United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement of Turkey in 3rd Session of Post 2015 Negotiations

Honorable Co facilitator,
Since we will deliver only one statement combining all issues, I ask for your indulgence if I cannot finish in 4 minutes.
• At the outset, we would like to thank UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) for the work it carried out in such a short time. I also want to express our support to the establishment of an Inter-agency Expert Group on SDG global indicators.
• We recognize that developing global indicators is a huge technical task that requires expertise and time. Contributions of international organizations and scientific community will be useful in this highly technical process. As per the decision to establish Inter-agency Expert Group, national ownership will be ensured through participatory and transparent process. Broad participation of national statistical offices in the work of Expert Group will reflect national views and may ease certain concerns. Hence, upon completion of UNSC work, we may not need a political review of the indicators.
• The work to be carried out by the UNSC is very important and we should give sufficient time to the experts. Our Heads of State in September may highlight the importance of a robust set of indicators for effective monitoring, take note of the progress in the ongoing work of the UNSC and may consider including an indicative set of indicators.
• At this point I have some remarks on the expected outcome from the Inter Agency Expert Group.
• On relevance: the SDG Report of OWG sets a very ambitious and rich agenda in all aspects. We fully support this ambition. We agree with those who warned against reinterpretation or undermining of targets. Development of global indicators should be undertaken in compliance with the intention of targets. Having said that, we recognize the need for a clear, high-quality and communicable set of indicators for better implementation and monitoring of progress. In this vein, we welcome the efforts of co-facilitators to bring 19 targets consistent with the existing international framework. We believe that this exercise may have the potential of increasing the quality of targets without losing the spirit of SDGs.
• Indicators should be scientifically proven to measure the progress in implementation of the targets in all its aspects. Given the integrated and rich content of our targets, we may need some multidimensional and composite indicators or indices. Qualitative assessments and special surveys might also be used for monitoring as well.
• On feasibility, UNSC report states that 30 percent of indicators are not feasible at all. We also have to bear in mind that this survey was responded to by 70 countries, only 30 % of which are developing ones. This exercise was an opportunity for Turkey to evaluate its capacity. My country finds only 40 % of the proposed indicators feasible with A rating. This indicates that we all will have a significant work load on capacity building before us. Therefore target 17.18 is a critical one. We agree that we should avoid creating an additional burden and make best use of available data for global indicators.
• For the monitoring of SDG agenda, as mentioned by many delegates, we need an integrated framework of global, regional and national monitoring. Global indicators should be limited in number, should be based on available information as much as possible and some of the data do not necessarily need to be produced by national governments. The use of ICT is key for all of us and the role of UN institutions is crucial for monitoring of global targets.
• As for the SDG’S, we are not against “tweaking” efforts for SDG targets. We believe that this may increase their quality and ease their monitoring. However, this work should not lead to lowering of the ambition level of the SDGs or reducing the number of targets. While undertaking this work, detailed reasoning should be provided.
• As for the exercise to review 19 targets, Turkey is supportive of co-facilitators’ two criteria based approach. The tweaking process should be transparent and accountable. We need further clarification on the reasoning and source of information regarding proposed revisions. Therefore explanatory notes could be enriched. However, before expressing a definitive position on 19 targets we feel the need to further consult with our various authorities.
Implementation of SDGs at National Level
• Sustainable development concept has been introduced into national development plans since 1992 Rio Conference. And very recently, Rio+20 outcomes have been integrated into 10th Development Plan of Turkey covering the period 2014-2018.
• Ministry of Development coordinates national sustainable development agenda among public institutions. The Ministry envisages to strengthen the implementation of SDGs by projects and programs with strong dialogue and cooperation with local authorities and private sector.
• In terms of monitoring the SDGs at national level, Turkey already has a national sustainable development indicator set, composed of 54 indicators since 2000. We will further develop this monitoring framework in light of proposed SDGs global indicators according to our national priorities and capabilities.
• According to our preliminary analysis of current Development Plan, there is high consistency between SDGs and the Plan. However, each target of SDGs does not have its place in our national agenda. It’s for sure that we will work on these targets and indicators in more detail. As mentioned before, we also have to build certain capacities for better implementation and monitoring of SDG agenda.
• Cognizant of the importance of political will and ownership, we plan to extend MDG experience to the integration, implementation and monitoring of national SDG agenda by carrying the process to the highest political level.
I thank you.