Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Friends of the family deliver strong statement on the need to prioritise the family in the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Negotiations on the new United Nations programme to be known as the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDG’s, commenced in New York on Monday. The current three day session is dealing with preliminary issues and will be followed by a further 7 sessions between now and the end of May when it is anticipated that a zero draft will be ready for final negotiations. The process, which among other things will be the basis for the provision of aid to third world countries for the next 15 years, is expected to conclude in September.

In this context  the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belarus, speaking on behalf of a group of countries calling themselves, friends of the family, made the following statement 
Distinguished co-chairs, I have the honor to make this statement on the
Need for mainstreaming the family across the United Nations post 2015 development agenda on behalf of Bangaladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Turkmenastan, Yemen, Zimbabwe, and also on behalf of my own country, Belarus. (and Oman)
We reaffirm that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.
We believe that genuine and sustainable development may not be achieved without the family.
We stress the importance of development and support of national family-oriented policies, programmes and initiatives that harness the unique strengths and contributions of the family to common good of societies.  
We are convinced that the human rights of women and men, children and older persons, and persons with disabilities could be best promoted and protected within the family environment.
We are also convinced that the family, as the fundamental unit of society, and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all it’s members, and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection.
We call for systematic mainstreaming of the family across the post-2015 development agenda.  The importance of the family in the post-2015 development agenda was clearly expressed by many delegations.
We believe that the documents and the decisions of the SDG Summit of 2015, that will define key elements of the new development framework, should include, as a matter of priority, promotion of the family as a  contributor and beneficiary of the development process.
By highlighting this important linkage of the family and sustainable development in the documents and decisions of the SDG Summit of 2015, we can gain an invaluable tool to insure the strengthening and proliferation of the family friendly and family supportive environment, both at the national level and globally.
Therefore, we urge member states to join us in efforts to insure the inclusion of the family and family oriented policies, as an important element of the post-2015 development agenda.
I was also just informed that the Sultanate of Oman also joins this statement.