Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

 

EU Statement – United Nations General Assembly: Second informal consultation on alignment of agendas of the UNGA, ECOSOC and HLPF

New York , 03/04/2019 - 21:34, UNIQUE ID: 190403_13
Statements on behalf of the EU

3 April 2019, New York - Statement by Mr. Gerton van den Akker, Chief of Staff, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Second informal consultation on the Alignment of the agendas of the General Assembly, ECOSOC, and their subsidiary bodies and the HLPF and other related forums in light of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Distinguished Co-Facilitators,

Excellencies,

Dear colleagues,

 

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

 

The Candidate Countries Turkey, North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

 

  1. We would like to express our appreciation for a very constructive first consultation meeting in which all delegations underlined their commitment to this process.
  2. We also commend the President of the General Assembly for making this one of her priorities and fully support her opening statement in which she stated that "we cannot afford to lose further time and resources, which should rather be dedicated to discussing how to achieve the 2030 Agenda within the timeframe".
  3. Further, we would like to thank the co-facilitators and the UN Secretariat for the very helpful material which you provided for this second informal consultation. It will certainly help us to work on concrete next steps.
  4. Please allow us to share some specific observations and comments regarding the concept note and its annexes:
  • We welcome having concrete proposals and "tools" on the table which allow us to enter into discussions on the substance instead of reiterating general positions.
  • In these discussions we need to address gaps and duplication together as both aspects are two different sides of the same coin and belong together keeping in mind that reducing duplication would also mean that more resources might become available for addressing identified gaps. It is therefore not acceptable to move forward on both tracks at very different speeds. 
  • To "define a methodology and criteria" for what constitutes duplication – as suggested in the concept note – is therefore not enough. We are open to discuss those criteria. We also consider useful to have, in the spirit of balance, a methodology and criteria for identifying duplication. However, it should not distract us from the mandate given by the General Assembly to this process, i.e. to actually reduce those overlaps.
  • Further, we do not see the need for a "second phase" in which we "begin reflecting on potential solutions to addressing duplications". We already did this. As mentioned in our previous statement, all Member States committed to "mak[ing] proposals for the further biennialization, triennialization, clustering and elimination of items on the agenda of the Assembly, including through the introduction of a sunset clause […]" (resolution 72/313 of 17 September 2018). It is now time to implement our joint commitment and put into practice those measures.
  • The overview provided in annex I, unfortunately, only indicates gaps. We kindly ask for a further update which also gives us the opportunity to identify duplications. Alternatively, we could make use of the very useful analysis provided by Mexico during the first informal. 
  1. Addressing duplications should, of course, involve especially those Member States that are very active on certain agenda items or specific resolutions. This exercise should also not be perceived as undermining the sovereign right of Member States to table resolutions. We interpret the call of some delegations to proceed on a "case-by-case basis" in this sense. It should, however, not result in yet another stalling of this important process.
  2. Lastly, we welcome the proposal by Mexico and the co-facilitators to organize informal informals between the actual informal consultations as this will allow us to openly exchange ideas about concrete next steps. Those informal informals should be open to all interested delegations.  

 

 

* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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