Mr. Ib Petersen Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of Denmark to the United Nations
Mr. Ib Petersen Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of Denmark to the United Nations
Mr. Ib Petersen
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of Denmark to the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Ib Petersen
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of Denmark to the United Nations
H.E. Ms. Lois Michele Young
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of Belize to the United Nations
27th May 2016
Excellencies,

We welcome the engagement of Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) during the negotiations on the draft resolution for the 2030 Agenda follow-up and review at the global level. We also appreciate your efforts to seek our feedback and make statements at the informals.

After considering the texts prepared by the co-facilitators in May 6 and 18, we have three areas of concern for consideration by yourself and Member States.

1. Mutual Accountability

We need to learn lessons from the Millennium Development Goals. The success of 2030 Agenda lies in its timely implementation. For this to happen, governments will have to involve all sections of their population right from the planning stage. Different institutions like national parliaments, national human rights institutions, state auditors, and civil society organisations among others will have to be involved. Governments will have to engage different constituencies and stakeholders in the review process, keeping it open, accessible and transparent. Without a strong accountability framework reflected in the text of the resolution, the 2030 Agenda will be nothing but an empty promise.

2. Commitment to “leaving no one behind”

In line with the key principle of the 2030 Agenda to “leave no one behind”, we call for the follow-up and review processes at all levels to be “open, inclusive, participatory and transparent for all people” and for it to “support reporting by all relevant stakeholders”.(2030 Agenda, para 74)

We encourage the resolution to elaborate ways in which all stakeholders, including civil society, are able to meaningfully contribute, monitor and review the implementation of the Agenda at all levels. The resolution must encourage countries to conduct national consultation in advance to their voluntary reviews, and ensure engagement with stakeholders and dissemination of information to build public awareness around 2030 Agenda and its follow-up and review process. All information relating to such review should be available to all, with easy access.

3. Commitment from Member States to deliver and report on actual implementation

The voluntary national review is the main tool for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda at the global level; however, no reference to frequency of reviews is mentioned in the latest version of resolution being negotiated by Member States. We urge each Member States to have at least one review every five years as the bare minimum.

As mentioned in the 2030 Agenda to “draw as far as possible on the existing network of follow-up and review institutions and mechanisms (para. 77)”, we strongly encourage the draft resolution to include inputs from existing UN human rights instruments and their monitoring bodies. Considering that Member States are legally-committed to protect human rights and report to these monitoring bodies, the human-rights mechanisms can actively input into thematic reviews and avoid duplications. They can also provide advice and recommendations to strengthen the overall delivery of 2030 Agenda.

The concerns mentioned here if addressed, would set the minimum standards for a meaningful follow-up and review process and be consistent with the ambitions of 2030 Agenda.

We sincerely hope in your role as co-facilitators, you are able to draw the attention of Member States to our feedback and recommendations.

We appreciate your efforts and hope you are able to give due consideration to our inputs.

Yours Sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes 

Human Rights Defender and Freelance Journalist , UK

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