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Address at Informal meeting on the intergovernmental negotiations for the review process of the ECOSOC and HLPF

Informal meeting on the intergovernmental negotiations for the review process of the ECOSOC and HLPF – 10 February 2020

Address by Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland


Co-facilitators, Excellencies,

First, let me start by thanking and congratulating the Permanent Representatives of Georgia and Benin for taking on this important role as co-facilitators and for providing the opportunity today to discuss the review process of the ECOSOC and HLPF in a transparent and inclusive way. Iceland fully supports your proposed way ahead and you can count on our constructive participation.


In this process, we believe, there are opportunities for further streamlining our work in order to make the best possible use of Member State’s time and resources. It is always possible to find ways to improve our effectiveness and create better synergies in the work of the UN. We welcome the ongoing work of the PGA and the ECOSOC President to reduce overlaps between the two bodies, and the process to enhance synergies and coherence, as discussed in resolution 72/305.

The ECOSOC plays a key role in integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development and the HLPF leads our work on the follow up of the Sustainable Development Goals and the full implementation of Agenda 2030 - an ever more important role at the start of the decade of action. The review process needs to equip the ECOSOC and the HLPF with the necessary tools for us to accelerate our ambitious actions by 2030. This is one of the critical issues we believe needs to be addressed in this review process.

The best possible outcome of the review of the resolutions on ECOSOC and HLPF would be to further strengthen the two bodies. Resolution 67/290 reaffirms the commitment to strengthen the ECOSOC and a stronger HLPF will also improve the work of the ECOSOC. The HLPF also needs to continue to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development.

On the VNR process, it remains important to include all relevant stakeholders at national, regional and global levels in the thematic reviews. When Iceland presented its VNR last year, the Prime Minister of Iceland was joined by representatives from civil society, the private sector and representatives of the Icelandic SDG youth council. This process provided an opportunity to reach out to the different stakeholders, engage them in the work of the UN and reflect on the implementation of Agenda 2030.

We believe in this kind of broader participation and engagement and wish to see it further encouraged in accordance with resolution 70/299. Here, there are several SDG-related platforms that have been created in recent years and could be drawn upon in the thematic reviews. Also, it is worth mentioning that within the Group of Friends of VNRs and the review of the HLPF, led by Mexico, constructive discussions have taken place and ideas brought forward that could hopefully prove useful in the upcoming work.

Thank you again for convening us and all the best in the work ahead.


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