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Document 52014DC0335

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS A decent Life for all: from vision to collective action

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52014DC0335

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS A decent Life for all: from vision to collective action /* COM/2014/0335 final */


"A Decent Life for All:

From vision to collective action”

1. Introduction

Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development are fundamental global challenges affecting the lives of current and future generations and the future of the entire planet. These challenges are universal and interrelated and need a global response. Addressing them requires strong political commitment and determined action at all levels and by all stakeholders.  

This agenda needs to be fit to address our globalized and inter-linked world, since business as usual is no longer an option whether in terms of human dignity, equity, equality or sustainability. The EU and its Member States have emphasized their commitment to work inclusively with all partners and stakeholders to build consensus for a new transformative post-2015 agenda. In the ongoing work at the UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the EU has been providing, and will continue to provide, input on the way forward through interventions by the EU and by the Member States that are members of the OWG.

This Communication builds on the existing EU position, as laid down in the Council Conclusions of June 2013. It seeks to further elaborate key principles, to set out possible priority areas and potential target topics for the post-2015 framework, to propose options to cluster these priority areas and addresses the need for a new global partnership.  At the same time it retains flexibility to respond to future developments in international discussions. It should be seen as a contribution to a process to refine the approach of the EU and its Member States, through to the final stages of the work in the OWG on SDGs and the work of the Expert Group on Sustainable Development Financing. It will also contribute to the discussions in the upcoming United Nations General Assembly ahead of the negotiations leading up to the Summit in 2015.

It builds on the outcome of recent, relevant international discussions on sustainable development and poverty eradication, including the Rio + 20 Conference, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) review process, the report of the UN Secretary General's (UNSG) High Level Panel on the post-2015 Development Agenda and the UNSG report “A Life of Dignity for All”.  It draws on discussions with EU Member States. It also takes account of key proposals put forward at the international level, including discussions held so far at the Open Working Group on SDGs and the results of various stakeholder consultations.

2. Vision and Principles

At the core of the EU’s[1] vision lies the fact that the world has the technology and resources to eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime and put the world on a sustainable path to ensure a decent life for all by 2030. The right framework is needed to achieve this vision. It should be global in aspiration and coverage and universally applicable to all countries, while being based on national ownership and taking into account different national contexts, capacities and levels of development. It should be rights-based and people-centered. It should recognize and address the mutually reinforcing nature of poverty eradication and sustainable development. It should integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic) in a balanced way.

1. Universality and differentiation based on national circumstances

The challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development are both common – since they are of universal concern and relevance to all countries and people including future generations; and global – since in an interdependent world, many challenges call for collective action and global solutions. A universal and transformative agenda should be built around goals and targets that are of concern and relevance to all countries. Furthermore, all stakeholders should be engaged in its implementation.

The framework needs to reflect changing global realities.  Since the MDGs were devised, global challenges have become more interlinked and countries have evolved in terms of their economies, societies and capabilities to contribute to the global agenda. The EU will continue to respect the Principles of the Rio Declaration of 1992. Given that the scope of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is limited to global environmental degradation, this concept is not useful to address the wider challenges of the post-2015 framework. At the same time, the EU stands ready to engage with its partners on the concrete implications and application of universality and differentiation for all countries for the full scope of the framework, keeping in mind the importance of not leaving behind least developed countries and other vulnerable countries.

Thus, while goal and target setting should be for all, the implementation of the universal framework should take into account differing national relevance and circumstances and respect national policies and priorities. There are various ways in which such differentiation can be realized, including through different approaches to reaching targets or through differentiated indicators to measure progress. In this context, the target topics put forward in this Communication reflect the way that universality and differentiation could be applied in practice across the sustainable development goals. Ultimately, the work at target level, including indicators should be framed so as to drive the necessary transformation in all countries at various levels of development in order to achieve the universal goals. This implies taking into account the different starting points and capabilities of countries and the need to ensure achievability, ownership and measurability.

2. A transformative agenda that integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development and also addresses new challenges

The new universal framework needs to be transformational if it is to respond adequately to new challenges. This includes tackling issues of global concern that were not sufficiently covered in the MDGs such as inclusive and sustainable growth, inequalities, sustainable consumption and production, migration and mobility, decent work, digital inclusion, health and social protection, sustainable management of natural resources, climate change, disaster resilience and risk management, and knowledge and innovation. A post-2015 framework should also ensure a rights-based approach encompassing all human rights and address justice, equality and equity, good governance, democracy and the rule of law and address peaceful societies and freedom from violence. Given the amplifying effect of climate change on the challenges associated with both poverty eradication and sustainable development, the new framework should be responsive to climate change as a cross-cutting issue. The post-2015 framework should embed efforts to address climate change and incorporate the necessary efforts and actions by integrating climate change objectives, and notably the "below 2°C" objective agreed internationally, throughout the whole set of goals and targets. It should support and complement, but not interfere with, the current UNFCCC climate negotiations.

Goals and targets need to incorporate all three dimensions of sustainable development and their inter-linkages in a balanced way. Recognising and addressing these inter-linkages will assist in arriving at a more integrated and less fragmented framework. Greater efforts will be needed to pursue policy coherence at all levels (national, regional and global).

3. Accountability

Fundamental requirements of the future framework should be accountability, transparency and effective review of progress. The new framework should include actions which significantly increase the ability of people to participate in policy choices that affect them and to hold governments and other actors accountable for progress. Establishing appropriate rules and institutions will be central in this respect. Accountability also includes living up to national and international commitments on implementation, both in terms of sound policies, the effective use of financial resources, and the real and tangible improvement of people’s lives.

A new framework also provides an opportunity to develop a global mechanism endorsed and supported at the highest political level to ensure that national governments and other actors, including the private sector, are held accountable for the implementation of the framework, to review progress rigorously, to accelerate action and to press for additional actions wherever necessary. Civil society, local authorities and the private sector should play a key role in advancing action and accountability. Key to promoting transparency is the collection, publication, assessment and easy accessibility of data and information on the pace of progress made, nationally and internationally.

This implies the need for regular reviews of progress, commitments and implementation through a robust institutional framework, involving all stakeholders. This in turn requires effective data collection and analysis involving the scientific community and the national statistical authorities in the countries. To ensure that no-one is left behind, this should include collecting adequately disaggregated data.

3. Priority Areas and Targets for the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development

1. A framework based on targets for transformational change

The international debate is becoming more specific on the key thematic priorities that a post-2015 agenda should cover, including at the level of targets. As a first step towards a common view on priority areas, the Council Conclusions in 2013 provided broad thematic orientations. The Council called for a framework that ensures basic living standards, promotes the drivers of the green economy in the context of sustainable development, including structural economic transformation, and ensures the sustainable use, management and protection of the world’s natural resources and the ecosystems they provide. A post-2015 framework should also ensure a rights-based approach and address justice, equality and equity, good governance, democracy and the rule of law and address peace and security and freedom from violence. 

Following these orientations and also taking account of discussions at the UN, notably at the Open Working Group, the Commission has identified key priority areas that could be contained in the post-2015 framework because of their key contribution to the overarching objective of poverty eradication and sustainable development as outlined below. These areas reflect a comprehensive range of technical and scientific publications and background material developed at international and European level, including various consultations with stakeholders, which provides further details of the central role for these areas to achieve poverty eradication and sustainable development. They are designed to guide global action for a transformative change at all levels. The identification of these priority areas is an intermediate stage towards the selection of a limited set of goals. 

This section also identifies potential target topics corresponding to the priority areas. These target topics describe the main actions needed and progress sought in each given area. They are "iconic" by capturing key issues which contribute to a goal, and should act as drivers of change.

2. Potential targets and priority areas

Poverty

 Eradicating poverty is a central resolution of the Millennium Declaration.  The work begun through the MDGs needs to be completed and reinforced, through a multidimensional vision of poverty which tackles its manifold causes in all countries. Potential target topics could be:

· Eradicate extreme poverty

· Reduce the proportion of people vulnerable to extreme poverty and living on less than $2 a day

· Reduce the proportion of people living below national poverty lines, including persons belonging to vulnerable groups

· Reduce the cost of remittances and reduce the costs of migration, including recruitment costs

· Ensure secure rights to land, property, and other assets

· Build resilience and reduce deaths and economic loss from disasters.

Inequality

More inclusive and equal societies are more likely to live peacefully, to generate long-term and sustainable development and growth and to recover faster from economic downturns. The benefits of growth and development should be widely shared for the benefit of all members of society. Income and wealth disparities should be addressed. The post-2015 agenda needs to promote adequate investment in all people, particularly the most disadvantaged, on the basis of equal rights and opportunities, by providing income security and universal and non-discriminatory access to social services. Potential target topics could be:

· Ensure that lower income groups benefit equally from growth in national income in comparison with the higher income groups

· End discrimination and inequalities in public service delivery and economic life

· Empowerment and inclusion of marginalised groups, including ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees.

Food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture

Tackling food insecurity and malnutrition can prevent the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Ensuring food security requires access for smallholders, particularly women, to land, resources, investment and markets, access to nutritious food and adequate health systems, plus multi-sector action on behaviour and dietary patterns. The framework needs to promote sustainable agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture practices, the efficient use of resources and enhanced resilience. Sustainable agriculture, including sustainable fisheries, is fundamental to sustainable development and food security, as well as to ensuring successful adaptation to climate change.  Post-harvest losses and food waste also need to be addressed. Potential target topics could be:

· Ensure year round access to safe, sufficient, affordable and nutritious food to eradicate hunger

· End malnutrition, child stunting and wasting

· Improve the productivity of agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture in a sustainable manner.

· Reduce loss and waste of food.

Health

Health, defined as well-being and not just the absence of disease, is a condition for, and outcome of, economic and social development. The achievement of equitable and universal coverage by quality health services, together with protection against personal financial risk due to excessive health expenditure, are essential in order to make everybody’s right to the highest attainable standard of health a reality. Key challenges are achieving equitable and universal coverage of and access to quality health services, and protection from the financial risk of sudden health expenditure. The disease burden (communicable and non-communicable) needs to be tackled addressing the lifestyle, social and environmental determinants of health, including tackling the causes of disease through a health in all policies approach.  Potential target topics could be:

· Reduce child mortality, maternal mortality, and ensure universal sexual and reproductive health and rights

· Reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases

· Achieve effective and equitable universal coverage with quality health services for all including for vulnerable people, such as persons with disabilities or older people

· Ensure that no-one is pushed into extreme poverty or remains there because of expenditure on health care. 

Education

Access to quality education and training for every child, youth and adult is a fundamental human right, a prerequisite for breaking cycles of inter-generational poverty, and instrumental in fostering active citizenship and enabling knowledge-based and innovative societies. Key challenges include ensuring equitable access to all levels of education, its completion, and improving the quality of education in a lifelong learning perspective. Moreover, relevant vocational education and training and skills are crucial to prepare youth and adults for the labour market. Challenges remain for reaching the marginalized, including those affected by conflict, closing gender gaps, and ensuring adult literacy in all countries. Potential target topics could be:

· Ensure access to and completion of a full cycle of quality basic education including lower secondary, equally to boys and girls

· Ensure comprehensive basic, transferrable and technical skills for all to fully participate in society

· Reduce illiteracy rate amongst adult population

· Eliminate inequalities in education, taking specific measures to reach the disadvantaged individuals and groups at risk of discrimination, including disabled persons, ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees

· Strengthen the links between education, research and innovation and promoting knowledge creation and sharing.

Gender equality and women's empowerment

Gender equality, women's empowerment and the full enjoyment of rights by women and girls in all countries are essential conditions for sustainable development, poverty eradication and for addressing the unfinished business of the MDGs. Key issues include maintaining a high level political commitment and recognizing that achievement of gender equality, women’s empowerment and girl’s human rights is a universal responsibility; strengthening the rule of law, democracy and governance; and increasing investment in gender equality and women’s and girl’s empowerment. Collection of gender-disaggregated data will contribute to the objective of gender mainstreaming. Potential target topics could be:

· Prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls

· End all forms of discrimination against women and girls

· Increase women’s representation, participation and leadership in decision-making at all levels and in all spheres

· Ensure women and girl’s universal and equal access to essential services

· Close and ultimately eliminate the gender wage gap in the public and private sector.

Water and sanitation

The framework needs to promote access to safe drinking water and sanitation, integrated water management, including water efficiency, to manage the challenges of climate change and water scarcity. Potential target topics could be:

· Achieve universal access to safe drinking water

· Achieve universal access to sanitation and hygiene

· Improve integrated water resource management

· Improve water efficiency in all sectors

· Improve water quality and reduce pollution.

Sustainable Energy

Moving towards low-carbon sustainable energy systems can lead to huge gains in poverty eradication and sustainable development and is a central element of efforts to mitigate climate change. The key challenges include access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy, improving energy efficiency, resilient infrastructure and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix (in line with the Sustainable Energy for All initiative). An important concern is to address harmful fuel subsidies, which do not support the poorest but promote unsustainable energy systems. Potential target topics could be:

· Ensure universal access to modern energy services

· Increase the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

· Increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

· Phase out environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies.

Full and productive employment and decent work for all

Jobs are essential to escape from poverty and contribute to equality, equity, justice, peace and security. The creation of decent jobs, particularly in a long term development perspective, strengthens growth. Key challenges include unemployment, notably for young and old people and persons with disabilities, and the quality of formal and informal employment. The latter includes pay, conditions, health and safety at work and social protection, plus the need to create decent green jobs. Potential target topics could be:

· Increase decent jobs and increase sustainable livelihoods including for youth, older people, women and groups at risk of discrimination

· Increase the share of productive employment and decent work within total employment in line with the pillars of the decent work agenda

· Increase the coverage of social protection floors and gradual implementation of higher standards of social guarantees

· Protecting the rights of migrant workers and displaced persons in compliance with the ILO norms and standards.

Inclusive and sustainable growth

Long-term poverty reduction and shared prosperity for all requires inclusive and sustainable growth.  Growth should create decent jobs, take place with resource efficiency and within planetary boundaries, and should support efforts to mitigate climate change. Key issues are the promotion of enabling environments favourable to entrepreneurship, business, trade investment and innovation, including regulatory, judicial and efficient tax systems, public investment, access to markets and finance and the promotion of new technologies. Potential target topics could be:

· Promote structural transformation of the economy and an enabling environment for innovation, entrepreneurship, business and trade

· Ensure access to markets and finance, and to information and communication technologies and networks

· Promote public investment in resilient infrastructure

· Facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration, through enhanced international cooperation

· Provide duty free and quota free market access for products originating from least developed countries.

Sustainable cities and human settlements

In an increasingly urbanized world, cities provide major challenges for sustainable development.  Sustainable planning and development processes are required, facilitated by effective public authorities. This includes planning and implementation for disaster risk reduction and management and for the rural areas with which cities interact. Key measures include reducing the number of slum dwellers, tackling air pollution, building resilient housing and infrastructure and improving waste management. Improved sustainable urban planning and governance requires democratic, transparent and accountable decision-making. Sustainable urban and rural transport are also essential.  Potential targets could be:

· Improve access to safe and sustainable transport including affordable public transport

· Reduce slum dwellers by ensuring safe, affordable and resilient housing  and land tenure security

· Improve sustainable, accessible urban and land planning and implementation

· Improve air quality.

Sustainable consumption and production

Current patterns of production and consumption are not sustainable. For consumption, key actions are promoting the use of energy and resource efficient and environmentally friendly products, gradually eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies and sustainable procurement. Production issues include promoting innovative and resource-efficient production, corporate sustainability reporting, product life cycle assessment, sustainable construction, waste and chemicals management and the promotion of eco-entrepreneurship and eco-innovation.  Potential target topics could be:

· Reduce, reuse and recycle waste

· Improve resource productivity

· Reduce the environmental impacts of consumption

· Ensure the sound management of chemicals throughout their life-cycle

· Hazardous chemicals: reduce human exposure and release into the environment

· Improve sustainability performance of companies, products and services.

Oceans and seas

The sustainable management of oceans provides economic and social benefits to humankind.  Key action is needed to ensure healthy oceans through an ecosystem-based approach to the management of all human activities having an impact on oceans and the application of the precautionary principle, and to promote sustainable fisheries. Challenges include pollution, acidification, sea-level rise, the establishment of area-based management tools including  marine protected areas, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction, tackling overfishing and overcapacity, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, addressing adverse ecosystems, environmental impacts and access to fisheries and markets by subsistence, small-scale fishers.  Potential target topics could be:

· Protect and restore the health of oceans and maintain marine biodiversity by mitigating the impacts from human activities

· Ensure sustainable fisheries (healthy fish stocks)

· Ensure access to fisheries at local, regional and global levels by subsistence, small-scale fishers

· Reduce marine pollution and litter including from land-based sources.

Biodiversity and forests

Biodiversity is an essential element of earth's life support system, and is particularly threatened by climate change.  Action is needed to reduce the rate of loss of all natural habitats and of threatened species (including through wildlife trafficking and poaching) and to mainstream biodiversity into key policy areas (including agriculture and fisheries). The loss of forest cover worldwide must be reversed, the loss of primary forests halted and illegal logging and associated trade eliminated. Potential target topics could be:

· Safeguard and restore ecosystems that provide essential services

· Prevent the extinction of known threatened species and improve conservation status

· Reduce the rate of loss, degradation, and fragmentation of all natural habitats

· Reduce deforestation and forest degradation based on sustainable forest management

· Reduce levels of illegal trade in wildlife and timber.

Land degradation, including desertification and drought

Land degradation, including desertification and drought are areas of global pressing concern and are exacerbated by climate change. The priority is to achieve a land-degradation-neutral world. This requires slowing the loss of land's natural capital, improving governance (including on access and tenure) and increasing resilience.  Potential target topics could be:

· Move towards a land-degradation-neutral world

· Protect soils

· Prevent and mitigate drought.

Human rights, the rule of law, good governance and effective institutions

A rights based-approach, encompassing all human rights, will decisively contribute to the improvement of the quality of governance, to reducing inequality and exclusion and realizing the envisaged targets and actions of this agenda through participation, transparency and accountability. Key requirements are to strengthen participatory political systems that give people, especially marginalized and vulnerable groups, a say in policy choices and decision-making that affect them and to ensure that those responsible can be held accountable. Such an approach becomes increasingly important in an interconnected world. This will enable people to build up their lives, capitalize on economic opportunities and, hence, participate productively and peacefully in political, economic and social life. Potential target topics could be:

· Ensure free and universal civil registration and improve vital statistics systems

· Ensure freedom of expression, association, social dialogue, peaceful protest, meaningful public participation

· Ensure transparency and guarantee the public’s right of access to information, government data, independent media and the open internet.

· Adoption of the appropriate legal framework to protect the human rights of the most vulnerable groups and individuals, including refugees and internally displaced persons.

· Ensure the adoption and implementation of an appropriate legal framework and national policies to reduce corruption

· Ensure justice institutions are accessible, impartial, independent and respect due process rights.

Peaceful societies

Peace is a prerequisite for sustainable development and lasting poverty eradication.  The root causes of conflict and violence are strongly linked to poor governance, political and social exclusion, inequalities, corruption and the non-provision of basic services. Priorities include decreasing the incidence of violence and violent deaths and tackling cross border threats such as organised crime and illicit trade. Building adequate institutions to address these challenges is critical. Potential target topics could be:

· Reduce violent deaths and the number of people affected by violence

· Improve the capacity, professionalism and accountability of policy, justice and security institutions

· Reduce illicit flows of small arms and lethal weapons

· Reduce international organised crime, including illicit financial flows and trafficking of drugs, people, wildlife and natural resources.

The post-2015 framework also needs to take account of many cross-cutting issues such as climate change, disasters and resilience, population dynamics and migration. All of these can have a major impact on the economy as well as on well-being and on the security of citizens, and need to be addressed in the framework in a way that does not replicate or interfere with respective international processes and agreements. This mainstreaming is reflected in the proposed set of target topics above, which do address these critical issues.  

As for climate change, the framework should incorporate the necessary efforts and actions needed to address it, specifically those which do not fall under the purview of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. Accordingly, the eventual post -2015 priority areas and targets should be designed to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

The Annex summarises the target topics and key elements related to each.

3. Developing targets and addressing interlinkages

The preceding section provides priority areas and target topics that are considered important in order to arrive at a transformative post-2015 agenda.  As the work towards concrete targets advances, there are a number of criteria that need to be taken into account:

Targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (i.e. SMART). They should be evidence-based and built on available data, or data that is likely to become available in the near future, and be based on indicators that allow progress to be quantified and expressed in specific figures, timelines and percentages. While targets will capture key priorities, some detailed aspects of implementation should be expressed through indicators to enable the measurement of progress. There will need to be trade-offs between comprehensiveness and political and operational impact, and thus in some cases, targets need to represent proxies for the most critical issues.

Targets should be formulated to be universal in coverage, with the understanding that they could be implemented differently in different circumstances, such as through different timelines or implementation paths. Some targets, or some parts of them, may be more applicable in one context or another, and this can be addressed by the appropriate choice of indicators.  Countries should not be able to cherry pick targets from a menu; this is essential to ensure that countries' aggregate efforts are sufficient to meet global goals and targets, thus ensuring maximum possible progress in each country according to its capabilities. Targets should mainly apply to countries but their implementation will also require action by all stakeholders.

Targets should also reflect the multiple interlinkages between different areas of a post-2015 framework. Identifying and addressing interlinkages is necessary to avoid working in silos and to ensure balanced progress along the three dimensions of sustainable development. Given that each priority area is related to nearly all other areas, engaging at the level of targets is necessary to capture the linkages in a meaningful and operational way.

Targets developed under particular priorities (e.g. access to safe drinking water and sanitation) will also be directly relevant to other priorities (e.g. health). This implies that, in addition to the selected core targets identified for each goal, the post 2015 framework should highlight cross-references in a coherent manner. For instance, a goal on food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture could have, in addition to selected main targets, references to other targets such as on water efficiency, land degradation, gender equality, and governance.    

4. Possible clustering of priority areas

The work within the EU has focused initially on identifying a number of priority areas and related target topics. In order to progress towards a limited set of goals, as agreed within the EU and in the UN context, the next stage is to cluster the priority areas. The main criterion for clustering should be the strong interlinkages between priority areas and their related target topics, while keeping in mind their contribution to the eradication of poverty and sustainable development .  Recognising these many interlinkages in the post 2015 framework could help to bring flexibility into the collective effort to reach consensus on a limited set of goals.

As an example of clustering on this basis, inclusive sustainable growth could be combined with employment, biodiversity and forests could be combined with desertification, including land degradation and drought, and sustainable cities could be mainstreamed throughout the framework.

5. A new Global Partnership

A new and strengthened global partnership should be inclusive and mobilise action at all levels by all countries and stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, scientific and knowledge institutions, parliaments and local authorities. The EU should remain one of the driving forces behind mobilising action internally and worldwide and has repeatedly expressed its support for a new Global Partnership.

Firstly, we need an assessment of what are the key measures that drive progress towards achieving the goals and objectives and, secondly, a discussion on how to ensure that these key measures get due attention domestically as well as internationally. An enabling environment, with sound and coherent policies at both domestic and international levels, is an example of a critical issue.

An enabling policy environment

The EU remains committed to ensuring increased Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), taking account of development objectives in those policies which are likely to affect developing countries. All partners in the developed and developing world are encouraged to promote policy coherence and review their policies, as appropriate, in order to ensure their consistency with efforts for poverty eradication and sustainable development as an important contribution to the implementation of the global framework.

As one example, in addition to being the world’s most open market for developing country exports, the EU also promotes responsible, sustainable and more transparent sourcing, trade and use of natural resources and raw materials. In June 2013 the EU adopted legislation on transparency and accountability requiring large extractive and forestry sector companies to publicly disclose payments to governments on a country-by-country basis. This legislation gives the EU and developing countries an effective tool to fight corruption, which should in turn lead to more domestic resources available for development. In addition, there is a recent proposal for an integrated approach on responsible mineral sourcing from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

As another example for PCD, a new global partnership should foster strengthened dialogue and cooperation among states and other relevant stakeholders to create an enabling environment for enhancing the benefits of international migration for human development through action in areas such as reducing the costs of migration and remittance transfers or combating discrimination of migrants. The EU will continue efforts to partner with developing countries to maximise the development impact of migration in the context of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility.

The role of trade and trade openness in the context of sound domestic policies and reforms is central to poverty eradication and sustainable development. The value of the rules-based system established under the WTO in this respect should be reaffirmed. The EU continues with its initiatives to support the market integration of the poorest countries through targeted action, e.g. through the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, including the Everything but Arms (EBA) Initiative and the special arrangement for support to sustainable development and good governance (GSP+), Aid for Trade and bilateral and regional trade agreements. We encourage our partners, notably developed and advanced developing economies, to provide Duty Free and Quota Free (DFQF) and market access for products originating from LDCs as well. The global partnership should recognise the importance of reducing barriers to north-south, south-south and regional trade, which are all equally relevant to integration into the global economy. Greater transparency based on the availability of comprehensive statistics should be promoted in this respect.

Science, technology and innovation (STI) and capacity building should be essential enablers and drivers for the post-2015 agenda. Policies to creation and disseminate knowledge are central components of the agenda. The EU supports an integrated and effective approach to STI in line with the vision of the Europe 2020 strategy. At international level, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – Horizon 2020 – promotes cooperation between the EU and international partners in research and innovation. Enhancing the capacities for STI is important. The EU has been encouraging the development and transfer of clean and environmentally sound technologies through reducing trade barriers and through incentives, scientific and technological cooperation and capacity building. To avoid duplication of effort, there is large scope for building on existing mechanisms. Besides STI, capacity building is an area that is essential for capitalising on existing knowledge and ensuring that progress towards post-2015 goals is sustainable. The Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building which was adopted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) governing council in 2005 should be one important element of further reflection.

Mobilising the necessary financial resources

Mobilising financial resources will also be pivotal. Given the challenges the world faces, full use needs to be made of all resources available (domestic and foreign, public and private). National governments have the primary responsibility to mobilise and make the best use of their resources through national policies. The EU stands ready to support those countries most in need in their efforts. In this context, it recognizes the key role of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and has confirmed its commitment to reach the 0.7% target by 2015.

As the discussion on financing a post-2015 framework evolves, there is a need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to financing poverty eradication and sustainable development, as outlined in a 2013 Communication and respective Council Conclusions. The following elements are crucial in this respect:

§ The mobilization of domestic resources is the main mechanism to finance spending on policy goals. Strengthening tax policy and administration, combatting illicit flows and corruption and enhancing natural resources management should be priorities going forward.

§ International public finance will continue to be of particular importance to complement domestic resource mobilisation where this is not sufficient and to leverage additional resources and investment where most appropriate. The catalytic potential of ODA should be better exploited through mechanisms such as blending.

§ The private sector remains the key driver of inclusive and sustainable growth. Governments should make full use of the opportunities provided by the private sector at domestic and international level, including through the best use of regulatory and operational levers to increase its contribution to public goals.

Discussions on financing in the context of a new Global Partnership should build on the work of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, in close coordination with the preparations of the next Financing for Development Conference, and take account of and be coherent with related processes in other fora such as the UNFCCC, UN Convention on Biodiversity and the post-2015 international framework for disaster risk reduction (post Hyogo Framework for Action). 

Commitments made at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness that took place in Busan in 2011 and at the first High-level meeting of the Global Partnership in 2014 should form the basis for effective development cooperation in the post-2015 context. The Busan principles, which are relevant also for non-traditional donors will lead to more effective development outcomes. The EU continues to implement its policies to increase the impact and effectiveness of its own development cooperation.

Monitoring progress and accountability

For a post-2015 framework to be successfully implemented, strong accountability mechanisms should be put in place in order to track progress. Mutual accountability at national and international level should be at the core of this mechanism, including monitoring progress on post-2015 goals and targets.  This should include the contribution of actions and financing by national governments, international actions and the contribution of the private sector to national efforts in support of the achievement of global goals.

Accountability at the national level and official statistics produced by the relevant national statistical authorities must be the basis for monitoring progress. On the international level, periodic high-level review of progress, including in the context of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, will be central. Duplication of efforts with other international mutual accountability processes like the Financing for Development process should be avoided.

Moreover, a comprehensive annual monitoring of progress building on the work of the Inter-agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on MDG Indicators will be important. Strengthening the use of existing data and ensuring that more and better data are being collected, capitalising on new technologies and software, is crucial. Existing mechanisms and strategy plans to strengthen statistical capacities, such as OECD Paris 21, the Busan Action Plan for Statistics as well as the National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) should be the starting point for further action.

6. Next steps

The approach developed in this Communication provides  a range of elements relevant for the final stages of the work of the OWG on SDGs, for feeding into the work of the Expert Committee on Sustainable Development Financing, as well as for the discussion of the post 2015 in the upcoming UNGA 69 from September 2014. It builds on the Council conclusions agreed last year and provides the basis for the Council to develop the EU position further. It provides elements of substance that should be useful for the medium term, mindful that the EU position will have to be further developed in the light of the final reports of the OWG and the Expert Committee and the synthesis report by the UN Secretariat General later in 2014.

The EU and its Member States continue to be firmly committed to playing an active and constructive role in discussions on the post-2015 framework and will contribute with further elaboration of priority issues and concerns as the framework is further defined. A comprehensive EU position should provide the necessary basis to reach out and engage constructively with partner countries, stakeholders and citizens.

[1] Council Conclusions “The Overarching Post 2015 Agenda" June 2013; Commission Communication "A Decent Life for All" February 2013; Commission Communication “Beyond 2015: towards a comprehensive and integrated approach to financing poverty eradication and sustainable development”; December 2013 Council Conclusions “Financing poverty eradication and sustainable development beyond 2015”. 

Priority areas || Potential target topics (with illustrative examples of elements covered)

Poverty eradication || Eradicate extreme poverty Could include  extreme income and multidimensional poverty || Reduce the proportion of people vulnerable to extreme poverty and living on less than $2 a day Could cover “at risk of poverty” lines and higher poverty thresholds || Reduce the proportion of people living below national poverty lines, including persons belonging to vulnerable groups Could cover absolute and relative poverty lines according to nationally grounded definitions of poverty || Reduce the cost of remittances and reduce the costs of migration, including recruitment costs Could include transaction costs, recruitment costs and financial inclusion of migrants and their families || Ensure secure rights to land, property, and other assets Could include land tenure, infrastructure, financial inclusion and seasonality of income || Build resilience and reduce deaths and economic loss from disasters Could include risk assessment and disaster risk management; early warning systems; financial mechanisms and recovery framework;, and linking of relief, rehabilitation and development

Inequality || Ensure that lower income groups benefit equally from growth in national income in comparison with the higher income groups Could cover a comparison of population groups per income quintile and relative poverty || End discrimination and inequalities in public service delivery  and economic life Could cover discrimination amongst others on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, national original and other status || Empowerment and inclusion of marginalised groups, including ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees Could include the extent to which migrants and refugees have access to public services, health care, education etc. (compared with nationals) and indicators on migrant and refugee integration . || || ||

Food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture || Ensure year round access to safe, sufficient, affordable and nutritious food to eradicate hunger Could include rural and urban areas, disadvantaged social groups, and resilience of food supplies || End malnutrition, child stunting and wasting Could include child stunting & wasting and  obesity || Improve the productivity of agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture in a sustainable manner Could include productivity, irrigation, technologies, smallholders, competitiveness, price volatility,  women, sustainable agricultural practices, soil, water,  pollution, biodiversity, resilience (including to climate change), deforestation, traditional methods || Reduce loss and waste of food Could include post-harvest and processing  losses, transport, storage, distribution and retail,  and consumer waste || ||

Health || Reduce child mortality, maternal mortality and ensure universal sexual and reproductive health and rights Could include  infant and maternal mortality, adolescent fertility and  access to family planning || Reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases Could include the main communicable and  non-communicable diseases || Achieve effective and equitable universal coverage with quality health services for all including for vulnerable people, such as persons with disabilities or older people Could include  health promotion, preventive services, treatment and rehabilitation and availability and quality of health workforce || Ensure that no-one is pushed into extreme poverty  or remains there because of expenditure on health care Could include impoverishment due to out of pocket payments || ||

Education || Ensure access to and completion of a full cycle of quality basic education including lower secondary, equally to boys and girls Could include  early childhood development, completion of primary and lower secondary education, transition from primary to lower  secondary education || Ensure comprehensive basic, transferrable and technical skills for all to fully participate in society Could include learning outcomes, availability and qualification of teachers, education to work transition, education and training opportunities for adults || Reduce the illiteracy rate amongst the adult population Could include adult and youth literacy, gender gaps || Eliminate inequalities in education, taking specific measures to reach the disadvantaged individuals and groups at risk of discrimination, including disabled persons, ethnic minorities,  migrants and refugees Could include disaggregation of enrolment, completion and learning outcomes by gender, rural/urban, wealth quintile, geographical location and other specific vulnerable groups according to country context, as well as cost of education || Strengthen the links between education, research and innovation and promoting knowledge creation and sharing Could include business-academia collaboration, innovative curricula and training related to green, digital and sustainable economies and societies ||

Gender equality and women's empowerment || Prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls Could include sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and femicide, access to justice || End all forms of discrimination against women and girls Could include  access to economic opportunities, productive assets and income,   legislation and rights, division of responsibilities between women and men || Increase women’s representation, participation and leadership in decision-making at all levels and in all spheres Could include  political representation, women in management positions and in key professions such as judicial branch, police and academia || Ensure women’s and girls' universal and equal access to essential services Could include access to health care and family planning, education, energy, water and sanitation, and other services, including ICT and related training || Close and eliminate the gender wage gap in the public and private sector Could include wage levels of women compared to men, labour market participation ||

Water and sanitation || Achieve universal access to safe drinking water Could include rural and urban dimensions, disadvantaged groups, public facilities such as hospitals, schools and refugee camps, and quality parameters || Achieve universal access to sanitation and hygiene Could include access to sanitation facilities  and ending open defecation || Improve integrated water resource management Could include management plans for river basin, floods and droughts plans, disaster-related losses, storage capacity and participatory decision making || Improve water efficiency in all key sectors Could include river basins subject to water stress, sustainable withdrawal levels, water productivity in key sectors (agriculture, energy, industry, households) and cost recovery || Improve water quality and reduce pollution Could include water status, key sectors for water pollution, chemical and nutrient pollution and waste water  ||

Sustainable energy || Ensure universal access to modern energy services Could include modern energy services and infrastructure resilience || Increase the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency Could cover investment in energy efficiency by sector, new technology, policy and institutional frameworks, renovation of buildings, efficient heating and cooling systems, efficient energy-using products || Increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix Could cover share of renewables, investment by sector, new technology, incentives, policy and institutional frameworks || Phase out environmentally  harmful fossil fuel subsidies Could cover levels, sectors and regions, access, price, phase-out strategies || ||

Full and productive employment and decent work for all || Increase the quantity and quality of jobs and enhance sustainable and adequate livelihoods in particular for the youth, older people, women and groups at risk of discrimination Could include informal employment, young people and girls/women not in education, productive employment or training. || Increase the share of productive employment and decent work within total employment in line with the pillars of the decent work agenda Could include wage employment, informal employment,  child labour, forced labour and core labour standards || Increase the coverage of social protection floors and gradual implementation of higher standards of social guarantees Could include support for the  unemployed, families with children, the poor, social security and  pensions, as well as disaster risk management instruments || Protecting the rights of migrant workers and displaced persons in compliance with the ILO norms and standards Could cover  equal treatment and access to decent work for migrant workers  and  the share of migrants in formal employment compared with total employment || ||

Inclusive and sustainable growth || Promote structural transformation of the economy and an enabling environment for innovation, entrepreneurship, business and trade Could include regulatory and fiscal reform, use of economic, social and environmental national accounts, promotion of low emissions development strategies, increased productivity of micro, small and medium enterprises in the formal and informal sector, access to non-rural jobs and improved local value chains || Ensure access to markets and finance, and to information and communication technologies and networks Could include  access to financial services, to physical infrastructure, electronic communications and the internet through the development of fair and transparent enabling regulatory environments, to resilient and risk-informed investments investment in science, technology and innovation || Promote public investment in sustainable, resilient infrastructure Could cover sectors (transport, energy,, irrigation etc.), levels and quality of investment, Public Private Partnerships, unmet need, resilience. || Facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration, through enhanced international cooperation Could cover establishing and implementing labour mobility agreements and agreements on portability of pensions and other social benefits as well as indicators of progress regarding recognition of skills and qualifications. || Provide duty free and quota free market access for products originating from least developed countries Could cover duties and quotas by sector, importing and originating country ||

Sustainable cities and human settlements || Improve access to safe and sustainable transport including affordable public transport Could include  transport, noise, road safety and accessibility for all || Reduce slum dwellers by ensure safe, affordable and resilient housing and land tenure security Could include sustainable housing, land tenure security || Improve sustainable, accessible urban and land planning and implementation Could include sustainable urban design plans, integrated disaster risk management, urban resilience and climate adaptation, urban green areas  and urban-rural interlinkages,  as well as accessible urban environments || Improve air quality Could include fine particulate matter and ozone and indoor and outdoor air pollution || ||

Sustainable consumption and production || Reduce, reuse, recycle waste Could include prevention, access to collection schemes, recycling and reduction of landfill || Improve resource productivity  Could include ratio of GDP to raw  material consumption, reduced carbon dioxide intensity, environmentally performing techniques || Reduce the environmental impacts of consumption Could include environmental footprints, economic instruments, toxic exposure, litter || Ensure the sound management of chemicals throughout their life-cycle Could include life cycle approaches to products, registration and approval of chemicals , hazardous waste, regulatory frameworks and  management facilities || Hazardous chemicals: reduce human exposure and release into the environment Could include contaminant levels in people/food, and the environment, and reduction of toxic sites || Improve sustainability performance of companies, products and services Could include company reporting on sustainability, ,sustainable public procurement, certified labelling,  investment in green sectors,

Oceans and seas || Protect and restore the health of oceans and maintain marine biodiversity by mitigiating the impacts from human activity Could include ecosystem approach to management of activities, habitat degradation, threatened species, ensuring protected and sustainably managed areas within and beyond national jurisdictions || Ensure sustainable fisheries (healthy fish stocks) Could include restoring fish stocks to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield, fleet overcapacity, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, by-catch and discard, and use of ecosystem approaches || Ensure access to fisheries at local, regional and global levels by subsistence, small-scale fishers. Could include small-scale and artisanal fisherfolk, women fish workers, as well as indigenous peoples and their communities. || Reduce marine pollution and litter including from land-based sources Could include land and marine sources, marine debris. || ||

Biodiversity and forests || Safeguard and restore ecosystems that provide essential services Could include conservation areas, restoration, key species and ecosystem services || Prevent the extinction of known threatened species and improve conservation status Could include focus on key threatened species, conservation, poaching and illegal trade. || Reduce the rate of loss, degradation, and fragmentation of all natural habitats Could include protected areas and natural habitats fragmentation || Reduce deforestation and forest degradation based on sustainable forest management Could include, forest degradation, forest cover change, illegal logging, protected areas and sustainable forest management || Reduce levels of illegal trade in wildlife and timber Could include demand reduction, enforcement capacity,  implementation, organised crime ||

Land degradation, including desertification and drought || Move towards a land-degradation-neutral world Could include prevention of land degradation and restoration of degraded or contaminated land || Protect soils Could include soil quality, soil erosion, soil organic matter and fertile land maintenance || Prevent and mitigate drought Could include river basin and drought risk planning, water efficiency measures || || ||

Human rights, the rule of law, good governance and effective institutions || Ensure free and universal civil registration and improve vital statistics systems Could include birth registration and legal identity || Ensure freedom of expression, association, social dialogue peaceful protest, meaningful public participation Could include participation in politics and decision-making, freedom of association and speech, access to public and state institutions and services and social dialogue || Ensure transparency and guarantee the public’s right of access to information, government data, independent media and the open internet Could include access to information and government data, freedom of media as well as the open internet || Adoption of the appropriate legal framework to protect the human rights of the most vulnerable groups and individuals, including refugees and internally displaced persons. Could cover access to justice and public services, freedom  of expression and information of vulnerable groups || Ensure the adoption and implementation of an appropriate legal framework and national policies to reduce corruption Could include corruption, public financial management and the establishment of accountability mechanisms || Ensure justice institutions are accessible, impartial, and independent and respect due process rights. Could include decision-making based on the rule of law  without discrimination,  predictable and transparent law making, law enforcement, access to justice

Peaceful societies || Reduce violent deaths and the number of people affected by violence Could include homicides and conflict deaths, violence against vulnerable groups || Improve the capacity, professionalism and accountability of police, justice and security institutions Could include public confidence in the performance of justice, police and security institutions || Reduce illicit flows of small arms and lethal weapons Could include  arms transfer and trafficking || Reduce international organised crime, including illicit financial flows and trafficking of drugs, people, wildlife and natural resources Could include areas of trafficking and organised crime related to drugs, commodities and wildlife, reducing illicit flows and tax evasion as well as the recovery of stolen assets || ||

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