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Statement at UN SDG Summit Zero Draft Political Declaration

Speech delivered: June 02, 2023
Event: SDG Summit Political DeclarationLocation: UN Headquarters, New York
Statement by International IDEA



SDG Summit Political Declaration

Informal Consultation on Zero Draft


2 June 2023, UN Headquarters New York


Statement by

Kevin Casas-Zamora


International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)




International IDEA welcomes the proposed zero draft political declaration to be adopted at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals in September 2023. We thank the co-facilitators of Ireland and Qatar for their invaluable efforts during this process and for allowing Observers to provide inputs into this important declaration.

International IDEA would like to commend the declaration, paragraph 12, for acknowledging the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls as crucial to achieve progress across all the Goals and targets.

We would also like to reiterate that just, inclusive, representative, transparent and accountable institutions, as outlined in SDG 16, as well as article 21 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are equally fundamental to achieve the 2030 agenda. When such institutions are fragile, weakened or undermined, it impacts not only on the achievement of SDG 16, but also all other goals in the agenda. We therefore recommend that the political declaration emphasizes the enabling character of all dimensions in SDG 16, including the importance of inclusive, representative and accountable institutions, in addition to peace and security under Our Shared Resolve, paragraph 14. In addition, more than reaffirming the need to build peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, the declaration should also urge for concrete actions that provide equal access to justice for all.

We welcome the proposed paragraph 36.L on the commitment to increasing the availability of SDG data and closing SDG data gaps at all levels, increasing domestic financing for data and statistics, and embracing new data sources and innovative approaches. New data sources, such as non-official data, are critical for ensuring complementary measures and analysis on several targets and indicators of the 2030 Agenda. Non-official data has the ability to monitor progress and deepen analysis on targets and indicators, which are key for understanding existing gaps in the sustainable development goals and for providing a clear picture for policy and decision-makers. Therefore, the utilization of non-official data should be explicitly mentioned under this paragraph.

Additionally, International IDEA fully agrees that the multidimensional nature of the 2030 agenda needs recognition as stated in paragraph 3. However, we wish to note that this multidimensionality should not only recognize the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development but also, very importantly, the political dimension. Political participation and representation through free and fair elections, a free civic and media space, access to voting rights, freedom of expression, association and assembly are key political aspects that underpin meaningful sustainable development and that need recognition in the declaration. We urge Member States to fully consider the addition of these dimensions in this Declaration.

Finally, International IDEA would like to support the inclusion and acknowledgment of other processes into this declaration, including the Summit of the Future, the UN75 Declaration, the Political Declaration of the 2019 SDG Summit, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Paris Agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and others. We believe that all processes created in the United Nations and adopted by Member States are intertwined and rely on each other for their successes and achievements -- this is especially true for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the 17 Goals.


Thank you.

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