Vienna, 22 March 2013 Press release

Lopatka: "Involving civil society in the drafting of sustainable development goals"

Reduction of poverty is the prime objective of long-term development goals

Vienna, 22 March 2013 – In the framework of the "Jour Fixe" series of regular meetings on development policy, Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka opened a far-reaching discussion process about the most pressing issues of development policy for the years ahead. "At our last working meeting in Dublin, Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, confirmed that Austria is playing a pioneering role in Europe as far as the involvement of the civil society in the development of sustainable development goals is concerned", State Secretary Lopatka said. The Rio+20 conference in 2012 decided that states had to work out Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the fields of business, social affairs and environment. These SDGs complement the MDGs, the Millennium Development Goals that are to be achieved by 2015. "Unfortunately, it will not be possible to reach the MDGs in all regions of the world by 2015. And yet, the approach adopted so far is correct", Lopatka said. Extreme poverty has been reduced by half and the share of people without reliable access to drinking water has also been cut by 50 percent.

Austria advocates the pro-active involvement of civil society in the development of the post-2015 agenda both at the international and European level. "I have organised this Jour Fixe because the involvement of civil society on this basis is also needed at a national level", Lopatka continued. The discussion aims at drafting a comprehensive Austrian position for future negotiations at United Nations and European Union level.
"Putting an end to poverty must remain the prime goal of the new framework", Lopatka said, and he underlined that the main responsibility for development lies with the respective states stressing that contributions that governments, civil societies and private business could make.

At international level, an intergovernmental group of experts is working on a strategy for sustainable financing for development that is to be concluded by 2013.

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