Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
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A renewed global partnership for development
In today's increasingly integrated world, the post-2015 development agenda must be conceived as a truly global agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries. The world has changed fundamentally since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration. It is faced with new challenges and opportunitie...

Embedding the Environment in Sustainable Development Goals
One of the principal outcomes of Rio+20 was the call to produce a set of universally applicable sustainable
development goals (SDGs) that balance the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable
development. This Paper provides advice and guidance on how environmental sustain...

Energy: A Brief Discussion on Goals, Targets and Indicators
Sustainable Energy is a key enabler of sustainable development for all countries and all people. Energy is vital for alleviating poverty, improving human welfare and raising living standards. Energy has been a central concern to humankind throughout its long history. The adequate provision of energy...

Finance for Food Security and Rural Development: Challenges and Opportunities
Poverty remains largely a rural problem. Globally, about 1.2 billion people live on less than US$1.25 a day. About 870 million people suffer from hunger. And 76 per cent of the world’s very poor people live in rural areas. Most of them are excluded from the formal financial system.

An inclu...

Global Development Goal Setting as a Policy Tool for Global Governance: Intended and Uintended Consequences
Global development goals have become increasingly used by the United Nations and the international community to promote priority global objectives. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most prominent example of such goals, but many others have been set since the 1960s. Despite their promi...

Global Goals as a Policy Tool: Intended and Unintended Consequences
Despite the increasing use and influence of global goals, little has been written about goal setting as a particular type of policy instrument in global governance. According to the UN intellectual history project (jolly et al, 2009), goal setting originated in the 1960s and made a major contributio...

How to build sustainable development goals: integrating human development and environmental sustainability in a new global agenda
Combining human development and environmental objectives is firmly on the agenda for a new set of global priorities after 2015. The High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons endorsed this approach in the Monrovia communiqué, outlining a vision for a new development agenda that is “people centred and plane...

IUCN VIEWS ON THE POST 2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
This document summarises the points the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers essential in the discussion on the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Separate IUCN position papers and policy briefs on specific issues are under developme...

Sustainable development goals for people and planet
Planetary stability must be integrated with United Nations targets to fight poverty and secure human well-being, argue David Griggs and colleagues.

The United Nations Rio+20 summit in Brazil in 2012 committed governments to create a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) that would be ...

The Global Conversation Begins
Emerging views for a new development agenda

The United Nations and partners have launched an unprecedented series of consultations with people the world over to seek their views on a new development agenda to build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This g...

UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda
Review of the contributions of the MDG Agenda to foster development: Lessons for the post-2015 UN development agenda

This note is not about providing new detail to the observed progress made towards the MDGs; rather, it aims to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the MDG agenda in steeri...

Sign in for Member States
Rio+20 - the Future We Want
248. We resolve to establish an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process on sustainable development goals that is open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly. [...]

One of the main outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, was the agreement by Member States to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Rio+20 did not elaborate specific goals but stated that the SDGs should be limited in number, aspirational and easy to communicate. The goals should address in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development and be coherent with and integrated into the UN development agenda beyond 2015. A 30-member Open Working Group (OWG) of the General Assembly is tasked with preparing a proposal on the SDGs.

The Open Working Group was established on 22nd of January 2013 by decision 67/555 (see A/67/L.48/rev.1) of the General Assembly. The Member States have decided to use an innovative, constituency-based system of representation that is new to limited membership bodies of the General Assembly. This means that most of the seats in the OWG are shared by several countries.

The Rio+20 outcome document The Future We Want states that, at the outset, the OWG will decide on its methods of work, including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system in its work, in order to provide a diversity of perspectives and experience.

In its first session, the Open Working Group elected two co-chairs. The OWG is co-chaired by Mr. Csaba Kõrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary, and Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya.
Paragraph from Rio+20 - The Future We Want
Reference
B. Sustainable development goals

245. We underscore that the Millennium Development Goals are a useful tool in focusing achievement of specific development gains as part of a broad development vision and framework for the development activities of the United Nations, for national priority-setting and for mobilization of stakeholders and resources towards common goals. We therefore remain firmly committed to their full and timely achievement.

246. We recognize that the development of goals could also be useful for pursuing focused and coherent action on sustainable development. We further recognize the importance and utility of a set of sustainable development goals, based on Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, which fully respect all the Rio Principles, taking into account different national circumstances, capacities and priorities, are consistent with international law, build upon commitments already made, and contribute to the full implementation of the outcomes of all major summits in the economic, social and environmental fields, including the present outcome document. The goals should address and incorporate in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development and their interlinkages. They should be coherent with and integrated into the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, thus contributing to the achievement of sustainable development and serving as a driver for implementation and mainstreaming of sustainable development in the United Nations system as a whole. The development of these goals should not divert focus or effort from the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

247. We also underscore that sustainable development goals should be actionoriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. We also recognize that the goals should address and be focused on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development, being guided by the present outcome document. Governments should drive implementation with the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders, as appropriate.

248. We resolve to establish an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process on sustainable development goals that is open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly. An open working group shall be constituted no later than at the opening of the sixty-seventh session of the Assembly and shall comprise 30 representatives, nominated by Member States from the five United Nations regional groups, with the aim of achieving fair, equitable and balanced geographic representation. At the outset, this open working group will decide on its methods of work, including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system in its work, in order to provide a diversity of perspectives and experience. It will submit a report, to the sixty-eighth session of the Assembly, containing a proposal for sustainable development goals for consideration and appropriate action.

249. The process needs to be coordinated and coherent with the processes to consider the post-2015 development agenda. The initial input to the work of the working group will be provided by the Secretary-General, in consultation with national Governments. In order to provide technical support to the process and to the work of the working group, we request the Secretary-General to ensure all necessary input and support to this work from the United Nations system, including through establishing an inter-agency technical support team and expert panels, as needed, drawing on all relevant expert advice. Reports on the progress of work will be made regularly to the General Assembly.

250. We recognize that progress towards the achievement of the goals needs to be assessed and accompanied by targets and indicators, while taking into account different national circumstances, capacities and levels of development.

251. We recognize that there is a need for global, integrated and scientifically based information on sustainable development. In this regard, we request the relevant bodies of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates, to support the regional economic commissions in collecting and compiling national inputs in order to inform this global effort. We further commit to mobilizing financial resources and capacity-building, particularly for developing countries, to achieve this endeavour.

Member states represented in the Open Working Group:

African Group
  1. Algeria / Egypt / Morocco / Tunisia
  2. Ghana
  3. Benin
  4. Kenya
  5. United Republic of Tanzania
  6. Congo
  7. Zambia/Zimbabwe
Asia-Pacific Group
  1. Nauru / Palau / Papua New Guinea
  2. Bhutan / Thailand / Viet Nam
  3. India / Pakistan / Sri Lanka
  4. China / Indonesia / Kazakhstan
  5. Cyprus / Singapore / United Arab Emirates
  6. Bangladesh / Republic of Korea / Saudi Arabia
  7. Iran (Islamic Republic of) / Japan / Nepal
Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
  1. Colombia / Guatemala
  2. Bahamas / Barbados
  3. Guyana/Haiti/Trinidad and Tobago
  4. Mexico / Peru
  5. Brazil / Nicaragua
  6. Argentina / Bolivia (Plurinational State of) / Ecuador
Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
  1. Australia/Netherlands/United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  2. Canada / Israel / United States of America
  3. Denmark / Ireland / Norway
  4. France / Germany / Switzerland
  5. Italy / Spain / Turkey
Eastern European Group
  1. Hungary
  2. Belarus / Serbia
  3. Bulgaria / Croatia
  4. Montenegro / Slovenia
  5. Poland / Romania
Technical Support Team Issues Briefs
UN System Technical Support Team

The Rio+20 outcome document The Future We Want requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to ensure all necessary input and support to the Open Working Group from the United Nations system, including by establishing an inter-agency technical support team.

This UN System Technical Support Team (TST) consists of over 40 UN entities and works under the umbrella of UN System Task Team on the post-2015 development agenda.

Co-chairs: UN-DESA and UNDP

Publication
Realizing the future we want for all
The first report from the UN system on the Post-2015 Development Agenda - Realizing the Future We Want for All - recommends that new goals should build on the strengths of the Millennium Development Goals, apply to all countries, and be based on the fundamental principles of human rights, equality, and sustainability.

Statistical Notes
The below drafts have been prepared in coordination with experts from member states (UN Statistical Commission Friends of the Chair Group on Broader Measures) and from relevant UN agencies.


List of participating UN entities
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