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The Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals

Open Working Group on SDGs to resume in November


The Intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is set to recommence on 25 November after a five-month break, with four more New York sessions scheduled before March when the Group will begin crafting a set of SDGs to propose to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2014.

The second activity phase of the OWG, which was launched by UN member states at Rio+20 and described by former GA President Vuk Jeremić as “the single-most important element of the post-2015 agenda”, follows a series of reports on the post-2015 process, most notably the outcome document adopted at a Special Event on the MDGs at the UN general Assembly in September, the Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons, and “A Million Voices: The World We Want”, the UNDG’s synthesis of the 11 global thematic consultations and public surveys that had engaged more than 1.3 million people.

While the first round of OWG sessions was largely devoted to issues present in the Millennium Development Goals – hunger, poverty and water, the second phase focuses on broader themes such as trade and debt, human rights and conflict, biodiversity, oceans and forests.

FAO, which is part of the UN Technical Support Team (TST) that provides analysis, background material and panellists to the OWG, is co-leading issues briefs on oceans and seas, forests and biodiversity at the 8th OWG in February 2014. It follows the Organization’s co-leadership of briefs on sustainable agriculture (with IFAD) and food security and nutrition (with WFP and IFAD),) at the 3rd OWG in May following their Madrid Statement on hunger, food security and nutrition, and contribution to briefs in 15 areas related to sustainable development (see below).

A number of side events will also be held during the OWGs where civil society and private sector organisations, UN agencies and other stakeholders have the opportunity of organising lunch-time activities linked to the monthly theme.

The main calendar is:

From 25-27 November

  • Energy (1.5 days);
  • Sustained and inclusive economic growth, macroeconomic policy questions (including international trade, international financial system and external debt sustainability), infrastructure development and Industrialization (1.5 days)

 9-13 December

  • Means of implementation; Global partnership for achieving sustainable development (2 days)
  • Needs of countries in special situations, African countries, LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS as well as the specific challenges facing the middle-income countries (2 days)
  • Human rights, the right to development, global governance (1 day)

6-10 January 2014

  • Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport (2 days)
  • Sustainable consumption and production (including chemicals and waste) (1.5 days)
  • Climate change and disaster risk reduction (1.5 days)

3-7 February, 2014

  • Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity (2 days) (Co-led by UNEP and FAO)
  • Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment (1.5 days)
  • Conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance (1.5 days)