Towards new sustainable development goals
The UN headquarters in New York hosted the tenth session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations General Assembly, from 31 March to 4 April 2014.
The existence of the OWG reflects the willingness of governments to develop a suite of SDGs, following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), held in June 2012 in Brazil. The group seeks to be transparent, with the distinctive feature of being open to stakeholders and also comprises 30 representatives of the five regional groups of the United Nations, appointed by the UN Member States.
Since its inception, the group has held a number of meetings to develop draft MDGs. The tenth session was held as part of this agenda and aimed to collect members’ views on a list of 19 previously identified intervention areas and define potential targets for each intervention area.
The tenth session was structured around presentations and plenary discussions on the following topics:
♦ The methodology , objectives and targets;
♦ Consolidation of areas of intervention, focus on objectives and possible targets for poverty eradication and promotion of equality ;
♦ Gender equality and women’s empowerment, education, employment and decent work for all, health and demographic dynamics;
♦ Water and sanitation and sustainable agriculture , food security and nutrition;
♦ Economic growth, industrialization, infrastructure and energy;
♦ Cities and sustainable human settlements, promoting sustainable consumption and production models and climate change mitigation;
♦ Conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources, marine environment, ecosystems and biodiversity ;
♦ The means of implementation / global partnership for sustainable development;
♦ Peaceful and non- violent societies, the rule of law and good governance.
Following the plenary deliberations, a meeting was held with the large groups and other stakeholders to translate the proposals set out in the SDGs into appropriate action (vision, objectives and targets).
By the time the five-day meeting came to a close, the OWG had considered a stunningly high number of ideas which the co-chair was compelled to trim and propose a new version to be submitted for amendment to OWG-11 slated for 18 April 2014.
For more information on the conduct of GTO-10 and an analysis of its resolutions, please consult this link: http://www.iisd.ca/sdgs/owg10/