Consultations & Advocacy Opportunities
Updated February 2014
Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
The 30-member Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals of the UN General Assembly was mandated by the Rio+20 Outcome document to prepare a proposal on Sustainable Development Goals for consideration by the UN General Assembly at its 68th and 69th sessions (Sept. 2013 + Sept. 2014). Each seat in the Group is shared by 1-4 Member States. For further details: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1561
The Open Working Group has been meeting in New York from March 2013. Relevant sessions included those on: ‘Human rights, the right to development, global governance’; ‘Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport’; ‘Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment’. IAPB and members have been contributing to common positions on health and on disability inclusion within this part of the process.
Please note: Kenya and Hungary are co-conveners so are key targets. The OWG is co-chaired by Mr. Csaba Kõrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary, and Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya. A full list of members in their groupings is available on the website of the Open Working Group. Especially, if your country is listed, we encourage you to organise meetings with other IAPB members and important stakeholders, such as health focused NGOs, and disabled person’s organisation, and get involved with any national meetings/consultations with your government to influence their position at the Open Working Group and on Post 2015 more generally. A useful source of information on national consultations is available on the Beyond 2015 website, which includes information on NGOs acting as national hubs or centres for information and coordination on post 2015 (http://www.beyond2015.org/national-hubs).
Open consultation from Monday 24 February to Friday 14 March 2014: OWG Focus Areas document
The Open Working Group (OWG) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has concluded its eight information-collection sessions towards framing the successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The co-chairs the focus areas document that sets out 19 broad issues for consideration where they feel that further action could help the international community realize transformative change for sustainable development. The document will serve as the basis for discussions at the next session of the OWG from 3-7 March but does not constitute a ‘zero draft’. In their letter to member states, the co-chairs asked them to start identifying goals and targets for discussions in following OWG sessions and also stated that the list of focus areas is not exhaustive nor precludes the inclusion of other issues.
The focus areas proposed by the OWG are: Poverty eradication Food security and nutrition Health and population dynamics Education Gender Equality and women’s empowerment Water and sanitation Energy Economic Growth Industrialization Infrastructure Employment and decent work for all Promoting Equality Sustainable Cities and Settlements Sustainable Consumption and Production Climate Marine Resources, oceans and seas Ecosystems and biodiversity Means of Implementation Peaceful and non-violent societies, capable institutions The questions are: 1. Regarding the ‘focus areas document’ overall: What do you agree with and what is missing? (400 word max) 2. Per specific focus area, what do you agree with and how would you improve it? (400 word max per area that you choose to respond to)
President of the General Assembly’s High-level Events: ‘to encourage the global community to work toward building consensus and elaborating concrete action for the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda’, President John W. Ashe will host high-level events/ debates.
The first Thematic Debate, on “Water, sanitation and sustainable energy in the post-2015 development agenda,” took place on 18-19 February 2014. The first High-Level Event, on “Contributions of women, the young and civil society to the post-2015 development agenda,” will take place on 6-7 March 2014, in advance of the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The second Thematic Debate, on the “Role of partnerships and their contributions to the Post 2105 development agenda,” will take place on 8-9 April 2014. The third Thematic Debate, on “Ensuring Peaceful and Stable Societies,” will take place on 24-25 April 2014. The second High-Level Event, on “Contributions of South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation and information and communication technologies for development to the post-2015 development agenda,” will take place on 20-21 May 2014. The third High-Level Event, “Human rights and the rule of law in the post-2015 development agenda,” will be held on 17-18 June 2014.
To assess the progress and review outputs, a stocktaking event will be held in early September (date TBD). More information will be posted on the website of the President of the General Assembly. For more information about post-2015 events hosted by the President of the General Assembly, please visit: https://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/settingthestage/faqcsb.shtml
14 February to 14 March: SDSN Report: The New draft SDSN report is available for public consultation. Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals presents a framework of 100 indicators for post-2015, based on the 10 goals and 30 targets presented in the Action Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to SDSN this report is at an early stage and are seeking comments to improve and complete the proposed indicator framework. Full details are available here. You can use the comment form and send it by email to email@example.com. The focus should be on the proposed indicators, as according to the authors, the goals and targets have already undergone an extensive public consultation. They are proposing to keep the total number of core indicators to no more than 100, so any addition of new indicators will need to be matched by cuts elsewhere. (follow twitter conversations on #indicators2015)
Members of the High level Panel (HLP)
The HLP panel was led by the heads of government from Liberia, UK and Indonesia. It also includes leaders from civil society, the private sector and government. The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, agreed at the Rio conference).
Online Consultation on framing questions
On January 11 the members of Vision Alliance made a submission on 4 of the framing questions. In total 134 organisations made responses across the whole consultation. The report summarizing the inputs is available online here. Some of the issues that were raised by those who made submissions include: the need to integrate the SDGs and MDGs; that the framework should be ‘anchored’ in human rights including highlighting the need for responsiveness towards marginalised groups including disabled persons; the need for emphasis on a healthy environment, population health, health systems; that it ought address structural causes of poverty and inequality; place less emphasis on economic growth (rather place it on the rights of people over capital) and that there should be financial reform; that there should be greater participation of civil society including in monitoring at in-country levels; that monitoring systems needs to be more structured and rigorous. Some organisations called for specific goals on equality/ environmental sustainability/ disability/ disaster prevention and other organisations called for these focuses to be mainstreamed across the framework or both (although regarding equality and disability, it seems mainstreaming was more prevalent).
The Third High Level Panel of Eminent Persons Meeting occurred in Monrovia with CSO Outreach 28 and 30 January. The theme was economic transformation. Issues raised on disability included that disability ‘tended to fall in the gaps’ and that lack of information is often a problem for persons with disabilities and better outreach is needed. Also raised were the necessity of ‘full’ and ‘equal’ participation of people with disabilities in the process and ensuring that disabilities and aging were theme cutting across the new framework with associated dis-aggregated targets and indicators. On the 30th roundtable discussions were held between all members of the HLP and CSO representatives. There were five roundtables aiming to get the ‘perspectives of marginalised groups’, with one on the disabled and aged. The lead agency for this was HelpAge working with Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities. Sir Beyan Kota from Liberia participated advocating on issues relevant to visual impairment/ eye health. See the final Communique from civil society to HLP members here.
The 4th HLP meeting was held in Bali, Indonesia in March See the World We Want website for details as they arise. The final HLP meeting occured in Mid-May in New York.
Themes and country consultations
There have been consultations across themes, including health, equality, women, food security and nutrition, and water amongst others. The Governments of Sweden and Botswana and UNICEF and the WHO are leading on health. The Vision Alliance made a submission on health. The WHO Secretariat summarised all the submissions, to upload the report onto the website.
A health consultation was held on March 5-6 in Botswana, involving governments, NGO coalitions, key UN partners and members of the UNSG’s High-Level Panel. According to the website it will build on the regional and country consultations, aim to get agreements round key issues and make recommendations to input into the intergovernmental process.
Further country consultations will be held in 56 countries. In some cases there are national consultation plans in place. Details on themes and countries, and national consultation plans, can be found here.