Exploring what it will take to transition to new development agenda

ECOSOC_hlsThe Economic and Social Council High-level Segment (HLS) was convened on 6 to 10 July at UN Headquarters in New York. The event included the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) Ministerial Segment (6-8 July) and the final ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and other HLS events (8-10 July).

The 2015 ECOSOC main theme, which was also the theme of the AMR, was “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals (SDGs): What it will take”.

The Council adopted a joint ministerial declaration of the HLS and HLPF that looked forward to the new agenda and requested the President of ECOSOC to prepare summaries of the discussions as a contribution to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the on-going inter-governmental negotiations on the post-2015 UN development agenda.

The event featured four AMR National Voluntary Presentations by Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Philippines and Zambia, which emphasized the imperative of mutually reinforcing actions at the national, regional and global levels for successfully transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs.

Dialogues took place with representatives of the international financial and trade institutions (IMF, UNCTAD, World Bank Group, WTO), as well as with the Executive Secretaries of the UN regional commissions. The importance of inclusive growth for the achievement of the SDGs was underscored, with some concerns about the implications of the low rate of both global growth and international trade for realizing the new agenda. The widening divergence in growth rates between various regions highlights the need for greater policy coordination at all levels.

Progress in the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (2011-2020) (IPoA) was reviewed, introduced by a keynote address by H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia. The unfinished MDG agenda for LDCs should be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda, complementing the IPoA, with greater emphasis on aid-for-trade, trade facilitation, capacity and institution building and technology for development.

UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon delivered a closing statement, stating that the occasion marked “the end of the review of the MDGs in ECOSOC. But it also lays the foundation for the transition to the SDGs — an ambitious and universal agenda” for which the Council will need to promote policy integration and mobilize a wide range of actors.

For more information: ECOSOC High-level Segment