive capacity by providing universal access to financial services and infrastructure such as transportation and ICT
• Increase new start-ups by x and value added from new products by y through creating an enabling business environment and boosting entrepreneurship

Finally, with regards to Education
With regards to education, we underline as others have said that we need to focus on qualitative, not only quantitative outputs.
We need to ensure that we are delivering the necessary skills for productive lives.
• We should consider a target focusing on convergence in quality across income levels as this would promote equality through social mobility and stimulate the efficiency of the education system as a whole.
• Equally so, it is very important to ensure universal free primary and secondary education for girls and boys and ensuring equitable access to education at all levels with a focus on the most marginalized, including indigenous peoples, persons living in rural areas.
• Increase by x% the proportion of children able to access and complete pre-primary education
• Ensure every child, regardless of circumstance, completes primary education able to read, write and count well enough to meet minimum learning standards
• Ensure every child, regardless of circumstance, has access to lower secondary education and increase the proportion of adolescents who achieve recognised and measurable learning outcomes to x%
• Increase the number of young and adult women and men with the skills, including technical and vocational, needed for work by x%

We support the proposal by Pakistan in include mid-term targets.