United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations
The Open Working Group of Sustainable Development Goals
5 May 2014
New York
〈Check against Delivery〉

Focus area 13 and 14

Thank you, Mr. Co-chair,

With regards to the idea of streaming focus areas 13 and 14, the Republic of Korea is open to the idea of merging the two into one stand-alone goal in case there is a consensus to reduce the total number of stand-alone goals from the currently proposed 16 focus areas. Moreover, if the two areas are to be merged, the title of the combined goal should properly reflect the importance of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Now, I would like to make some brief suggestions regarding the target level. For 13(e), Korea suggests the addition of “in accordance with international agreements” at the end of the sentence. We also propose the deletion of 13(g) as the fishing subsidies have been discussed in other global platforms, such as the WTO, and no agreement has yet been reached.

My Government is of the view that forests represent one of major solutions to poverty eradication, food security, clean water, biodiversity, and desertification. Therefore, sustainable management of forests is crucial in addressing global challenges we face now. For the sustainable management of forests, Korea think that (b), (d), and (e) are key targets. However, we think that we need to clarify the meaning of “critical ecosystem” in target (b) for further discussion.

Focus area 15

First of all, the Republic of Korea is of the view that focus area 15, Means of Implementation and global partnership for sustainable development should remain as a stand-alone goal, as suggested in the current working document. Additionally, we think that the idea of establishing the Means of Implementation for each and every goal needs to be discussed further in due course.

Now, I would like to make specific comments on targets. Regarding technology transfer and technological capabilities, the Republic of Korea believes that suggested target h may be required to be discussed further, as the proposed target has been controversial in its impact in developing countries and is still being discussed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and within other fora.

Korea would like to suggest 4 additional targets, articulating the principles that the global partnership for sustainable development should be based upon. Additional targets are as follows;

1. Engage all stakeholders in the implementation of the SDGs, recognizing the different and complementary roles of all actors
2. Ensure effective, transparent, and accountable partnerships for sustainable development at the global, regional, and national levels
3. In particular, ensure that partnerships for sustainable development at the national level are led by countries in a manner which reflects the circumstances and priorities in each country
4. Promote coordination and cooperation of multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships with government and inter-governmental efforts for achieving sustainable development

In this regard, Korea welcomes that the first high-level meeting for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation was held in Mexico last April based on the Busan Commitment for the Global Partnership agenda. Korea will host annual international workshops to monitor the levels of implementation.

Mr. Co-chair,

The Republic of Korea also puts great emphasis on regular monitoring and reporting on the progress and implementation of the SDGs. As such, we support target 15v.

Focus area 16

Korea is of the view that governance issues, including the rule of law and effective and capable institutions should constitute a stand-alone goal. In this connection, Korea prefers that the expression of “governance” appears somewhere in the title of this focus area. We are also open to including peaceful and inclusive societies as a stand-alone goal.

As for the target on the rule of law and capable institutions, we believe that 16a) is the core of the goal. Korea would like to suggest amending the target 16b), which is emphasizing the “publicly owned” notion. It would now reads as follows; “Improve access to publicly owned information including public finance management, public procurement and the implementation of national development plans.” Potential targets we would like to include are;

1. Strengthen the rule of law at all levels
2. Enhance inclusive and participatory decision-making in the political process
3. Strengthen local government and civil society

Thank you, Mr. Co-chair.