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You are here : Home > News > Speeches > April 2005 > Statement by Claude Wiseler, Minister for Civil Engineering, on behalf of the EU, at the 13th session of the Commission on sustainable development: Turning political commitments into actions (speaking points)
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Statement by Claude Wiseler, Minister for Civil Engineering, on behalf of the EU, at the 13th session of the Commission on sustainable development: Turning political commitments into actions (speaking points)

Date of Speech : 20-04-2005

Place : New York

Speaker : Claude Wiseler, Minister for Civil Engineering

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

  • The title of this session means a lot to the EU. Indeed, we are prepared to be called implementation actors, and we look forward to working with others who are also committed to an action and result-oriented approach in the water, sanitation and human settlements sectors.

  • We must arrive to decisions and commitments by all relevant actors on measures that will concretely contribute to the achievement of WSSD targets and MDGs. The very number of ministers in this room, as well as the intensive preparations and negotiations, demonstrate the importance not only of the three sectors addressed in this cycle, but of the sustainable agenda as a whole. This year is also important as CSD 13 sets the stage for future CSD sessions.

  • If water, sanitation and human settlement are addressed together and here in this Commission for Sustainable Development, it is because they are interlinked and have common obstacles and solutions, but also because they are essential for sustainable development and for meeting many other international development goals and targets.

  • For all three themes, integration into national development policies is central, using a pro-poor and multi-stakeholder approach. Remind 2005 targets for NSDS and IWRM. National ownership is essential.

  •  It is important to underline the fundamental role of good governance, capacity building and technology support as well as that of financial initiatives that generate additional funds by using ODA as a catalyst for public and private investments and promote the development of public-private partnerships.

  • In this crucial year, CSD has to fulfil its mandate regarding a strong contribution to the Millennium Review Summit by sending a strong message on the importance of sustainable development in general and of the three themes, for achieving all the MDGs. Environmental sustainability underpins the achievement of all MDGs and of the commitments of WSSD. The JPoI goals and the MDGs are complementary and their realization is necessary for prosperity and security. A timely, integrated and preventive approach using the full range of instruments is essential in this respect.

  • We will not be able to fight poverty, or have a truly sustainable development, peace and security if we don’t realise environmental opportunities and invest in sound environmental management.

  • The three themes need to be addressed in an integrated manner, in planning, implementation and follow-up, to maximise results and achieve truly sustainable results. Also, we need to address cross-cutting issues in order to overcome the obstacles that are common to the three themes and that hamper sustainable development. Especially gender equality and sustainable consumption and production. As some of the common obstacles have their own dynamic, we need to find cross-cutting solutions that are specific to those obstacles.

  • Education for sustainable development must be promoted, especially with regard to water, sanitation and hygiene, targeting school children and young people, especially adolescent girls.

  • Importance of participation of Major Groups: they are implementation actors, represent civil society, make contributions on cross-cutting issues; necessary to involve the poor and to build capacities. Local authorities should be empowered.

  • Mention EU efforts, namely EUWI and Facility, and collaboration with UN-HABITAT.  EU is the largest global donor with 1.4 billion annually for water and sanitation. Mention appeal for proposals, and doubling of total amount Water Facility. Mention the importance given in internal EU water policy to transboundary water management, where innovative solutions are being explored and implemented.

  • Existing monitoring, reporting and assessment mechanisms at the national, regional and global level, should be supported, strengthened and implemented.

This page was last modified on : 23-04-2005

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