The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, was an action-oriented conference focusing on implementation of sustainable development.
This newsletter aims to highlight the work carried out by Member States, United Nations system, Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders in implementing sustainable development and leading the way to the Future We Want.
Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals publishes Progress Report
The Open Working Group on sustainable development goals (SDGs) has arrived at an important moment of transition. “Almost one productive year has passed in which we have done some deep reflection together, and now we begin crafting a proposal on sustainable development goals”, said Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary and Co-Chair of the Group, at the conclusion of its eighth session, the last of the stocktaking phase, on 7 February.
A progress report which summarizes the eight sessions of this stocktaking phase has been published on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. Among other things, it outlines the substantive highlights of the Group’s work. A document with focus areas for the SDGs is also available on the Knowledge Platform.
The Open Working Group will start the consensus building phase of its work at its ninth session from 3 to 5 March, with a view to agreeing on a proposal on SDGs and targets for submission to the General Assembly at it sixty-eighth session. The first two days of the session will feature comments from and discussions by Member States. On the third day, the Group will have a joint meeting with the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Financing for Sustainable Development. The third day will also include a meeting between the Open Working Group and Major Groups of society.
Global Preparations for UN Conference on Small Island Developing States kick off
The first day of meetings in preparation for the third United Nations Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) began on 24 February at the Organization’s Headquarters in New York, with the signing of the host country agreement for the Conference by the Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa, H.E. Mr. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, and Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Conference.
The meetings took place from 24 to 26 February and discussed the main objectives of the Conference, whose theme is “sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships.”
“The challenges that small island developing States are facing are challenges that all countries should be concerned about,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo. “Climate change, rising sea levels, natural disasters and environmental degradation are affecting every country in the world in various degrees. Because of their unique location, small islands are particularly vulnerable, but they are also working hard to formulate solutions to these issues.”
The Conference, which will be held in September in Apia, Samoa, seeks to galvanize partnerships for action on issues such as climate change, oceans, waste, sustainable tourism and disaster risk reduction. In addition to the preparatory meetings, side events will be held addressing issues such as youth, national debt and environmental protection.
This year has also been designated the International Year of Small Island Developing States, with the objective of highlighting the economic, social and cultural contributions of this group of countries while also raising awareness of the Conference.
“The International Year will offer us the opportunity to highlight the particularly severe and complex challenges faced by small island developing States due to their special vulnerabilities and characteristics,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Year is also an opportunity to appreciate the extraordinary resiliency and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the people of Small Island Developing States – and to honour their many contributions to our world.”
A launch ceremony was held at UN Headquarters on 24 February with statements from high representatives from small island developing States as well as cultural performances from the three small island regions.
Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing meets for third session
The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing will hold its third session from 3-7 March 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York. While the session is closed, reserved to the Committee, an open interactive multistakeholder dialogue will be organized on Monday, 3 March 2014, from 3 to 6 pm.
The first part of this multistakeholder dialogue will consist of a briefing from the Co-chairs and thematic co-facilitators on the work of the Committee. The second part will see presentations from a panel composed of three to five representatives from NGOs, the private sector and other Major Groups engaged in the Rio+20 Conference and the Financing for Development process. This will be followed by an open dialogue around strategic questions related the Committee's work on thematic cluster 2 (mobilization of resources and their effective use) and cluster 3 (Institutional arrangements, policy coherence, synergies and governance issues), with the Committee experts, Member States, International organizations and non-state actors.
The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing was established in follow-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) with a mandate to prepare “a report proposing options on an effective sustainable development financing strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources and their effective use in achieving sustainable development objectives”. To this end, the Committee was tasked to asses financing needs, consider the effectiveness, consistency and synergies of existing instruments and frameworks, and evaluate additional initiatives.
More information, including summaries of the first two sessions, is available on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.