Lebanon
Input to Questionnaire related to the development of Sustainable Development Goals

    Questions and responses
    1. Please list a limited number, preferably between five and ten, of the important priority areas that must be addressed through the SDGs to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development

    1. Reforming institutions
    2. Environmental sustainability
    3. Economic development, social protection, regional equity
    4. Peace development and citizenship
    5. Crisis management
    6. Security

    2. How might the SDGs strive to balance the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development?

    a. Reflect social, economic and environmental dimensions within each SDG, possibly through the associated targets

    Lebanon is witnessing major changes in both its governance and developmental paradigms as the Arab uprisings have brought forth a set of imminent priorities that can no longer be ignored. These priorities include equitable growth, generation of employment, meaningful participation, especially for youth and women, and sustainable development for a prosperous and peaceful future.
    Lebanon believes that there is a need to address the root causes of the economic crisis that can be linked to the global economic systems and processes.

    b. Integrate the MDGs, suitably modified/updated for post-2015, into a larger sustainable development framework

    c. Expand MDG7 (‘environmental sustainability’) into a number of goals with a natural/environmental resource dimension (water, food, energy, etc.)

    d. Other (please describe)

    3. Based on your experience with MDGs or other existing goals, what would be the key use of SDGs for your country (select at most two)?

    Key use #1

    b. Influencing national budget allocations

    Key use #2

    b. Influencing national budget allocations

    If g. Other (please describe)

    4. How can “universally applicable” SDGs be made practically relevant for countries at different levels of development? (Please refer to your country’s situation as appropriate.)

    Despite abundance in capacity and knowledge in both the private and public sectors, efforts to achieve sustainable development in Lebanon have not being fully effective due to the absence of formal inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral mechanisms of coordination and collaboration. Rio+20 serves as an opportunity for Lebanon to reverse these trends and create concrete policies on sustainable development. Such policies would not only advance environmental concerns, but look at the comprehensive integration of the three sustainable development pillars –environment, economy and social affairs- to formulate a long-term national strategy. In doing so, the standard of living for its citizens can be elevated and sustainable peace and development can be promoted.

    5. The SDGs are supposed to be “global in nature”. Should targets associated with those goals be:

    a. common to all countries

    If c., please explain how:

    6. Which existing goals and targets (e.g., MDGs, goals/targets in Agenda 21, JPOI) do you think should be incorporated - perhaps in updated form - in a proposal for sustainable development goals?

    - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
    - Ensure environmental sustainability
    - Develop a global partnership for development

    7. What specific steps can be taken to ensure that the SDGs are coherent with and integrated into the UN development agenda beyond 2015?

    - Rethink the global economic model to alleviate to disparities between North and South and between East and West;
    - Reform the institutional framework for sustainable development by significantly increasing UNEP’s financial base;
    - Reaffirm the need to establish a global environmental court to investigate deliberate attacks on nation-states, similar to the one done by the Israeli Air Force in the July 2006 war; and
    - Reiterate support for Palestinians’ right of return to remedy untenable living conditions for millions of refugees.

    8. How should assessments of progress toward the achievement of the SDGs be carried out at the global level?

    - Share sustainable development gaps and opportunities
    - Overview the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (Rio +20) and the region’s position with regard to its objectives and themes
    - Discuss the country’s existing sustainable development strategies in the context of the upcoming Rio+20 conference on sustainable development and beyond
    - Develop recommendations to achieve goals and address challenges in national sustainable development strategy planning
    - Facilitate networking between professionals with different types of expertise

    9. What measures should be taken to make the process of developing a proposal for SDGs inclusive and participatory? How should civil society and other relevant stakeholders be engaged?

    In countries emerging from conflict, sustainable development is particularly relevant. First, conflict weakens institutional linkages, both within government itself and between state and civil society. As sustainable development revolves around the integration of economy, environment and society, it is vital to strengthen cooperation within the government and with outside actors.

    10. What principles should underpin the development of the SDGs? (the UN TT report, for example, recommended adding (i) reducing inequalities and (ii) promoting human rights (iii) ensuring sustainability);

    - Unify message and coordinate efforts before Rio+20
    - Endorse the implementation of sustainable development principles at Rio+20
    - Integrate sustainable development into national policies post Rio+20
    - Institutionalize a coordinative body to align governmental vision and ministerial work.

    11. How should a new Global Partnership for Development be constructed within or around the SDGs?

    - highlighting the importance of integrating the pillars of sustainable development, outlines the green economy as one of the tools available for practitioners to utilize and provides guidance on upgrading the institutional framework.
    - Invest in the environment, help grow your economy
    - Identify a National Vision on Sustainable Development

    12. Do you have any other observations, ideas or inputs you would like to offer to inform the initial work of the open working group on sustainable development goals?

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    Submitted by: Mahasin Rahhal
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