United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Finland

MEETING OF THE OPEN WORKING GROUP ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
MARCH 31 – APRIL 4, 2014
Statement of Finland by Ms Kirsti Aarnio, Ambassador, Post-2015
[check against delivery]
Thank you, Mr. Co-Chair,
As I am speaking for the first time, I would like to align my delegation with the EU statement from
yesterday.
Water represents an opportunity for true transformation towards sustainable development, while at the
same time finishing the unfinished business of the MDGs. The latest IPCC report also gives yet more reason
to be concerned about our water resources. Therefore, water must feature prominently in the SDGs and
the prospective Post-2015 agenda.
I would like to highlight the letter by 62 Permanent Representatives in New York on March 22 – on the
occasion of the World Water Day – calling for a Sustainable Development Goal on Water and Sanitation. In
the same spirit, I find the ideas on water, sanitation and hygiene put forward by the Swiss delegation on
various occasions worth further consideration. Finland has also been committed to promoting issues
related to water as an active member of the Friends of Water.
Against the background of the multidimensionality of water, I would like to thank you, Mr. Co-Chair, for the
comprehensive approach you have assumed in Focus area 6 on water and sanitation. The listing of issues in
this Focus area addresses WASH (that is, water, sanitation and hygiene); Water Resources Management;
Wastewater Management and Water Quality; and Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction in a
comprehensive manner providing valuable food for thought when considering specific water-related
targets. As such, the listing could be shortened by combining various sub-areas without losing in content.
On WASH, I would like to underline the importance including the H – hygiene – in this formulation. Also an
element on eliminating open defecation should be added. Under Water Resources Management, I would
emphasize the significance of trans-boundary water cooperation. Our delegation would encourage you to
recognize these three important topics in your further work.
Investing in water, sanitation and hygiene has a great multiplier effect, and this should be kept in mind
when considering the interlinkages. In this respect, I would like to highlight the interlinkages between water
and gender equality and empowerment of women; water and climate; as well as water and peaceful
societies and rule of law, that were not mentioned in the Annex on Interlinkages.
I thank you, Mr. Co-Chair.
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