United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by
The Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran
At the 8th session of the OWG on Sustainable Development Goals
Under the Item entitled “Oceans and Seas, Forests and Biodiversity”
Tuesday, 04 February 2014
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Co-Chair,
Thank you very much for giving me the floor,
Let me first appreciate the panelists of this session and the UN Technical Support Team for the invaluable inputs.
My delegation would like to associate itself with the statement made by Bolivia, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
I would like to add a few more points in my national capacity.
Mr. Chairman,
For the sake of brevity, my delegation does not intend to reiterate the importance of the subjects under discussion, Oceans and Seas, Forests and Biodiversity, as they were clearly emphasized by the briefing papers of the UNTST, and the statements and interventions made during present and past meetings.
Rather I would like to focus some substantive-structural points to be considered in designating the related goals and targets.
There is no doubt that paying due attention to Oceans and Seas, Forests and Biodiversity is part and parcel of our deliberations and vital for the life of human beings. Nevertheless, there is a long history of discussions and decisions with regard to each and every subjects at hand and all of them have their own specialized framework and process of consultation and decision making.
It is also a given that although the related goals and targets are set globally, they are indeed different in terms of their implementations, due to the uniqueness of the circumstances of various countries.
Each and every subjects that we are discussing in this part of the session has either an ongoing mechanism of implementation of commitments or an ongoing process of negotiation on getting to certain commitments.
Now, the question would arise as to what might be the added value of raising these issues in the Open Working Group? My delegation believes that the answer to this question was explicit in the remarks of the distinguished Executive Secretary of the CBD, in our Yesterday's meeting; referring to Biodiversity Convention and the related documents including five strategic goals and twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets, I understood that he directly and indirectly referred to two critical points:
1) the goals and targets are there, but they are rather in-silo, and the main purpose of bringing the issue here in the Open Working Group would be to have an integrated picture, so that the three dimensions of SD would be addressed in a coherent manner;
2) the goals and targets are on pieces of papers, unless we design the means and way for their implementations.
Based upon these observations, my delegation maintains that in devising the SDGs and Targets on such subjects that have their own dedicated specialized mechanisms, we should:
- think consistent with the goals and commitments already made by countries through those legal structures as well as forums; neither should we set the bar above the agreed commitments, which would question their feasibility , nor go under the floor already agreed in those processes, for example, Global Objectives on Forests adopted by UNFF, CBD, etc.;
- bring this OWG as a reinforcing mechanism to the existing processes; by saying that we would endeavor in such a way as to strengthen the agreed commitments in an integrated manner, and not to circumvent or prejudge the ongoing specialized negotiating process.
- Preparing the integrated materialization of the agreed commitments by clearly deciding onthe means of implementation including through capacity building, financing and transfer of technology.
For instance, Mr. Chairman, in practice, the OWG should consider the views of the United Nations Forum on Forests process (UNFF) as the main platform to deliberate on all issues and all aspects related to all types of forests. Likewise, the establishment of a new Global Forest Fund in line with the principles of sustainable development should be deemed necessary in order to build capacity and to concentrate on the financing needs of developing countries to sustainably manage their forests, as well as to comply with their commitments under the GA adopted- NLBI.

To conclude, Mr. Chair, my delegation believes that capacity development through technical assistance and the transfer of technology remain a serious challenge for many developing countries in implementing their commitments under different processes, and efforts should be made to address those challenges through international cooperation, and an enhanced global partnership for development.

I thank you Mr. Co-Chair,