In pursuit of sustainable development goals

In September 2014, the UN General Assembly decided that the report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals would be the main basis for integrating the SDGs into the post-2015 development agenda while recognizing that other inputs will also be considered in the intergovernmental negotiation process. As part of the preparations for the new development agenda, an Expert Group Meeting will be arranged in New York on 28-29 January, focusing on “Policy integration in government in pursuit of the SDGs”.

In anticipation of the adoption of a post-2015 development agenda in September 2015, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is asking “what it will take” to make the transition to a development framework based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it has invited the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) and other subsidiary bodies to contribute their views.

Set against this background, UN DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) will hold an Expert Group Meeting on “Policy integration in government in pursuit of the SDGs” at the United Nations Secretariat on 28-29 January 2015.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to elicit experts’ insights as an input to the 14th session of the CEPA, to be held from 20-24 April 2015 under the banner of “Building trust in government in pursuit of sustainable development goals – what will it take?” The meeting is expected to result in:

  • Views on how to translate conceptual notions of policy coherence and principles of policymaking into practical terms
  • Establishment of a baseline understanding of the capacity of administrations to pursue integration in pursuit of SDGs
  • Build on work by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank and others, connecting of observations and conclusions to policy cycles taking into account political and institutional realities

The event will bring together experts from government, academia, the United Nations, OECD, World Bank and other organizations to review developments in the field of policy integration in government administration, the conditions that makes policy integration viable, and obstacles to its adoption as a common practice in government institutions. The meeting will tackle the “what?” and “how?” of integration, with special consideration of the prospects for policy integration in low- and middle-income countries.

Policy integration will indeed present a key governance challenge in pursuit of the SDGs, particularly in view of the rising complexity of social problems and global issues with important national and local impacts such as climate change. Effective policy integration is all the more important, given the range of expertise from different institutions and sectors required to tackle the SDGs, as well as demands for more innovative, responsive and equitable service delivery, which transcend the competences of individual ministries.

Photo credit: ec.europa.eu

For more information: UN DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM)