Volume 18, No.08 - August 2014
Global dialogue on development
The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF), established a year ago in follow-up to Rio+20, will hold its fifth and final session in New York from 4 to 8 August. During the session, the Committee will finalize its report proposing options on an effective sustainable development financing strategy. A multi-stakeholder dialogue will be held during the session.
The report of the Committee will lay out concrete policy options in the areas of domestic and international, public, private and blended finance, as well as the institutional enabling environment. The options will facilitate the mobilisation of resources and their effective use in achieving sustainable development objectives.
The report will provide an important input to the UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report on the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as to the third International Conference on Financing for Development (13-16 July 2015, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), the outcome of which should constitute an important contribution to and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
The Committee just completed an informal retreat in Glen Cove, Long Island, held on 15-17 July 2014. During the retreat, Committee members had a discussion on the current draft report and made significant progress to strengthen its final version. Following the retreat, the Co-Chairs of the Committee held an open briefing on the progress of work of the Committee to Member States and non-state actors on Friday, 18 July.
For more information:
Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF)
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August will be commemorated this year under the theme “Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples”. A special event will be held at UN Headquarters on Friday, 8 August to celebrate the day.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994, to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995 – 2004).
In 2004, the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade, from 2005 – 2014, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity.” This year’s theme, “Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples”, aims to highlight the importance of implementing the rights of indigenous peoples through policies and programmes at both the national and international level working together towards this common goal with Governments, the United Nations system, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders.
A special event will be arranged at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday, 8 August, from 3 to 6pm, featuring the UN Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the Vice Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, a delegate from a member State, a representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, and an indigenous representative. The event will be webcast live at webtv.un.org.
The event is organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in cooperation with the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Photo credit: Broddi Sigurdarson, UN DESA/UNPFII
For more information:
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2014
As part of the preparations for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to take place in Apia, Samoa on 1-4 September 2014, the Pre-Conference Major Groups and Other Stakeholders Forum will be held on the evening of the 28 and all day on 29 August 2014.
The Forum will focus on identifying durable partnerships through which the sustainable development of SIDS can be promoted. The outcome of the Forum will help to inform the Conference plenary discussions and Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Dialogues.
The aim of the Forum is to provide a space for Major Groups, civil society and other stakeholders to receive final briefings on the upcoming conference, its relation to Rio+20, Post 2015, UNFCCC, Beijing+20 review and other upcoming regional and global multilateral follow-up processes, and to participate in joint advocacy and partnerships to support implementation of the Conference outcome. Registration to the Forum closed on July 31st.
For more information:
Website of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held its coordination and management meeting addressing a number if issues on 14 – 16 July at UN Headquarters in New York.
The Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), which was introduced by Mr. Khalil Rahman, Principal Officer of the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS). The report was a progress report on the eighth priority areas of the IPoA. It also included a special section on steps taken to promote mutual accountability as well as proposals to include the IPoA in the agenda of the Chief Executives Board (CEB).
Review and coordination of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020
Seven delegations took part in the general discussion (Italy (on behalf of the EU), The Russian Federation, Benin (on behalf of the LDC Group), Turkey, Bangladesh, Haiti and Mexico). Speakers stressed the need for continued support and predictable ODA to LDCs, given the difficulties faced by most of them to graduate by 2020. Turkey announced its readiness to host the mid-term review conference on the implementation of the IPoA. The Russian Federation stressed the need for continued involvement of ECOSOC to strengthen support to LDCs in the trade and financial areas. Bangladesh supported the holding of the high-level expert group on the technology bank for the LDCs which is to be established by the 70th session of the GA. Support was also expressed to OHRLLS and the increased means put at its disposal. Action on a draft resolution was deferred to a later stage.
The Council adopted the draft decisions contained in the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations at its May session, all by consensus. By doing so, the Council granted consultative status to 158 NGOs, closed the consideration of the request for consultative status made by 29 NGOs who had failed to respond to queries by the Committee, and decided not the grant consultative status to one NGO.
In addition, the Council took note of the quadrennial reports (‘quads’) of 129 NGOs. It suspended, for a period of one year, the consultative status of 106 NGOs with outstanding quads, withdrew the status of 129 NGOs with continued outstanding quads, and reinstated the status of 21 NGOs that had submitted their outstanding quads.
Crime prevention, criminal justice and narcotic drugs
Following-up on requests contained in resolutions emanating from the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to organize an high level event on drugs, the Council held a High-Level Panel Discussion entitled “Sustainable Development and the World Drug Problem: Challenges and Opportunities”. The Panel focused on the impact of the drug problem on development (including food security and lack of sustainable livelihoods, as well as citizen security, violence and corruption) and on the obstacles it creates for member states to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The panel was also meant to contribute to the substantive preparations for the General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, to be held in 2016.
The Council considered the reports of the two Vienna based Commissions, which were introduced by Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations in Vienna and Chair of the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and by Ambassador Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations in Vienna and Chair of the 23rd session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ).
The Council adopted by consensus the resolutions recommended for its adoption by these bodies. Among them, a resolution entitled “Special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem to be held in 2016”, launches the preparatory process for the UNGASS and decides that CND will lead that process by addressing all organizational and substantive matters in an open-ended manner. This resolution, which is now submitted by the Council to the General Assembly for adoption at its 69th session, was subject to intensive consultations in Vienna, as some Latin American countries advocated for a process that would be led in New York, outside of the UNODC ambit. During the general discussion at the Council, the delegate of Mexico stated that the President of the General Assembly should be involved in the preparatory work of the UNGASS in order to promote concerted international action around this process.
Among the resolutions emanating from the CCPCJ, one sets out the organizational arrangements for the Thirteen UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, to be held in Doha (Qatar) in 2015. A resolution connects the rule of law to crime prevention and criminal justice policies and stresses their relevance to the post 2015 development agenda. Resolutions also contain normative instruments on the elimination of violence against children and on responses to trafficking in cultural properties. These resolutions are recommended by the Council to the General Assembly (Third Committee) for adoption.
Coordination, programme and other questions
The Council had before it the annual overview report of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination for 2013, which was introduced by Ms. Simona Petrova, Director of the CEB Secretariat. In an ensuing discussion, the representative of Cuba praised the work of CEB to promote coordination and coherence and to simplify institutional practices, and stressed that actions undertaken by the Board had to be aligned with the priorities of Member States.
The following day, Mr. Ramadhan Mwinyi, Chair of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC), presented the report of the 54th session of the Committee, which contained the outline of the strategic framework for the period 2016-2017. During the general discussion, the representative of Cuba requested that the review of CPC and CEB reports should be done at the same time in future.
Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
The Council had before it the report of the President of the Council on consultations with the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which was introduced by Ambassador Xavier Lasso-Mendoza, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN and Chair of the Special Committee on Decolonization. The report, based on the information supplied by specialized agencies and other organizations, examined the progress made in improving social and economic development of Non-Self-Governing Territories, including through the support provided by the UN system.
It encouraged further support and integration of the Non-Self-Governing Territories in the post-2015 development agenda and requested that the UN agencies that did not provide information for the report, such as UNDP, reported on their progress in this area. The Council adopted a draft resolution under this item, introduced by Mr. Lasso-Mendoza, by a vote of 26 in favour and 21 abstentions. The representative of the United States explained the US abstention by the fact that it was up to the administering power to determine participation in activities carried out by UN organizations in Non-Self-Governing territories, and, in that sense, the resolution in its current formulation infringed upon the US Constitution which laid that responsibility to the Federal Government.
Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan
The consideration of the item began with the introduction of the report of the Secretary-General by Mr. Tarik Alami, Director of Emerging and Conflict-Related Issues Division at the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The report presented the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, marked by unequal access to housing, land and sewage systems, food and water insecurity, restricted mobility, mistreatment of prisoners, and institutionalized segregation.
During the general discussion, the Permanent Observer of Palestine and the Permanent Representative of Brazil supported the content of the report noting the devastating effect of the ongoing conflict, including the recent escalation of the situation, on the lives and livelihoods of average Palestinians and the Palestinian economy. They called for humanitarian aid and broader economic and political support for the Palestinian people. The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic spoke on the situation of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan, noting poor living conditions, economic downturn, environmental damage, and destruction of historical monuments.
A draft resolution was submitted by the Plurinational State of Bolivia (on behalf of G77) who indicated that this year’s text was revised to reflect new realities on the ground, especially the deterioration of economic and social conditions, calling upon Israel to reinstate property and other rights to the populations residing in occupied territories.
The representative of Italy, speaking on behalf of the EU, said that he would vote in favour of the text but expressed discomfort with some terms used in the draft resolution, such as “Palestinian Government”, that implied recognition of a State of Palestine. The representative of the United States expressed disappointment over the “one-sidedness” of the resolution and the failure to have a constructive dialogue on the issue. The draft resolution was adopted by 44 votes in favour, 2 against and 2 abstentions.
After the vote, the representative of Israel made a general statement in which she expressed concern as to the unbalanced presentation of the Israeli-Palestinian relations in the report presented by ESCWA, noting in particular the lack of discussion on the role of Hamas in the deterioration of the living conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and Palestine responded by reiterating the extent of economic damages and human loss inflicted upon Palestinians by Israel.
Science and technology for development
The Council had before it the report of the seventeenth session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) and the report of the Secretary-General on the follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The first report, presented by Mr. Andrew Reynolds, Chair of the 17th session of CSTD, included two resolutions for adoption by the Council entitled “Science, technology, and innovation for the post-2015 development agenda” and “Information and communications technologies for inclusive social and economic development.”
These resolutionsm which were adopted by the Council, emphasized inclusiveness and affordability in information and communication technology to ensure that innovations are broadly shared and used to promote progress in other development spheres, such as education, health, agriculture and food production, energy and environment.
The report of the Secretary-General, presented by Ms. Anne Miroux, Director of the Division of Technology and Logistics at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), provided a broad overview of current trends in this area and detailed the implementation of the WSIS outcomes at the regional and international levels. The UNCTAD report emphasized the growing demand for ICTs across all regions though warned of the unequal access to mobile and internet networks and devices as vast segments of the world population cannot afford costs associated with the use of these technologies and are thus unable to benefit from ICT advancements.
Public administration and development
The Council had before it the report of the thirteenth session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), which was presented by Ms. Margaret Saner, Independent Senior Adviser on Governance, Leadership, Change and Institution Building (UK) and the Chairperson of CEPA, who spoke via video link from London.
The report of the Committee stresses that the main goal of CEPA – to transform public administration for sustainable development – can be achieved by (1) strengthening national and local administrative strategic capacity through knowledge exchanges between governments, civil society actors, international organizations, and academics; (2) promoting leadership, innovation and risk management through development of robust analytical and risk management tools; and (3) encouraging professionalism, accountability, and cooperation in public service through strategic alliances with the UN and non-UN bodies.
The draft resolution contained in the report of the Committee was under consideration by the Council at informal consultations and would be taken up at a later date.
Population and development
Ambassador Bénédicte Frankinet, Permanent Representative of Belgium and Chair of the Commission on Population and Development, presented the report of the 47th session of the Commission, whose main theme was “Assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)”. Ambassador Frankinet referred to the improved working methods of CPD, in line with the strengthening of the ECOSOC machinery, and the unprecedented number of countries and NGOs who took part in its last session.
The resolution contained in the report of the Commission for adoption by the Council stresses the connection between the full implementation of the Programme of Action of ICPD and global efforts to eradicate poverty, and calls for measures to fill existing gaps in various sectors of ICPD. The text also welcomes the special session to be held during the 69th session of the General Assembly to assess the status of implementation of the Programme of Action and to renew political support to it. Through this resolution, the Council transmits the report of the Commission to the special session. The Council adopted this resolution.
The Council approved the report of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names on the work of its twenty-eighth session. The report primarily concerned the standardization of geographical names and the assistance provided to Member States by the Group of Experts. During the general discussion, the representative of Australia voiced support for holding the forthcoming session of the Group of Experts in Bangkok as it will help bring experts from South-Eastern Asian countries.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Council heard an oral report by Mr. Udo Janz, Director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The representative of the United States praised the work of the UNHCR and recommended further cooperation between the UN, non-UN bodies and Member States as well as partnerships with NGOs for effective action and greater transparency on refugee issues.
The representative of Uruguay introduced a draft decision on the enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UNHCR to include Armenia, Chad, Georgia and Uruguay. The draft decision was adopted without a vote.
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The Council heard a presentation by Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, Chair of the 13th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, on the Forum’s report contained in document E/2014/43. Among the decisions adopted by the Council, one relates to the hosting of an international expert group meeting on the theme “Dialogue on an optional protocol to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, upon which the representative of the Russian Federation stated that it could not be viewed as support by member States to the subject.
Another decision foresees that the Forum will continue to discuss the possibility to change its name to “Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. One draft decision includes an extra day meeting of the Forum, without budgetary implications. Answering to a question by the United States, Dr. Sambo Dorough explained that the additional one day meeting would be an opportunity to share views with the intent of improving the Forum’s working methods. She added that the Forum is in dialogue with the Government of New Zealand regarding funding an inter-sessional meeting in November. The draft decisions were adopted without a vote.
For more information:
ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meetings-CMM
Parliamentarians emphasized their essential role in development cooperation at the Fourth Biennial High-level Meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), held on 10 – 11 July at the UN headquarters in New York, as part of the High-level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The diversity of actors involved in international development cooperation continues to grow. So do demands for a renewed global partnership for development that is truly inclusive and makes it easier for all stakeholders to engage. The critical role of parliaments, in particular, was repeatedly stressed at the 2014 Development Cooperation Forum, which brought together more than 200 senior level experts and practitioners.
“We cannot continue business as usual. Development cooperation is no longer the role of the government alone,” said the Member of Parliament Geofrey Ekanya, who is also Shadow Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of Uganda. “There are several actors that must come into play and national parliaments are institutionally empowered to play a role.”
Parliaments play a critical role in development cooperation
Development cooperation is effective when it leads to tangible and sustainable development results. For this, effective monitoring and accountability are essential. The DCF has been a forerunner in advancing the concept and practice of “mutual accountability” between the providers and recipients of international development cooperation to encourage mutual learning, trust and respect, which ultimately leads to fulfilling development commitments. As an institution conferred to pass legislation and oversee activities pertaining to development cooperation, parliaments can make a unique role to play in mutual accountability for development cooperation. Members of Parliament, being representatives of the electorate, have particularly high interest in ensuring that development projects are carried out for the well-being of their citizens.
More than 10 parliamentarians from developing and developed countries participated in the 2014 DCF, where they shared their common view on the central role of parliaments in development cooperation. “Governments should be a coordinator and a catalyst. When talking about accountability and monitoring, it is the job of parliamentarians in the North and the South,” said Ms. Helen Laverdiere, Member of Parliament from Canada, who participated at the Forum.
Despite heightened awareness of the critical role of parliamentarians in development cooperation, they still play a relatively minimal role in practice in a number of countries, according to the Third UNDCF Global Accountability Survey. Results showed that in 3 out of 4 cases, national aid policies were not reviewed at all by parliaments and only every third country required submission of progress reports of implementing development projects to parliament. Independent analytical inputs from parliamentarians are both rare and rarely used in national coordination forums on mutual accountability. These factors, combined with limited capacity development support for Members of Parliament have severely impeded their oversight role.
Support for capacity development is needed
In order to support parliamentarians in facilitating development cooperation and enhancing mutual accountability, efforts need to be made to strengthen their capacity effectively to perform their legislative and oversight role. Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General, highlighted the importance of parliaments and remarked that “a major effort by donor representatives at country level is needed to support such capacity development of parliaments.”
An enabling environment and space for parliaments and other stakeholders, including members of civil society, is central to strengthen the accountability function of parliaments. Secretary-General of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Mr. Martin Chungong, also echoed this sentiment by reminding all stakeholders at the Forum that “it is important to look at responsibilities of parliaments but also at the capacities that parliaments need to fulfil their given responsibilities.”
The 2014 high-level meeting laid out an ambitious agenda for further work by DCF, especially review of a renewed global partnership for development, including the successor arrangement to MDG8; review of national mutual accountability and transparency in development cooperation; and focusing on policy coherence between aid and non-aid policies for development. It also broke new ground in launching an initiative to better document South-South cooperation efforts as a fresh opportunity for mutual learning and better development results.
For more information:
Development Cooperation Forum
Accountable and effective development cooperation in a post-2015 era
Third Global Accountability Survey on Mutual Accountability
The ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) was held during 8-9 July during the high-level segment of ECOSOC under the theme: “Addressing on-going and emerging challenges for meeting the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and for sustaining development gains in the future”.
The Ministerial Declaration of the high-level segment of ECOSOC and the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) convened under the auspices of ECOSOC, was adopted on 9 July and was the main outcome. The Declaration addresses the themes of both the AMR and HLPF, including the need to accelerate progress towards the MDGs; the importance to address the unfinished agenda in the transition towards the SDGs and a more universal and ambitious post-2015 development agenda; the need for a strong global partnership for development; the link between poverty and sustainable development, with poverty eradication as a pre-condition for sustainable development; and acknowledges the work of ECOSOC and the HLPF, including their role in supporting a future post-2015 development agenda. The Declaration also underscored the importance of building on the AMR National Voluntary Presentations for review and monitoring progress of the post-2015 development agenda. The Declaration was significant for establishing a single outcome for both ECOSOC and the HLPF.
National voluntary presentations and ministerial panel on integration
The National Voluntary Presentation (NVPs) at the AMR included ten volunteers – Bolivia, Gambia, Georgia, Kuwait, Mexico, Qatar, Sudan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the State of Palestine. The NVP presenters shared their countries’ development experiences, including challenges in integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development, as well as ideas on ways to link the MDG framework with the post-2015 development agenda.
The first Ministerial Panel on Integration was convened during the 2014 AMR on the theme “Integrating employment-centric sustainable development into the post-2015 development agenda”. The Panel brought together high-level policymakers from developed and developing countries and different regions and areas of expertise. Panelists identified challenges and opportunities in integrating macroeconomic, social and environmental policies to promote sustainable development and shared experiences and lessons learned and stressed the centrality of employment in the post-2015 development agenda. An important outcome of the Panel was to link the 2014 high-level segment with the 2015 ECOSOC Integration Segment, which will have as its theme “Achieving sustainable development through employment creation and decent work for all“.
Sixty-one Member States and five international organizations intervened in the general debate. Statements were crafted around key issues highlighted in the Secretary-General’s AMR report, addressing national ownership, inclusive development, good governance, institutions, means of implementation, ODA, partnerships, and the role of the United Nations. References were also made to the need for a strong monitoring and accountability mechanism to support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
For more information:
2014 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review
With the 2015 deadline for achieving the landmark Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) less that 550 days away, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today launched the final push towards the United Nations targets – many of which have been met or are within reach – and urged a strong, ambitious successor blueprint “that will leave no one behind.”
Presenting to Member States a major new report on 7 July, which he called the most up-to-date “global scorecard” on efforts to achieve the eight mostly anti-poverty Goals agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, Mr. Ban told the High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that the world is “at a historic juncture, with several milestones before us.”
According to The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014, said the UN chief, the world has already reached targets on reducing poverty, increasing access to improved drinking water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and achieving gender parity in primary school.
Citing gains made in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis and access to HIV treatment, Mr. Ban underscored that the report makes clear “the MDGs have helped unite, inspire and transform…and the combined action of Governments, the international community civil society and the private sector can make a difference.”
However, some MDG targets related to largely preventable problems, such as reducing child and maternal mortality and increasing access to sanitation, are “slipping away,” according to the report.
“We know that achievements have been uneven between goals, among and within regions and countries, and between population groups. For the most marginalized and vulnerable in society, social exclusion and discrimination are among the greatest obstacles to progress,” said Mr. Ban.
He said that unless these imbalances are addressed through bolder and more focused interventions, some targets will not be met, including in key areas such as childbirth, maternal mortality, universal education, and environmental sustainability.
“Our efforts to achieve the MDGs are critical to building a solid foundation for development beyond 2015. At the same time, we must aim for a strong successor framework to attend to unfinished business and address areas not covered by the eight MDGs,” said the UN chief
Indeed, the world has changed dramatically since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000, he noted. Development, peace, security and the rule of law are more deeply connected than ever before. Eradicating extreme poverty is even more clearly an imperative to building stable societies.
“Tackling growing inequality, in rich and poor countries alike, has become a defining challenge of our times,” said Mr. Ban, declaring: “Our post-2015 objective must be to leave no one behind.”
To that end, he said that wise management of the environment has also become increasingly critical to sustainable economic and social development. “In particular, we must urgently act to limit global temperature rise and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. We all share the responsibility of promoting equitable sustainable development. We must act together and intensify our efforts.”
But while the challenges are daunting, the UN chief emphasized that the international community has more tools at its disposal than at the turn of the Millennium – the expanding reach of technology, the deepening of partnerships, and a growing understanding of how to achieve results.
“We have an opportunity to apply new approaches to accelerate progress and pave the way for a more ambitious, inclusive and universal development framework,” he said, informing delegations that by the end of this year, he will produce a synthesis report to support Member States in their negotiations leading up to a summit in September 2015.
That report, said the Secretary-general, will outline a broad vision for a post-2015 development agenda. It will draw on the deliberations and the work of the General Assembly and ECOSOC, and its scope and ambition will be influenced by the outcomes produced by the Open Working Group and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance.
At the intergovernmental level, the new High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development built around the GA, and a strengthened ECOSOC, is in place. It will benefit from the work of ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum, which will address some of the critical issues on the future of development cooperation.
“This Forum can give impetus to agenda-setting throughout the UN system. The world counts on this Forum and our new architecture to provide guidance, leadership and action for the implementation of the new agenda,” said Mr. Ban, urging Member States to work together to “pave the way to the future we want – a life of dignity for all.”
ECOSOC President Martin Sajdik said: “We are approaching the creation of a new, inclusive and people-centered post-2015 development agenda. This agenda will aim to free mankind from poverty and hunger, and attain sustainable development. The new agenda will build on the [MDGs], complete their unfinished business and respond to new challenges. It will be a universal agenda that is critical for the future of humanity.”
Approaching the design of this new agenda, Member States also must consider how to revamp the approach to development, he said. In this period of transition, “we will need an integrated approach to sustainable development, underpinned by the strengthened framework that the Assembly, ECOSOC and the High-level Political Forum under their respective auspices constitute.”
In his remarks, Assembly President John Ashe echoed that sentiment, saying the deliberations at this session of the Forum “will be critical to advancing our thinking on the post 2015 development agenda.” The Forum is expected to provide leadership and decisive action for a robust sustainable development agenda; it therefore must remain nimble in function and be able to act quickly, particularly as the body will address new and emerging challenges.
Tasked with fostering implementation and ensuring oversight, the High-Level Political Forum will be a vital component of any post 2015 architecture. “However, effective and comprehensive implementation cannot be achieved unless the Forum has strong relationships and partnerships with UN system agencies, civil society and other international organizations. National structures must also be simultaneously strengthened for effective delivery and implementation,” he said.
Source: UN News Centre
For more information:
Millennium Development Goals Report 2014
The meeting of the 2014 High-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development was successfully held from 30 June to 9 July, at UN Headquarters in New York. It was the Forum’s first substantive meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. More than 30 ministers and high level officials from governments, UN agencies and other international organizations, major groups, the private sector, parliamentarians, and other stakeholders attended the meeting.
Though the discussions at the Forum highlighted how much work still needs to be done on a large number of issues, there was also optimism. “There is unprecedented awareness of the need to change our development models and a possibility to end extreme poverty by 2030,” said ECOSOC President Ambassador Martin Sajdik, who chaired this year’s Forum. He noted that there is “a broad acceptance that consumption and production must become more sustainable.” The dialogues had shown that many countries are already putting in place innovative policies to pursue sustainable development, and that the business sector and other stakeholders are committed to playing their part.
The Forum adopted both a Ministerial Declaration and its theme for 2015: “Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015”.
The meeting comprised a series of dialogues around four tracks of themes “From Rio+20 to post-2015”, “Regional dimensions and countries in special situations”, “Science-policy interface”, and “Shaping the forum beyond 2015”.
Participants highlighted the importance of implementation, integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, political will and concrete actions in achieving sustainable development. They also provided valuable thoughts on the sustainable development goals, the post-2015 development agenda, and the role of the HLPF in implementation, monitoring and review of the future goals and targets.
Science-policy interface was also acknowledged as an important factor, including by the presentation of the Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report. The report brings together existing sustainable development assessments and provides governments with an idea of how future Global Sustainable Development Reports could be shaped. Member States discussed the scope and methodology of the report based on the synthesis of their views reflected in the Secretary-General’s report. Most of them favoured a wide multistakeholder approach.
More than 30 side events sponsored by Governments, UN system and other international organizations, as well as major groups, were held during the HLPF.
“The meeting we are closing today has already demonstrated the great potential of the Forum. I believe that its outcome and discussions will contribute to the negotiations on the post 2015 development agenda that will start very soon,” said ECOSOC President Martin Sajdik at the closing session of this year’s Forum.
The Ministerial Declaration and further information can be found here: High-level political forum (HLPF)