I am contributing the following as an individual, though I have participated actively in the Commission on Sustainable Development and other UN processes for 15 years. I represent the Global Ecovillage Network, Association of World Citizens and Commons Action for the UN.
A process needs to be established to include all interested people in a collaborative process to ensure that the SDGs, Targets and Indicators are sufficient, address the right priorities, and are fully met. This means that civil society must be included much more proactively in the negotiations and decision making processes when the Goals, Targets and Indicators are actually determined and set.
The SDGs, Targets and Indicators should be based on the Rio Declaration and thus include a Rights Based Approach, the Precautionary Principle, Differentiated Responsibilities, Access to Information and Participation in Decision Making Processes, etc.
The SDGs, Targets and Indicators should be comprehensive in nature and sufficient to ensure that we fully meet and achieve all goals that have been made to date and in an urgent and timely manner. In addition, they should focus on transitioning as rapidly as possible to full sustainability; and should thus ensure that all people's basic human rights and needs can and will be fully met - thus going well beyond the MDG goals of reducing problems by half.
The UN should adopt a commons based approach and set up a High Level Panel to ensure that all of the above can and will be done and that it will lead to fulfilling all of the agreements that have been made to date
It would be a mistake to try to select a limited number of priority areas for the SDGs. All areas and sectors have to be seen as priorities and a solid case can probably be made as to why they are all essential. The SDGs must instead be comprehensive in nature and should focus on achieving all of the goals, agreements, and commitments on sustainable development that have been made to date.
Certainly all of the topic areas that have already been mentioned by governments are essential (as in the Stakeholder Forums' review of government input); and there are probably a number of additional topic areas that ought to be emphasized and mentioned as well, including adopting an integrated, multi-sectoral community based approach to sustainable rural and impoverished urban development; ecological building practices; elimination of toxic substances; and restoration of the natural environment.
While all countries and the UN ought to agree to focus on achieving all of the Goals and Targets that have been made to date, and thus a comprehensive universal listing of SDGs, Targets and Indicators, they can then be flexible in determining what each of them will set as immediate goals and put the most effort into achieving first or next. But all countries, communities and peoples should strive, and reflect periodically on their success in achieving, all of the SDGs, Targets and Indicators.
In regards to ensuring the participation of stakeholders in the process, certainly all of the various approaches that have already been mentioned by governments are essential; however in addition it is crucially important that the establishment AND achievement of the SDGs, Targets, and Indicators be fully integrated with all of the efforts to implement sustainable development. This should thus include in particular the Local and National Sustainability Strategies; 10YFPs and Local, Regional and National Action Plans on SCP; initiatives focusing on Education for Sustainable Development; Poverty Reduction Strategy Programs; Development Plans; and all other national and multi-lateral sustainable development agreements and processes. Civil society must then be involved in a participatory process to ensure that all of these efforts are integrated into one comprehensive framework that is sufficient to fully implement and achieve all of the agreements and commitments that have been made to date through the new SDGs, Targets and Indicators.
All of the principles that the UN Member States have already mentioned are essential; however it is just as essential that the Rio Declaration and Principles be accepted as a foundational basis upon which the new SDGs, Targets and Indicators must be based and achieved.
The Major Groups need to do everything possible to ensure that an adequate and ongoing Review Process is established and put in place, going will beyond what has been done to date.
The role of the new HLPF needs to be determined in regards to establishing, developing, overseeing, monitoring, assessing, and then continually improving the SDGs, Targets and Indicators process and implementation.
Again, it is essential that a Framework is adopted so that the SDGs, Targets and Indicators provide a basis for integrating, assessing, and improving everything that is being done in regards to sustainable development, at all levels and across the board, in a comprehensive manner and ensuring that all of the goals and commitments that have been made will finally be fully met.