Last Session of the OWG on SDGs Opened

As the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stepped into the final straight of its mandate, delegates reflected on their progress in achieving their objectives. Speaking on behalf of the G77 and China, Bolivia reminded the delegates the importance of the concept of common but differentiated responsibilities and ensuring that each target must be matched by a means of implementation. Libya, on behalf of the African group, affirmed the importance of following the guidelines in “the Future We Want” document in the absence of consensus within the group.1_TN_IMG_3695

The European Union alerted the group the wide gaps of views on proposed goal 13 on climate change and on the proposed goal 16 on peaceful society and rule of law. Brazil similarly noted the diverging views on goal 16, and urged delegates not to bring up “unpleasant surprises” for the synthesis report by renegotiating issues already settled in the remaining days of the group or in the SDGs process forward. Brazil also highlighted the need of fine-tuning the language of the current draft, as she believed that the current imprecise language may not align with that of the preexisting international agreements. Argentina stated their determination to finish the task by saying “If need be, for the last week, we have to stay until the hour we need to stay to get a good report”.

The Co-Chairs concluded by stating that the group has come along long way and now has a substantially good set of goals in hand. The remaining task is to adopt an “M&M approach” to simplify the wording of the clauses, so that Ministers and Mothers alike can read the goals. Therefore, they asked members to “resist the urge to engage into any new ideas” and promote group cohesion in the upcoming process.

Meeting Title : 13th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya and Co-Chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development; H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary and Co-Chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development; Representatives from Bolivia, Libya, European Union, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, China and Benin
Date: July 14th, 2014
Location: Conference Room 3, United Nations HQ, New York
Summary Written By WIT Representative: Harrison Chung

Second Meeting of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

high_level_political_forum_on_sustainable_developmentThe discussion assembles a panel of eminent scientists, policy makers, as well as senior UN officials, who will address how science is instrumental in ensuring the integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The second meeting of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development commenced at the United Nations. A panel discussion that aimed to monitor the SDGs, build an effective review mechanism and strengthen science and policy networks was conducted as part of the negotiations.

Mr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic opened the discussion by stating that the SDGs were an aspirational and ambitious goal but with the right scientific and technical analysis they could be achievable. He highlighted the following four areas of interest that are crucial in writing the Sustainable Development Report for the Post-2015 agenda: Investments into institutions and niche markets, enhancing human capacity, learning and technology, deployment of system diffusions and conducting science based multi-stakeholder assessments.

H.E Csaba Körösi echoed similar points raised by Mr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic and Mr. Alexander Roehrl and stated that the scientific community has been involved with the SDGs since its inception. Scientists have been mastering the information and substance and are guiding the Open Working Group (OWG). However, he highlighted three focus areas for the scientific community that would accelerate the progress of the OWG. One, help setting indicators. Two, help testing the coherence of the system and three, report on system transformation as a whole. He concluded by stating that is was crucial to know, through tangible parameters, how much progress has already been made.

Ms.Tanya Abrahamse summed up the panel discussion by stressing upon the importance of accessibility of information and data. She posited that scientific evaluation should be presented in a manner that could be easily understood by local populations, which in turn would empower them to act upon that evidence.

Title: “Strengthening science-policy links for reviewing progress on sustainable development”
Organiser: International Council for Science (ICSU); UN DESA; UNEP
Speakers: Gordon McBean, President, International Council for Science; Nebojsa Nakicenovic, International Institute for Applied System Analysis; Alexander Roehrl, Division for Sustainable Development, DESA; H.E.Csaba Körösi, Co-Chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals; Elliot Harris, Director, UNEP New York Office; Tanya Abrahamse, CEO, South African National Biodiversity Institute
Date: 30 June 2014
Location: Conference Room 5 (NLB), UN Headquarters
Written By WIT Representative: Apurv Gupta
Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

Early Childhood Development – Essential in the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Today at the United Nations, the twelfth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development commenced. It marks a weeklong platform for debate on the methods of work of the Rio+20 outcome document, including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system.
A special event co-hosted primarily by Colombia, Ecuador and Italy aimed to strongly move forward in the approach to ensuring early child development as an important indicator to drive human development. H.E María Mejía stated that 6.6 million children die around the world each year due to preventable diseases and highlighted that “early age, thus, becomes the only time one can shape success for a society”. Ms. Cecilia Vaca further emphasized the political importance of early child development. Using the 2008 Ecuadorian constitution (that prioritizes the state, society and family) as the prime example, she urged member states to establish a developmental path within their judicial frameworks that recognizes the rights of the child to education and healthcare above all.

ImageH.E Sebastiano Cardi emphasized the significance of maternal healthcare. He posited that children’s health is closely linked to and dependent upon the healthcare instruments prevalent in countries for expecting mothers. Mr. James Wolfensohn strongly upheld the notion that unless governments of developing countries deal with young people, their health and education, there can be no future for the society.

All panelists were in tandem that child development and maternal healthcare are quintessential prerequisites to sustainable human development. The event concluded by giving a sense of possibility that this challenge, with the continued effort of member states, civil society and other stakeholders, can become every child’s reality.

 

 

The Foundation for Sustainable Human Development for 2015 and Beyond was a special event that coincided with the 12th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development (OWG). The event aimed to push forward the importance of child development in achieving sustainable human development.

 

Meeting Title: “Foundation for Sustainable Human Development for 2015 and Beyond”
Moderator: Ms. Pia Britto, Global Head of Early Childhood Development, UNICEF
Speakers: H.E María Emma Mejía, Permanent Representative of Colombia; H.E Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy; Ms. Cecilia Vaca, Minister of Social Development, Ecuador; Mr. James Wolfensohn, former World Bank President; Mr. Lu Mai, Secretary-General, China Development Research Foundation; Ms. Tessa Jowell, MP, Member of United Kingdom Parliament; Ms. Louise Zimanyi, Executive Director, Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development; and
Date: 16 June 2014
Location:
Conference Room 2United Nations Headquarters, New York
Written by WIT Representative:
Apurv Gupta
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan