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Open Working Group to focus on 19 areas in “consensus-building” phase


Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition features as the second of 19 focus areas drawn up by Co-chairs of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ahead of its 10th session beginning on 31 March.

Summarising information shared during its first eight sessions, Co-chairs Macharia Kamau (Kenya) and Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary) also listed marine resources, oceans and seas as focus area 16, as the Member State-led Group moves from “stocktaking” to “consensus-building” mode between March and July 2014.


Other areas related to FAO’s mandate include: poverty eradication (focus area 1), Gender equality and women’s empowerment (focus area 5), Water and sanitation (focus area 6), energy (focus area 7), Employment and decent work for all (focus area 11), Sustainable consumption and production (focus area 14), Ecosystems and biodiversity (focus area 17).

The Co-chairs stressed that the document did not “constitute a zero draft of the report that the Group has been mandated to submit to the UNGA at its sixty-eighth session” in September 2014, but was “recommended for further consideration”.

FAO and other UN entities will now provide the Group with technical knowledge on goals and targets for focus areas related to their mandates, ahead of its 10th session. The Group will meet three more times  (5-9 May, 16-20 June and 14-18 July) before reaching agreement.

Mandated by the Outcome Document (The Future We Want) of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the report of the OWG to the UNGA is expected to play a significant part in the UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report, the precursor to final Member State negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.