United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


THURSDAY, 26.3.2015
Thank you Mr. Co-facilitator,
At the outset, I would like to stress that Greece fully aligns with the statements made yesterday and on Monday by the European Union and add a few points from a national stand:
Let me begin by thanking you, the Co-facilitators and the Secretariat for the examination of the targets and the suggestions made in the paper circulated on Monday. We support your initiative and I would like to express our appreciation for your leadership in taking this matter forward.
We are ready to consider the results of the technical assessment, strongly maintaining that we need to preserve the ambition, political balance and breadth of the OWG proposal, including keeping the balance among the three dimensions and the related inter-linkages across all goals and targets.
We welcome the efforts to complete the work on targets with a view to making them more specific, measurable and consistent with, and not less ambitious than, existing UN standards and agreements and international legal frameworks.
As regards to the process, we would welcome more information on the criteria used and the way they have been applied, including with regard to the selection of 19 proposals. In this connection we believe it is important that the work of the UN system is carried out in a transparent and evidence-based manner, also drawing on scientific expertise, while the membership retains the final word, keeping in mind the need to preserve the important political balance of the OWG proposal.
Furthermore, we believe that it is important to be consistent when applying the criteria, in order to ensure confidence and full transparency in the process. In light of that we would like to stress that there are other targets that should be improved on the basis of the application of the criteria that have been set. One flagrant example, as also mentioned by other delegations, is target 14c. We maintain that, in the way this target is set out, is not consistent with UN standards and agreements and with international legal frameworks, since it does not reflect the agreed understanding on the role of UN Convention on the Law of the See as providing the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources and is not in line with the agreed language of paragraph 158 of the Rio Outcome Document (A/RES/66/288).
We look forward for the IGN to continue deliberations on these matters under your able leadership.
I thank you!