General Assembly adopts resolution on SDGs report


On 10 September, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that paves the way for the incorporation of sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda.

In adopting the “Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/288” the Assembly decided that the Open Working Group’s outcome document would be the main basis for integrating the SDGs into the future development agenda.  The resolution states that other inputs would also be considered during the intergovernmental negotiation process at the upcoming General Assembly session.

At its thirteenth and final session in July 2014, the Open Working Group on SDGs had completed its report containing proposed SDGs. The proposal contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues.

At a stock-taking event on 11 September, during which UN Member States shared their views on the post 2015-development agenda, the President of the 68th session of the General Assembly, John Ashe, said that this agenda “must represent our collective commitment to end poverty and ensure that sustainable development becomes the norm for all nations, societies and economies…[it] must pick up where the MDGs left off, fill in its gaps and take us to the next level.”

“The SDGs build on the MDGs and incorporate economic and environmental dimensions. They break new ground by including issues such as energy, economic growth, inequality, cities, sustainable consumption and production, as well as peaceful societies,” he added.

At the opening of the 69th session of the General assembly on 16 September, the body’s new President, Sam Kahamba Kutesa, declared the theme of this year’s general debate “Delivering on and implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda” and said the framework must strive to eradicate poverty and hunger and promote sustained and inclusive economic growth.

Commenting on the Open Working Group’s report after its final session in July, UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo had said that “the proposal of the Open Working Group brings together a breadth of economic, social and environmental issues in a single set of goals like never before. All those involved in crafting these 17 goals can be proud of themselves. Member States have shown a determination and willingness to work together for people and planet that bodes well for the General Assembly’s negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.”

The proposed sustainable development goals are:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Next steps

The post-2015 sustainable development agenda is expected to be adopted by UN Member States at a summit in September 2015. By the end of 2014, the Secretary-General will produce a synthesis report bringing together the results of all the different work streams on the post-2015 development agenda to facilitate the General Assembly’s further deliberations. The report of the Open Working Group on SDGs will be among the inputs to this synthesis report.

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