United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Finland

23 MARCH 2015, NEW YORK
POST-2015 IGN SESSION ON GOALS, TARGETS AND INDICATORS
STATEMENT BY FINLAND ON INDICATORS

DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR RIITTA RESCH

Thank you, Mr. Co-facilitator.

In addition to the EU statement that we fully support I would like to make the following comments in my national capacity.
First, I would like to thank the Chairperson/representative of the Statistical Commission for the presentation of the technical report on the process of the development of an indicator framework for the goals and targets of the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda. We thank and congratulate the Commission and the UN system for the work done so far in a relatively short period of time.
We also endorse the roadmap for the development and implementation of the indicator framework and its timetable that foresees its endorsement in the next session of the Commission in March 2016. In an ideal situation the indicators would be a part of the agenda in September but we fully understand that this work is primarily technical and must progress in stages that will take time beyond September and that this work should not be done in haste. Work on indicators should be mentioned in our September package because they tie together the goals and targets and monitoring, review and reporting related to this process. We would like to be further updated on the work of the indicators later during this process, maybe in our May session when we discuss monitoring, accountability and review.
The work on indicators should be broad based and include different actors that have different expertise. Thus we welcome the establishment of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Indicators. This Group should be composed of Member States and their Statistical Offices as well as regional and international agencies. We also welcome that a High-Level Group should be established to provide strategic leadership to the SDG implementation process as it concerns statistical monitoring and reporting. The work on indicators must be open and transparent.
Second, we would like to make a few comments on the indicators although we don't want to comment the actual substance of the indicators. The working draft is very helpful reading even to non-experts on indicators. The ratings given to different proposed indicators after the survey are very illustrative and give a lot of food for thought.
We believe that the number of global indicators should be limited to something that is manageable to a large number of countries at national level to make reporting to global instances like the HLPF as broad based as possible. Only in such a manner can we get a genuine and realistic picture of sustainable development either by themes or covering all of the sustainable development goals and targets. Global indicators should be complemented by regional and national indicators and this is what we understand by an indicator framework.
Whatever the final number of indicators, the transformative nature and ambition level of the proposed goals and targets should not be jeopardized or sacrificed and the political nature of the agenda should be maintained and reinforced through the indicators. In order to keep the number of indicators manageable and keeping in mind the complexity of the targets there should be a possibility to identify multipurpose indicators that address several targets at the same time thus reinforcing inter-linkages particularly on sustainable development and its three dimensions and mainstreaming of e.g. human rights and gender issues including SRHR throughout goals and targets. We understand that some specialized agencies are already working on these kinds of ideas and we support this kind of work.
There must also be scope for new and emerging issues to be integrated at a later stage into the indicator framework and flexibility to refine and adjust indicators in the next 15 years according to changing policy priorities and data availability.
Categorization of proposed indicators by feasibility, sustainability and relevance raises challenges and definitely gives food for thought. Without going into details of the contents of the proposed indicators I would like to say that the future work should focus more on proposed indicators that are relevant and sustainable than on the triple A indicators that might be easier because of their feasibility. We notice that some of the triple A indicators are related to the unfinished MDGs and for that reason definitely have their place in the framework.
We look forward to an update on the indicator work at a later stage.
Thank you.
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