United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


3rd Session of Intergovernmental Negotiations on
the Post-2015 Development Agenda
March 23-27, 2015

Intervention by Mr. Adarsh Swaika, Director (UNES), MEA
March 27, 2015

Mr. Co-Facilitator,

Thank you for giving me the floor and thank you for sharing your proposal for the programme of the joint session in April.

We fully support and endorse the statement delivered on this issue by the Group of 77 and I would like to add some additional points in my national capacity.

Before I do so, allow me to first briefly present some additional comments on indicators in view of the pertinent questions posed yesterday by the co-facilitator.

In terms of timeline we thought there was and is a very broad consensus in the room for avoiding the tendency to rush the technical process under the Statistical Commission and for giving it adequate time and space to fulfill their mandate as per the timeline they have adopted.

We see no difficulty in getting the final product from the Commission in March next year. Likewise we see no convincing need for imposing any artificial timeline for submission of any preliminary proposal by them, unless they themselves decide to do so. Undercooked or premature drafts are liable to be misinterpreted and lead to confusion, as was the case with the list presented to us earlier this week.

Likewise, the question of political oversight over the work of the Statistical Commission must be considered in a way to ensure the technical robustness and autonomy of the process and avoid putting it under undesirable time pressures.

We would once again firmly caution against the notion of using indicators to reinterpret the targets. The indicators are tools for measurement and should therefore directly relate to and be fully consistent with the political intent and balance contained in the targets.

Turning to the programme for the upcoming session, we can go along with the idea of a joint session with FfD next month to the extent that this creates synergy between the two processes. We note however, that in your proposed programme for the session on means of implementation under this track, you are not proposing to carry forward the discussions on the FfD zero draft from the previous week, but focusing on the larger, cross-cutting issues.

We are not convinced however with the idea of shortening our session. While we do appreciate the importance of the ECOSOC meeting with Bretton Woods institutions, we do feel that we should have the full 5-day session on means of implementation so that all issues could be explored in adequate depth.

Mr. Co-Facilitator,

We thank you in particular for providing some space and time to address issues related to technology cooperation in the upcoming session.

I cannot of course over-emphasize the central significance of enhanced international cooperation on technology for the success of the new agenda that we are crafting.

Business as usual in the manner we think about technology will not deliver the gains we expect across multiple dimensions in an integrated agenda. A constructive, substantive and ambitious outcome on technology is, in our view, an absolute must for the success of outcome in September.

However, we need to bear in mind that discussions on technology are not happening in a vacuum, nor for the first time.

As you are aware Mr. Co-Facilitator, pursuant to the mandate provided by the Rio+20 Conference, extensive discussions have taken place among member states on this issue over the past 3 years.

A series of extensive workshops in 2013 were followed by a series of structured dialogues during the previous session of the UNGA last year.

The summary resulting from those dialogues was the subject of the GA resolution 68/310 which, while noting the recommendations emerging from the dialogues, mandated to “continue consultations based on the above-mentioned recommendations prepared by the President of the sixty-eighth session, with the aim of reaching a conclusion during the sixty-ninth session in the context of the post-2015 development agenda”.

This mandate was subsequently reaffirmed by the General Assembly in its resolution 69/214 which stressed its resolve to continue consultations based on the above-mentioned recommendations, with the aim of reaching a conclusion during its sixty-ninth session in the context of the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.

Clearly then, there is an unambiguous mandate from the GA to have these discussions in the context of the elaboration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and for these discussions to reach a conclusion during this session of the GA.

In view of the above, discussion on technology in the upcoming session must be explicitly linked to this GA mandate in order to provide it the necessary context and specificity.

Our discussions should be based on the work already carried out and build on the recommendations emanating out of the Structured Dialogues last year.

We are hopeful of meaningful and concrete discussions on this issue leading to a substantive outcome in September this year, not round-about or theoretical discussions merely re-stating the importance of this issue.

Moreover, given the centrality of the issue of technology as part of the means of implementation package, it is also important that adequate time is devoted to this issue to enable in depth discussions. We feel therefore that it would be useful if two out of the 5 days be allocated to this issue in the upcoming session.

Discussions in the April session should not preclude the possibility of further discussions in the coming weeks and months.

We would also request, and it is important to ensure, adequate background work to be done by the Secretariat in advance so as to focus our discussions on concrete deliverables and to ensure that we reach a tangible outcome at the end of the discussions.

Let me add that since we are looking at a joint session between this track and FfD, the question of where the eventual outcome on technology will be anchored is not quite relevant.

Finally, a brief comment on the themes of the interactive dialogues during the Summit, we are broadly supportive of your initial proposal and also support fully what was said by the G77. We would however add that when we discuss strong institutions, the focus should be on strengthening international institutions, in particular the UN system and making them fit for purpose.

I am confident that you’ll be able to take these suggestions on board.

I thank you.