By Magdalena A K Muir
Given the unfolding nature of the climate negotiation and the possible absence of a global and binding agreement with measurable and verifiable targets and goals for greenhouse gas mitigation, climate initiatives along with other important sustainability initiatives and goals may increasing be subsumed under the UN sustainability agenda, in additional to regional (i.e, European Union) and voluntary initiatives. Therefore this UN sustainability process will important to monitor, particularly in terms of integration of climate and sustainability. The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol takes place from 30 Nov 30 to December 15, 2015 in Paris, France. This coincides and overlaps with the post 2015 development agenda and September 2015 UN General Assembly meeting on sustainability
Post 2015 UN Development Agenda and Process
The United Nations is in the process of defining a post-2015 development agenda. This agenda will be launched at a summit in September 2015, which is the target date for realizing the MDGs. It is currently being elaborated through informal consultations of the UN General Assembly. The President of the General Assembly has appointed two Co-facilitators to lead those informal consultations. The process of arriving at the post 2015 development agenda is Member State-led with broad participation from Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders with scheduled meetings throughout 2015 leading up to this September Summit.
There has been numerous inputs to the agenda, notably a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by an open working group of the General Assembly, the report of an intergovernmental committee of experts on sustainable development financing, General Assembly dialogues on technology facilitation and many others.
The General Assembly called upon the Secretary-General to synthesize the full range of inputs and to present a synthesis report before the end of 2014 as a contribution to the intergovernmental negotiations in the lead up to the Summit. This report was issued in December 2014. There is a video briefing by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on December 4, 014 on his synthesis report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly which is available here. Extracts from the summary of that synthesis report include:
“Drawing from the experience of two decades of development practice and from the inputs gathered through an open and inclusive process, the report charts a road
map to achieve dignity in the next 15 years. The report proposes one universal and transformative agenda for sustainable development, underpinned by rights, and with
people and the planet at the centre. An integrated set of six essential elements is provided to help frame and reinforce the sustainable development agenda and ensure
that the ambition and vision expressed by Member States communicates and is delivered at the country level:
(a) dignity: to end poverty and fight inequality;
(b) people: to ensure healthy lives, knowledge and the inclusion of women and children;
(c) prosperity: to grow a strong, inclusive and transformative economy;
(d) planet: to protect our ecosystems for all societies and our children;
(e) justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies and strong institutions; and
(f) partnership to catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development.
The report also underscores that an integrated sustainable development agenda requires an equally synergistic framework of means for its implementation, including
financing, technology and investments in sustainable development capacities. In addition, the report calls for embracing a culture of shared responsibility in order to
ensure that promises made become actions delivered. To this effect, the report proposes a framework to be able to monitor and review implementation, based on
enhanced statistical capacities and tapping into the potential of new and non-traditional data sources, and a United Nations system “fit for purpose” to address the challenges
of the new agenda. Achieving dignity in the next 15 years is possible if we collectively mobilize political will and the necessary resources to strengthen the multilateral system and our nations.”
The Rio+20 outcome document called for the establishment of a 30 member intergovernmental expert committee on financing. Established on 21 June 2013, the experts were nominated by regional groups with equitable geographical representation. In August 2014, the committee adopted its report which provides a menu of ways to mobilize resources for sustainable development.
The United Nations has played a facilitating role in the global conversation on the post 2015 development agenda and supported broad consultations. It also has the responsibility of supporting Member States by providing evidence-based inputs, analytical thinking and field experience. In its resolution adopted on 10 September 2014, the General Assembly welcomed the report of the Open Working. The resolution, as orally amended, states that the proposal of the Open Working Group shall be the main basis for integrating the sustainable development goals into the future development agenda. The United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will be held from 25 to 27 September 2015, in New York and convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly.
The 2015 High-level Political Forum will be held from June 26th to July 8th, 2015 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which replaces the Commission on Sustainable Development. This forum focuses on strengthening integration, implementation and review, which expert meetings currently underway to provide supporting reports. The three-day ministerial segment will be held from Monday, 6 July, through Wednesday, 8 July 2015. The meeting will consist of interactive dialogues among governments, the UN system and other organizations, as well as the major groups and other stakeholders.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) is a global, independent network of research centres, universities and technical institutions that works with stakeholders including business, civil society, UN agencies and other international organizations. SDSN supports the development of the SDGs. In 2013, the SDSN submitted its report An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development to the Secretary-General, in which it proposes ten goals to foster sustainable development. The SDSN has also issues a draft indicator report Indicators and a monitoring framework for Sustainable Development Goals that outlines proposed indicators for the OWG’s SDGs
Briefing by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his synthesis report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly
The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet : Synthesis report of the Secretary-General on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda
Calender and dates for the meetings for intergovernmental negotiations on the post-20l5 development agenda