United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Italy, Spain and Turkey

10th Session of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals New York, 1st April 2014
Statement by ITALY, SPAIN and TURKEY
Water and Sanitation
 This focus area correctly introduces concepts that lead towards a holistic approach to the whole water cycle.
 We appreciate the inclusion of social implications of water resources management among the targets. Since we believe that access to safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right and that this right can be sustainably ensured if all stakeholders participate in the management of resources we believe that targets related to accurate hydrologic planning and participatory governance should be included in this area. The chairs’ proposal contains building blocks for a set of comprehensive targets to guarantee the right to safe drinking water and sanitation to all. However since the availability of the resource is context dependent, we would like to see among the targets some context based assessments of the resource and its comprehensive utilization, so that all the other targets could have the necessary knowledge based foundation.
 The comprehensive approach utilized for this focus area could be further completed by considering the role of water in the production of energy and food, the additional services provided by freshwater ecosystems such as the local climate regulations, and the linkages between hydrological planning and food security, with special emphasis on appropriate irrigation systems and overall fight against desertification. Moreover pollution, salinization and water quality issues are challenges to be considered.
 Targets directed to water saving and reducing water losses as well as improving the infrastructure should be included.
Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition
 The are inextricable links among the three dimensions included in this focus. These links imply coherent actions at international, national and local level. The challenge is ensuring food security and nutrition, realizing the right to adequate food and eradicating hunger, while at the same time promoting sustainable agricultural practices, reducing post harvest loss and food waste and ensuring access to land.
 This area should be further developed by better clarifying the inclusion of equality concerns. Rural poor represent the majority of global poor and often suffer from social exclusion, lack of access to social services and lack of political representation and empowerment. Rural development is an important component of the future agenda for fighting rural poverty since its key components are food security and nutrition. Sustainable agriculture should address the disparities that often marginalize rural people. This area should also include a strong focus on empowerment of women and more generally on issues of inclusion and equity.
 Nutrition is a fundamental basis of human health and an important cultural and relational component. It is widely recognized that food security can be reached only if the quality of nutrition is achieved. In this context malnutrition, under nutrition and obesity should also be considered.
 Taking into account the increasing centrality of nutrition, there is a necessity of an integrated and coordinated effort to promote a multi-sectoral approach linking agricultural, social, productive, health, environment, employment, education and culture sectors.
 Quality of food and small farming are closely linked, and as such must be supported through sound agricultural policies. The strategies for food and dietary diversification should consider the pivotal role of smallholder farmers and include the promotion of mixed cropping and integrated farming system, underexploited traditional foods and home gardens, small livestock raising, fishery and forestry products for household consumption, small-scale agro-processing and food industries to improve preservation and storage of fruits and vegetables to reduce waste, post-harvest losses and effects of seasonality. A sound management of chemicals and waste should be envisaged.
 The need to differentiate and build policies starting from local contexts and preferences, culture and needs of local populations should be highlighted as the main pillar for the sustainable development. Agriculture development strategies should therefore take into account a place-based approach and the local dimension of development and promote territorial cohesion strengthening partnerships among territories.
 In this respect, the mentioned need to improve the access to services should be enlarged from financial services to all public services through tailored place-based policies for health, welfare services, education and training.
 Last but not least, one of the major challenges in this context is price volatility of staples and food. As it is a Global Public Good, there is a need to reinforce global governance and transparent markets. In this context, the Committee on World Food Security could be strengthened as a global inclusive platform in the context of food security and nutrition.