14 March 2013

Statement by H. E. Ambassador Gholamhossein Dehghani
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran To the United Nations
At the First Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Thursday, 14 March 2013

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In the Name of God The Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Co-Chairs,
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates and Colleagues,

At the outset, I would like to thank the President of the General Assembly on his initiative for convening this long over-due session, mainly because of the formative challenges and intricacies of shaping this OWG.
My delegation sincerely hopes that after this session we would embark on the substance of Sustainable Development Goals expeditiously, and in this regard, I would like to assure you of our fullest cooperation of my delegation.
I would like to highly appreciate the invaluable sterling work done by you, distinguished Ambassadors of Kenya and Hungary, the co-facilitators of the first meeting of OWG, and congratulate you for your appointment as the Co-chairs of this process, and likewise assure you of our genuine and full cooperation in discharge of your mandates.

Mr. Co-Chairs,

Since this is the first session, and the consultations on the substance will begin afterwards, I would like to raise some basic points in two categories of modalities and substance, which my delegation deems them necessary as our foremost guidelines;
On Modalities:

1. The Open Working Group should be open to all states and stakeholders in accordance with the rules of procedure of the General Assembly;
2. The composition of the OWG is at any one time 30 member states drawn from 70 counties listed in the annex to the GA decision 67/555;
3. The modality of work in any constituency is the prerogative of that constituency at any time of the work of the OWG;
4. Any decisions in the OWG, be it on modality or on substance, shall observe the principle of consensus among 30;
5. Each and every constituency shall strive for having a unified position on any matter, lack of which should be considered as non-consensus in the OWG;

On Substance, Co-Chairs:

1. Since the development goals has to finally be adopted by the Member States, it is imperative to channel all the existing processes in this regard into the intergovernmental process;
2. As it is clearly indicated in the Report of the UN System Task team entitled “Realizing the Future We Want for All”, and correctly stressed in the Report of the Secretary General entitled “Initial Input of the Secretary-General to the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals”, some of the defining elements in this process should be as following:
a. An Agenda based on concrete end goals and targets, built upon the three pillars of sustainable development;
b. “Development enablers” at all levels, such as a fair and stable trading system, adequate financing for development, affordable access to technology and knowledge, among others;
c. Recognizing that “one size does not fit all’, thus leaving space for national policy design and adaptation to local settings; and,
d. An Agenda that is truly global, with shared responsibilities for all countries, by materializing “the global partnership for development”.

Finally, Co-Chairs,

My delegation believes that in order to have a concrete Agenda for the Sustainable Development, it is important for us to decide on a correct approach in how to get there from two following different approaches;
First, we might take a singular “Uni-pillar approach” by separating the three pillars of sustainable development, and defining Goals, Targets, and Means of Implementation for each pillar; or Second, we may take a more integrated “General Goals approach” by, defining general Goals first, and then spreading them in the three pillars, deciding on the Targets and finally work on the Means of Implementation.
While stressing my delegation’s preference for the second approach, we remain committed to cooperate with the Co-chairs at any time and upon any decision that the OWG might take.

I thank you, Co-Chairs

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