United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations
23-27 March 2015 – Sustainable Development Goals and Targets

Statement by Cyprus delivered on 26 March 2015

Mr. Co-facilitator,
Thank you for giving me the floor. This statement is on national capacity and it is further to the statement made yesterday by the EU to which we fully align ourselves. First, I would like to thank you for your hard work and able leadership in steering this process. My delegation has full faith in the manner with which you conduct the negotiations and fully supports your efforts in that respect.
With regard to the TST technical assessment, Cyprus welcomes its dissemination by the Co-facilitators and thanks the UN Secretariat for preparing it. We stand ready to study this assessment and engage constructively in the course of the process.
The UN Task Team evaluated the targets and concluded that 19 merited some modification based on two criteria, as was explained to us yesterday. One of the two criteria was to ensure that there was nothing in the targets lower than what we have agreed before or lowering ambition. In this sense we believe that when applying the criteria, consistency should be of utmost importance as we feel that there might be other targets that can be improved on the basis of these same criteria. Echoing others who spoke yesterday one such target is target 14c which, as others have said yesterday, does not adequately reflect the role of UNCLOS and the norms of customary international law on the matter.
Mr. Co-facilitator, we have heard yesterday concerns that any attempt to improve the targets by means of technical proofing or any other way, will lead to the reopening of the report of the OWG. However, we haven’t heard anyone in this room in favor of reopening the OWG’s report or renegotiating its targets. Indeed it is also the view of my delegation that the breadth and ambition of the OWG proposal as well as its important delicate political balance must be preserved. On the other hand, there is a need without reopening the goals and targets and before putting the seal, to double check whether our targets are consistent with the criteria we have set ourselves in the previous sessions of the IGN process and in the open working group. We think that this a way forward that is responsible and one that ensures our Heads of State next September will be able to adopt a robust and ambitious framework of goals and targets that can really bring transformational change back home and in the world.