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Statement on behalf of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia delivered by Mr Jānis Mažeiks, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia, at the twelfth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals


I have the honor to speak on behalf of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. We would like to thank the co-chairs for the very elaborate document on the proposed goals and targets on sustainable development for the post-2015 development agenda.

We reiterate our position that “Fostering peaceful and inclusive societies” and “Rule of law, effective and capable institutions” should be addressed in two distinct goals. They reflect two different aims of social governance. Both can only be effectively achieved by attributing very concrete and measureable targets.  

Regarding targets under the goal “Fostering peaceful and inclusive societies”:

1.      We would like to see a separate target, complementing target 16.1, which would sound as follows: “by 2030 end sexual violence and other gender based violence in conflict and post-conflict settings”.

2.      Target 16.4 of increasing inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels, taking into consideration the interests of present and future generations fully reflects our position to include various actors, especially youth, in decision-making processes. Target 16.6 to “forge unity in diversity through democratic practices and mechanisms at the local, national and international levels” reflects the idea mentioned in the target 16.4 and could be integrated in it. With regard to indicators, we would like to call for indicators, which explicitly mention the engagement of civil society, youth, academic and private sector in decision-making processes – developing a strong interlinkage with the target groups and topics under current Sustainable Development Goals 5, 8, 11.

Regarding targets under the goal “Rule of law, effective and capable institutions”:

1. We fully support target 16.11 to “develop effective, accountable and transparent public institutions at all levels”, which is an overarching goal of the rule of law as a principle of governance. The societies perceive the rule of law in the form of effective, accountable and transparent public institutions, which govern and influence their daily lives.

Under targets 16.11 and 16.14 we propose to add reference to the use of modern Information and Communications Technologies and e-governance solutions. In modern governance these solutions can be great enablers that make the decision-making process more transparent and facilitate citizen participation. It can also significantly contribute to the efficiency of public administration and lower the corruption risk.

3. With regard to target 16.12 to “provide equal access for all to independent, effective and responsive justice systems that respect due-process rights, and equal access to legal aid” we consider that all indicators have to be gender sensitive, and some have to specifically focus on women’s justice and security concerns. We continue to call for a separate indicator on fight against impunity under this target.   

4. The target 16.15 to “ensure that all laws are publicized and accessible by all” should be reached in the term that is sooner than 2030.

5. We support 16.16 as a separate target.

6. We propose to add a reference to freedom online and offline under target 16.17, as the internet is increasingly important for freedom of speech and expression.

7. In target 16.17 the term “to ensure” rather than “to promote” should be used with regard to freedom of media, association and speech.

Thank you.





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