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European Commission

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Speech by President Barroso at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development/New York

24 September 2013

Madam chair,


Ladies and gentlemen,

The European Union strongly welcomes the establishment of this High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The EU played an active role in that process and will continue supporting the critical work of the HLPF to integrate better the three dimensions of sustainable development.

Sustainable development should be at the centre of a better coordinated UN system. And this UN enhanced coherence and effectiveness is a reflection of the broader strategic coherence we should seek.

We must ensure that the post 2015 agenda will truly lead to prosperity for all. From the EU's perspective the fight against poverty and for sustainability are two sides of the same coin. Poverty is not only morally wrong, it is also economically unsustainable. Environmental degradation is not only ecologically wrong, it is also economically destructive. And both, poverty and environmental degradation are politically unacceptable.

Therefore, our joint work should lead to a single comprehensive and ambitious post-2015 framework, which will be discussed tomorrow at the MDGs Special Event.

We need an integrated approach because the environmental, economic and social aspects of the global development cannot be separated from each other.

For instance, over 2 billion people depend on fragile ecosystems for their livelihoods. Investing to protect our natural capital is thus a direct contribution to tackling poverty, and also to economic growth.

All countries have a responsibility to deliver on this vision. The European Union and its Member States will remain a leading partner. We will maintain our high levels of development aid in the next European Union budget from 2014 until 2020. More specifically, the European Commission will allocate 20% of our aid to human development and 25% to climate and environmental objectives.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Some matters will require particular attention to make the High Level Forum a success:

First, we need to deliver on our agreement to build a strong review and accountability mechanism to monitor progress of all our sustainability commitments.

Second, we should ensure that the High Level Forum enables strong input from civil society, science and other key stakeholders and is flexible enough to tackle emerging global challenges.

In conclusion: I welcome the progress we made in putting together the new institutional set up, including the HLPF and a reformed ECOSOC.

I see an important role for the HLPF to drive the sustainable development agenda.

Ultimately, sustainability is about responsibility, about intergenerational solidarity. It is about changing the way we act today to allow future generations to meet their needs tomorrow.

The European Union will play its full role together with you to make this objective a reality.

I thank you for your attention.

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