Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

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: Ministerial discussion with UN agencies and IFIs
Print this page Send this page

Statement by Claude Wiseler, Minister for Civil Engineering, on behalf of the EU, at the 13th session of the Commission on sustainable development: Ministerial discussion with UN agencies and IFIs

Date of Speech : 21-04-2005

Place : New York

Speaker : Claude Wiseler, Minister for Civil Engineering

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

  • MDGs and the WSSD goals are highly complementary. The EU believes that it is therefore important that the UN agencies and bodies and the IFI’s consider them as such in their work programmes. The effective implementation of the JPoI is crucial to meet the MDGs. The need to tackle environment, poverty and infectious diseases in an integrated way was strongly underlined by the High Level Panel on Threats and Challenges. Deciding on concrete action and policy options in the fields of water, sanitation and human settlements is a crucial step to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in general, MDG 7 in particular, and broader sustainable development objectives. In light of this it is the firm conviction of the EU that it is crucial for UN agencies and bodies and IFI’s integrate the policy decisions and actions we will agree upon here at CSD13 within their own strategies aimed at achieving the MDG’s.

  • The UN has adopted sustainable development as the key element of the overarching framework for United Nations activities, in particular for achieving the Internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration (A/res/57/253). UN agencies should thus jointly strongly promote an integrated follow up to the summits from Doha, Monterrey and Johannesburg. This integration will have to be promoted both in the operational activities and the normative and political guidance of UN activities.

  • Stronger attention is needed on the sustainability aspects of all MDGs. The contribution of respective agencies in this regard requires further consideration. The UN Development Group should, with an active involvement of a strengthened UNEP, promote a clearer and more transparent contribution of all UN-agencies also to the environmental dimension of all MDGs and WSSD goals. The emphasis on these aspects is currently too weak.

  • The UN Development Group should play a more stimulating role in the operationalisation of policy decisions from CSD13, by promoting the mainstreaming of sustainability, including environmental concerns into UN development policies and activities at country level. This will reinforce the role of UN development agencies in the country level dialogue with governments on the importance of explicitly integrating the far too often overlooked but crucial environmental, economic and social issues into PRS processes and other national planning processes. Stronger involvement of UNEP would help take greater account of environmental aspects, active involvement of UN-HABITAT would improve the way in which human settlement issues are addressed in the context of sustainable development; cities and towns can become engines of development that is truly sustainable.

  • Actions by UN Agencies to ensure this level of integration should be accompanied by capacity building at the country level. The EU views the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity building, the UNDP Poverty and Environment Initiative, UNEPs Poverty and Environment Project, UNDP/UNEP “Global Partnership on Poverty and Environment�? and UN-HABITAT’s important on rural/urban linkages, local governance, land use, water and sanitation, including waste management in human settlements, as valuable contributions to efforts to strengthen national environmental governance.

  • Simply agreeing on what needs to be done will however not produce the results we all want to achieve at the end of CSD13: policy options and actions that will actually be implemented. For the people on the ground to actually see results from our discussions here, the EU strongly believes it is crucial that we all agree on Who will do What. This implies three things:

Firstly developing countries themselves will need to take the main responsibility for their development and lead the donors, IFIs, UN organisations and other important stakeholders by stating which policy options and actions they will need to implement and where and from whom they will need assistance. The EU believes it to be important that developing countries integrate such actions in their NSDSs and PRSPs. The Poverty Reduction Strategies are an important contribution to poverty eradication.

Secondly all bilateral cooperation by individual donor countries must be designed so as to support developing countries in implementing their own Poverty Reductions Strategies and National Sustainable Development Strategies. Such bilaterals should clearly indicate to the partner country which of its policy options and actions in these implementation plans correspond with donor priorities and what alternative means are available for such support.

Thirdly, on the multilateral level you, ladies and gentlemen, the organisations within the UN system and the IFIs, will have to seek a clear mandate from your respective governing bodies and indicate which role you will play in order to promote and speed up the mainstreaming of water, sanitation and human settlements into the PRSPs and which role you will play in the implementation in support of policy options and actions in the implementation plans of the various countries. It is essential to intensify the dialogue on how best to prioritise water, sanitation and human settlement policies in PRSPs.

  • In this way the EU believes that concrete implementation will actually take place: by each of us committing to taking on a part of this great task. However, in order to achieve the whole task co-ordination between the various policy options and action to be implemented is required. Stronger national ownership by developing countries and donor coordination with a clear idea of key implementation actors will contribute to this.

  • We should clearly look beyond this current CSD cycle. The Millennium Project Report recommends a big push in needs-based basic investments in infrastructure. These investments have to cover a range of services including safe drinking water and basic sanitation, sustainable energy services including renewable energy and electricity and safe cooking fuels, adequate shelter, a sustainable and affordable public transport system and a sustainably managed and conserved natural environment. These are all major themes that the CSD will address in its first 3 cycles. Moreover the urban dimension and rural-urban linkages must be kept on the agenda of the CSD regardless of cycles.

  • For these themes the CSD should make a substantial and tangible contribution to fostering these necessary investments. In doing so, we should ensure that the WSSD and MDG agendas continue to be addressed within a single, coherent process. UNDP, UNEP, UN-HABITAT and IFIs need to take continued and active part in the CSD cycle. The EU would welcome more specific contributions from you to both the review and policy years. Within your respective mandates a more explicit view on the obstacles in the implementation and the specific contribution from your organisation in overcoming these obstacles should be submitted as a basis for a more intensive and interactive involvement of all relevant UN-agencies and IFI’s on the respective topics of a CSD-cycle.  

  • The EU invites the World Bank to foster that environmental management forms an integral component of this process and encourages that MDG-based PRSPs reflect the complementarity between MDGs and WSSD goals and set operational targets for them at country level. There is always a financial aspect to the implementation of PRSPs and NSDSs. The EU favours a stronger involvement of the World Bank in the CSD process. This should foster the synergy of the two processes in implementing and financing crucial actions. 


  • Effective implementation of the MEAs is needed to strengthen our “environmental security�? and is crucial for the achievements of many MDGs. All threats have to be addressed at a sufficiently early stage by using the full range of instruments. An increased, stable and predictable funding is needed in the area of environment including for the implementation of the RIO-conventions. A substantial replenishment of the GEF is necessary. In this context, identification of synergies among GEF focal areas, is a key element for future project programming.

  • The CSD Secretariat should continue its role in providing a comprehensive overview and stocktaking of implementation of all CSD13 issues, their interlinkages as well as cross-sectoral issues as part of the Secretary General’s report to the review year of each implementation cycle. These efforts should be aligned with the monitoring of the MDGs.

  • Monitoring is the basis for political guidance that will have to be given to an integrated follow-up of summits and to strengthening the synergy between WSSD goals and MDGs. The EU believes that the outcomes of CSD policy cycles will have to be closely linked to the global debate on achieving the MDGs. The outcome of CSD policy sessions should thus not only be discussed by the CSD itself, but should also be submitted to discussions on progress toward the MDGs. This will highlight the value of CSD to the achievement of the MDGs, whilst also ensuring that the UN System continues to adopt and integrated approach to the environment, development and economic agendas

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

Top Top