United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development




Mr. Hassan Abbas

at the

informal meetings of the plenary
on the sustainable development goals and targets session
of the intergovernmental negotiations

on the
“Post-2015 Development Agenda”

New York, March 23, 2015

Check against delivery

Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 531, New York, NY 10017
Lebanon aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Arab Group and the statement delivered by South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. I would like to add a few comments in my national capacity.

Distinguished co-facilitators
Allow me at the outset to commend you again for your efforts and the continued commitment you have shown at driving this negotiations process forward, and I take this opportunity to assure you of Lebanon’s support for your work, and confidence in your wisdom and abilities at bridging the gap between the differing opinions and views as we get closer to the UN Summit in September.
We believe that the Open Working Group Report represents the main basis for the integration of SDG’s and Targets into the Final Document of the Post 2015 Development Agenda, while also considering other inputs.
As we underline the comprehensive, inclusive, integrated and balanced nature of the SDG’s and targets, it is, however, essential to state the imperativeness of developing global, regional and national indicators to measure the implementation of those goals and targets, including Goal 17 on Means of Implementation. The lack of indicators on any goal or target impedes its effective implementation and measurement and thus undermines the whole Agenda.
In this regard, Lebanon supports the roadmap that was endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission during its 46th Session earlier this month, to develop and implement a global indicator framework by March 2016. We also acknowledge the Commission’s view that the development of a robust and high quality framework requires time and the possibility of future refinements.
What needs more clarity, though, is the reference in the Technical report of the Commission’s Bureau on the need to conduct this process in stages. Lebanon supports discussing indicators within the context of the Post-2015 intergovernmental process, and beyond it, within any other intergovernmental framework. We are open and ready to engage fully in constructive discussions and in the assessment of any partial set of indicators that might be proposed by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDG’s) before March 2016. However, we do believe that the global indicators should be adopted as a unified set rather than in clusters to avoid unintended interpretations that some goals or targets are of more value or significance than others, and to preserve the comprehensiveness of the Agenda in its three dimensions.
On national indicators, it is our view that national public institutions should play the leading role in developing those indicators in cooperation with the private sector and civil society and other national stakeholders, and they should also be empirical, suitable and relevant, based on internationally agreed standards. The advice and counsel of relevant UN and international bodies is of particular significance in this regard.
Adopting global and national indicators based on internationally agreed standards could also be a better alternative to the proposals for a wide technical proofing to the targets.
Finally, we stress on the need to provide developing countries with adequate capacity building and technical support to enhance their ability to produce their national indicators, and to measure a wider set of national and global indicators. It would also help turning many of the B’s and C’s in evaluating the feasibility of many of the global indicators in the Commission’s survey into A’s.
Thank you