United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement delivered by the Representative of
of Greece to the UN
Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Focus Areas 3 (Health and population dynamics) and 4 (Education and life long learning)

5 May, 2014

At the outset and given the fact that I didn’t have the opportunity to do it before, please allow me to thank the co-chairs and the Secretariat, for your tireless efforts and for providing us with a revised document condensing and consolidating the many issues covered by the Open Working Group. We are looking forward to working with you in order to ensure a successful outcome of the OWG process.
Before starting, I would also like to point out that Greece aligns itself with the statement made earlier by the EU.
Focus Area 3: Health and Population Dynamics

• In target c we welcome and support the inclusion of promotion of mental health, which we believe is important, and we would propose insertion of the words well being, so that the second line would read “promote mental health and well being”.
• In target d we welcome the language on universal health coverage and highlight the importance of reaching vulnerable and marginalized groups. Furthermore, we would like to propose the following amendment: add at the end of the sentence, after most marginalized the phrase “ including women, children and persons with disabilities”
• We support target f, referring to sexual and reproductive health.
Focus Area 4: Education and life-long learning

• Education has a particularly strong role to play in reducing poverty and inequality and creating opportunities for sustainable economic development.
• We strongly support target b, referring to education of persons with disabilities.
• In target e we welcome the reference to quality education and training, including specific focus on vocational training, technical, engineering and scientific skills. Furthermore we would propose the inclusion of the word creative after the word technical so that the phrase would read “.vocational training, technical, creative, engineering and scientific skills”
• We also support target f and in particular the inclusion in education curricula of ICT and the awareness raising on culture’s contribution to sustainable development
• Finally, as also mentioned by Spain, we note that there is an important link with the private sector, markets, and job creation, which we believe that should be addressed in this focus area. As a result, we would like to propose an inclusion of a target reading: "Address the changes in the qualifications and skills required by the labor market and the link between education and employment”

Mr. Co-chair,

As we move ahead in this process, we are confident that we can keep working under your leadership and guidance and we particularly appreciate your willingness to listen to the views of all Member States. Furthermore, we believe that keeping the current working methods will help us to achieve best results and successfully conclude the mandate of the Open Working Group.