United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

European Union

Fourteenth Session, New York, 01 ? 12 May 2006
Delivered version, 05 May 2006
· The EU believes that in order to achieve sustainable development it is necessary to
adopt a long-term integrated approach which takes proper account of social,
economic and environmental factors and contributes to poverty eradication. It is also
important to take into account the cost of inaction in policy making.
· The pursuit of narrow sector objectives in isolation risks compromising the
achievement of wider policy goals, most of all regarding climate change.
· There are a number of interlinking issues, where taking action will have benefits for
each of the thematic issues. Arguably, each of the thematic issues is in itself an
interlinking issue. From our regional discussions and from the Secretary General?s
report, we realise that there are a few key inter-linkages such as transport and
planning which require particular attention. Taking action on these will have benefits
for each of the issues in this thematic cluster.
Crosscutting Issues
· We also believe it is important to address the crosscutting issues, including means of
implementation, that were agreed at CSD11. To mention just a few these include:
o Poverty eradication
o Changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption
o Protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social
o Capacity building
o Finance and investment
o Gender equality
o Health
o Education
· Poverty eradication is an overarching objective and essential requirement of
sustainable development.
· Each country is responsible for its own sustainable development though regional and
global considerations are vital given the cross-boundary effects of air pollution and
similar. We firmly agree with the Secretary General on the need for strong national
development strategies, which take account of energy for sustainable
development, industrial development ? including changing patterns of consumption
and production, air pollution and climate change.
· In all countries, sustainable development has so far not been sufficiently integrated in
policy-making and planning processes. Still, the goals and development areas of
different sectors are not balanced to ensure sustainability. The JPOI commitment to
formulate and begin implementation of Sustainable Development Strategies by 2005
must be recalled and further implemented. The EU stresses the importance of the
peer reviews as a voluntary learning process for the governance of these strategies.
Countries can benefit from this process, both as reviewed country and as peer
· Environmental sustainability underpins the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals. Protecting and managing our natural resource base is
therefore fundamental to achieving lasting development.
· Nature provides immeasurable benefits to the six billion people living on our planet.
By exploiting the world?s diverse natural resources, humankind has achieved
improvements in well-being over the last few centuries. Since the world?s natural
resources are limited, and ecosystems are increasingly vulnerable, we should today
be more careful than ever about the ways we use natural resources, as the
underlying issue is the way we use natural resources and return them to the natural
environment. In this context we reaffirm our commitment under the JPOI and the
Convention of Biological Diversity to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the
current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a
contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth. We also wish
to highlight our support to the implementation of the Convention to Combat
Desertification in that regard.
· In many countries declining budgets for research and development are hampering
the ability of policy makers to find the most effective solutions to a number of the
challenges we face.
· Inadequate development, lacking transfer and deployment of affordable, efficient and
environmentally sound technologies and in some cases high costs of these
technologies continue to hinder progress on each of the thematic issues.
· Education, as a tool of implementation, can contribute to the effectiveness of
policies for sustainability.
· Access to education is vital to a sustainable economic and social development.
Whilst some regions particularly Latin America and the Caribbean and South East
Asia, have made excellent progress in achieving the MDG of achieving access to
primary education for all by 2015, significant barriers still remain in other regions,
including sub-Saharan Africa. These are well known and include competing
demands on children, in particular girls, to undertake domestic chores, lack of
resources, lack of infrastructure and lack of energy to enable schools to function.
Campaigns and communication initiatives could support awareness and respect of
basic human rights.
· The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development provides an appropriate
long-term framework of reference. It is important to coordinate various initiatives to
ensure effectiveness of the overall processes. The UNECE Strategy for Education
for Sustainable Development represents a regional contribution to the Decade with
the aim to support the achievement of sustainable development and could provide
guidelines for other regions.