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

EU Explanation of Position: United Nations 2nd Committee: Resolution on Implementation of Agenda 21

New York, 27/11/2019 - 23:03, UNIQUE ID: 191202_17
Statements on behalf of the EU

27 November 2019, New York – European Union Explanation of Position delivered by Finland on behalf of the EU and its Member States at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Second Committee, 26th meeting on the Resolution on Implementation of Agenda 21

Mr Chair,


I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.


As you might recall, in the past three years the EU, through its Presidency, called for a vote on the resolution on the Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. We voted against the resolution. We consistently pointed out the redundancy and irrelevance of the resolution in the post-2015 era, and called for focusing our collective efforts on the future, towards the implementation of the most ambitious development agenda ever adopted, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Our calls remained unaddressed until this year when we finally saw willingness on the part of our partners to discuss the relevance of the resolution, modernize its conent, update both the reporting requests to the Secretary-General and the name of the agenda sub-item. While the agreed changes are not fully satisfactory to our Group nor ambitious enough (above all, undue emphasis continues to be placed on Agenda 21, including in the title of the resolution), we do recognize them as a step in the right direction.


We welcome the fact that the resolution recognizes the importance of sustainable consumption and production for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. We are glad to note that the next report of the SG will examine the state of play with regard to SCP, its application and promotion, and that the name of the sub-item now includes a reference to SCP, an issue which, in our view, merits dedicated attention in the context of this Committee.


We hope that next year we will be able to embrace greater and bolder change, including by further focusing the resolution on SCP.


We believe that this year’s transformation of the resolution fits well in the broader discussion on revitalization and closer alignment fo the Second Committee’s Agenda with the 2030 Agenda.  


For these reasons, the EU Member States were able to abstain today in the vote on this resolution.


We would like to seize this opportunity to thank all colleagues involved in the work on the resolution, the facilitators, the negotiators and the Secretariat. Special thanks are due to our colleagues from the G77 and, in particular, the Group’s coordinator, Mr Terence Tan of Singapore.


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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