U.S. Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Bureau of International Organization Affairs
New York City
July 28, 2015
Thank you, Mr. Co-facilitator. As we’ve said repeatedly, the success of our agenda will rise or fall on implementation, and the US remains committed to ensuring the most ambitious, serious path forward to achieving our goals.
As we reflect on the bright spots of our negotiations thus far this past week, we note the considerable agreement around this room in the quality, strength, and level of ambition of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We compromised collectively on issues of great importance to each of us individually there, and we continue to appreciate and hope to build upon the collaborative spirit that made it possible.
We agree with others that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is not perfect. However, from our perspective, it provides countries with the most forward-looking tools and frameworks we have right now to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It is an ambitious, comprehensive, and forward-looking framework for achieving our future together – one which was achieved through thorough and careful negotiations that carried all of us further than we had collectively gone before on the full range of MOI topics, with expert input that was not available during the OWG process.
Our task and challenge now is to ensure consistency and coherence between our two documents, and to do so in a way that works for all member states. As we mentioned last week, through our own analysis as well as a series of external analyses we have since been made aware of, we note that nearly every MOI target appears within the FFD text in some form.
Addis took the MOI targets from the OWG as its starting point and incorporated them into a holistic framework that goes considerably further. As we said last week, each of those means of implementation targets – both goal by goal and Goal 17 targets –became seeds that were planted and integrated into the discussions and process for the Financing for Development conference, where they found their full blossom in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. To ensure our Post-2015 Agenda succeeds, we must be focused and serious about mobilizing action at scale. Addis gives us a powerful platform to do that.
It is for this reason that we support a scenario, as we mentioned last week, where the Addis outcome comes into Chapter 3 in lieu of the goal 17 and MOI targets. We have heard some skepticism of such an approach, but believe it is constructive and important to give this scenario full consideration.
We have a serious question we are asking ourselves as we work toward finalizing our Agenda, one that will have a far-reaching and lasting impact on our efforts. How can we concentrate our energy and work together to harness the most resources to implement this agenda? How do we avoid risking that this energy will be diverted by debates and confusion over which MOI we are working to implement and how post-2015 and Addis fit together?
Pragmatically, keeping the means of implementation targets as defined by the Open Working Group, while also annexing, integrating, or merely referencing the Addis outcome could sow confusion, both in the implementation of our Agenda and the measurement of our progress. We believe it is critical that our metrics be clear and streamlined. We worry that two different yet co-existent versions of the means of implementation could lead to inefficiencies in the implementation of our agenda, and we are strongly committed to move forward with optimal momentum to succeed in our goals.
As there is substantial overlap between the Post-2015 Targets and the FFD outcome, it is our assessment that it is more cost efficient and effective to monitor the SDGs and FFD together. This will ensure t that we are not adding additional reporting burdens or confusion caused by duplicative indicator development or measurement processes. As we integrate the FFD outcome into the Post-2015 Agenda, we should look to the Statistical Commission to ensure that their work on an indicator framework covers all aspects of the Agenda in a streamlined and holistic manner.
We understand and have heard delegations express concern that relying on Addis as the MOI could dilute the status of that document. We do not believe that to be the case. I know that we recognize, and I think this is shared by member states, that Addis would not just be the MOI for post-2015, but also stands on its own as the successor to Monterrey and Doha. Moreover, by its own terms, the Addis outcome document provides a follow-up and review process for FFD outcomes, including an ECOSOC forum on FFD follow-up.
Recognizing the interlinkages with the post-2015 agenda, the agreed conclusions and recommendations will be fed into the overall follow-up and review of the post-2015 agenda in the HLPF. We all agreed in the preparations for Addis on the importance of avoiding duplication of efforts with a view to ensuring a single, comprehensive, holistic, approach to addressing the three dimensions of sustainable development. We think it critical to avoid creating a follow-up and review process that might confuse which MOI targets – the OWG MOI targets or the Addis framework – are the subject of this follow-up and review process. We see that as a risk to diluting the status of FFD.
In specific terms, incorporating Addis into the Agenda as the MOI and doing away with the MOI targets would resolve a number of the drafting challenges that we have been wrangling with for months and again this week. It would allow us to eliminate or streamline the MOI section of the political declaration along the lines of what Japan and we and others suggested in our discussions yesterday; it would resolve debates that are surfacing over the wording of MOI targets, as evidenced this morning by our discussion on target 17.2; and it would allow us to streamline Chapter 3 of our agenda to provide an introduction to or a chapeau for the incorporation of the Addis outcome, either by reference or as an Annex. In this regard, we believe that incorporating Addis in this manner will bring us much closer to achieving consensus on a text by our Friday deadline.
For the language of Chapter 3 itself, we would consider maintaining, with a few tweaks to ensure the language is consistent with the FFD outcome, existing paragraphs 59, 61 and 62 as a chapeau explaining the linkage between the goals and targets, the global partnership, and Addis as the MOI. Under our proposal, just as with streamlining the MOI section of the political declaration to 1-2 paragraphs, there would be no reason to try to pick and choose particular concepts or paragraphs from Addis because the entire text, with all of the issues that each of us cares about preserved intact, would serve as our MOI framework. In that way we can avoid renegotiating or reopening issues that found resolution in Addis.
Thank you, Mr. Co-facilitator. We look forward to finding consensus quickly on this critical and important chapter.