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Statement on Our Common Agenda - Thematic consultation 1: SDGs

Mr President,

Let me start by thanking you and the Secretary-General for organizing this important meeting to further reflect on the various proposals and ideas in Our Common Agenda Report.

The report and its proposals can and should be used to reinvigorate multilateralism and re-embrace solidarity in line with UN 75 declaration.

First few points on the process.

Our point of departure should be to make sure that these proposals supplement and accelerate the implementation of existing commitments, not least Agenda 2030, the Paris agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

We should avoid duplication of efforts, but still allow ourselves to be innovative in our approach and break away from overly cumbersome processes.

We should be inclusive and transparent, and engage youth, civil society, the private sector, and academia.

Finally, we need to make sure that our deliberation result in concrete and practical deliverables.

Mr President

We welcome the reports strong emphasis on renewed social contract and trust anchored in human rights. Human rights and fundamental freedoms are critical for inclusion, participation, and protection. They are essential drivers for sustainable development, trust, and prosperity. Including everyone, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation or gender identity, means more hands and minds pushing for social and economic progress for all.

Proposals on exploring new frontiers and challenges to human rights guided by international human rights law, treaties, and instruments are welcomed. More effort and resources should also be devoted to promoting and safeguarding our existing commitments to human rights overall.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of investments in social protection systems to enhance overall resilience and wellbeing.  It has also underlined that additional fiscal space is needed to support social protection coverage.

Iceland strongly supports more ambitious and action-oriented plans for full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls at all levels, everywhere. Gender equality is perhaps the most critical lever for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals in time. This includes women’s economic inclusion, a key area of focus for Iceland.

Moreover, eliminating violence and discrimination against women and girls is another key priority. We welcome the proposals on emergency response plan against gender-based violence, that needs to be backed up by broader commitments by member states to address sexual and gender-based violence.

We appreciate proposals for a more meaningful, diverse, and effective engagement with youth. The proposal for convening a Summit on transformative education is also welcomed.

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Thank you.

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