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Input to Questionnaire related to the development of Sustainable Development Goals

    Ireland is part of the submission made by the European Union and its Member States.
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    Ireland aligns itself with the response to the UN DESA questionnaire submitted on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

    In addition the Irish reply to Questions 3 and 4 below reflect the national view.

    3. Based on your experience with MDGs or other existing goals, what would be the key use of SDGs for your country (select at most two)?

    a. Defining national policies
    b. Influencing national budget allocations
    c. Reviewing the impact of national policies
    d. Addressing key pressure leading to unsustainability
    e. Helping to balance economic, social and environmental pillars in policy making
    f. Guiding development cooperation
    g. Other (please describe)

    Ireland considers (e) Helping to balance economic, social and environmental pillars in policy making as the primary benefit of a universal set of sustainable development goals, from which national policies would be developed (a), budgets would be allocated (b), and against which the impact of these policies and investments would be evaluated and reviewed (c)/(d). Ireland has already taken steps to implement this holistic approach to sustainable development through its comprehensive framework for sustainable development – Our Sustainable Future , published in June 2012 and in its action plan for green public procurement – Green Tenders. The sustainable development framework, in particular, sets out the approach needed to transition Ireland to a resource efficient, low-carbon, and climate resilient society by identifying the social, environmental and economic actions required to make this transition. The framework builds on the EU Sustainable Development Strategy in taking a practical approach based on existing targets, a sectoral approach, and focusing on addressing gaps rather than duplicating effort. Ireland considers that a similar approach, building on existing global strategies and targets, should be considered for the SDG’s.

    A second role that SDG’s would play in Ireland would be (f) guiding development coordination.
    A coherent post 2015/SDG framework should set out responsibilities for both developed and developing countries on how they will contribute to the new goals.

    4. How can “universally applicable” SDGs be made practically relevant for countries at different levels of development? (Please refer to your country’s situation as appropriate.)

    In examining these issues Ireland recognises the importance of evidenced based research and information. In this regard, resources would include the examination of the impact and efficacy of the MDG’s in the UN DESA Working Paper No. 117 and the UN System Task Team report on the post 2015 UN Development Agenda – Realising the Future We Want for All. Post-Rio there had been indications from the UN system of post 2015 consultations with developed as well as developing countries. The data from these meetings could also inform the process of tailoring SDGs to national circumstance. Learning from the experience of the MDG’s process, it is critical that assessing SDGs at the national level be based on robust and meaningful measures, based on sound data and tailored to countries’ specificities. Such considerations should form part of the elaboration process for the goals, and should seek to build on existing datasets and initiatives while minimising additional reporting burdens.

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