Major Groups Recommendations for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement with the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
As part of the Rio+20 Conference follow up, governments stated that they would establish the 30 member inter-governmental Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by September 2012. Member States will nominate representatives from the five United Nations regional groups, with the aim of achieving fair, equitable, and balanced geographic representation. In addition, paragraph 248 of The Future We Want, instructs the United Nations “to establish an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process on sustainable development goals that is open to all stakeholders”.
Thus, in order to adhere to the requirements of The Future We Want and maximize its effectiveness, the OWG needs to ensure that it has recognized, effective and ongoing engagement of stakeholders.
Therefore, we, the nine Major Groups established in 1992 for the Rio process on sustainable development, offer recommendations on how to ensure that the deliberations of the OWG will draw on broad multi-stakeholder input and expertise thus ensuring that the SDG processes and decisions are “inclusive and transparent”.
This paper builds on the central role the Major Groups played in Rio+20 processes and is being submitted to DESA in the spirit of our continued engagement in this area. This paper will also be sent to the President of the UN General Assembly and to the Permanent Representative of the Brazilian Mission to the UN for information.
As decisions on the modalities and governance of decision-making processes (such as the OWG) will begin in earnest in October 2012, this note offers recommendations on how multi-stakeholder engagement can ensure that
the SDG processes and decisions are “inclusive and transparent” as Rio+20 called for.
Finally, we offer these recommendations in recognition that civil society and other stakeholders’ ”Major Groups” will need to be involved in designing, implementing and evaluating sustainability, and therefore have a stake
in developing the SDGs. This requires the full and fair facilitation and representation of multi-stakeholder input to the OWG and other relevant processes for the post-2015 development agenda.