Post-2015 / Declaration
Friday 20 February 2015
Statement by the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Thank you very much for your efforts and for sharing with us your discussion document.
I align myself with the statement by the EU and would like to add a few preliminary points in my national capacity.
We appreciate the discussion paper and think it could be a good terms of reference, as it were, for the political declaration. A terms of reference that could be given to a speechwriter, to come up with language that is understandable, compelling and visionary.
As we said earlier, we also suggest to let a couple of young people help draft the declaration, or at least proofread it.
So before bringing it back to the intergovernmental process, that could be done. Yesterday, the major group on Youth volunteered its services.
Three specific points:
1. We appreciate the indication of the length of the declaration, and share the ambition of limiting it to three pages. If it can be done in two pages, as Norway just expressed, even better. If footnotes can help in keeping the text concise, that would be helpful.
2. We think that some transformative concepts could helpfully give structure to the declaration. In that sense we appreciate the reference to the six elements of dignity, people, prosperity, planet, justice and partnership.
We do note that these concepts are referenced in paragraph 11, after mentioning the goals and targets. This might be construed as clustering goals and targets. We would caution against this and rather interpret the six elements as overarching concepts that can help us communicate the entire agenda, as was also mentioned by Sweden.
3. We would like to highlight the importance of communicating clearly about universality. This is one of the unique features of our common endeavor and one of its most innovative aspects, namely the fact that we are agreeing on a set of goals that apply to all countries and all stakeholders. This could be given additional emphasis.
In our previous statement, we noted that the future belongs to young people, including children. They must be able to understand the declaration, they must be inspired by it, as they will be the generation that will carry this agenda and play a crucial role in implementing it.
While the discussion document contains a passing reference to young people, children are not mentioned at all. We consider this an omission that will hopefully corrected in the final declaration.