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.
High-level Political Forum to boost efforts for sustainable development
On 9 July 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the format and organizational aspects of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, which will replace the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.
The Forum will aim to advance sustainable development. It is to ensure a place for sustainable development high in the attention of world leaders, and ultimately to stimulate timely and effective follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference, taking into account the post-2015 development agenda. It also provides a new opportunity to ensure that all the dimensions of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - are brought together in a coherent way.
“Establishing the Forum marks a major step forward in implementing ‘The Future We Want,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Forum can provide the political leadership and action-oriented recommendations we need to follow up on all the Rio recommendations and meet urgent global economic, social and environmental challenges. Countries must do their utmost to realize the Forum's potential."
“We are simply not doing enough to meet the fundamental challenges of our time: to end extreme poverty in this generation and significantly narrow the global gap between rich and poor, without inflicting irreparable damage to the environmental basis for our survival,” said UN General Assembly President Vuk Jeremić. “The new Forum must be more than just a meeting place—it must be the place where countries and civil society generate the momentum for change.”
The first meeting of the HLPF will take place on Tuesday, 24 September 2013.
A study that reviews the history of Major Groups' and other stakeholder's engagement with the Commission on Sustainable Development and other UN processes was published on 26 July 2013. It outlines successes as well as difficulties and lessons learned from this experience, and goes on to suggest that the best practices be replicated in developing modalities for the newly established High Level Political Forum.
The study is titled “Strengthening Public Participation at the United Nations for Sustainable Development: Dialogue, Debate, Dissent, Deliberation” and is based on interviews and desk reviews. It finds support for the Major Groups framework accompanied by a need to address serious issues and concerns with its working. Commissioned by DESA/DSD Major Groups programme, it presents options and recommendations for consideration by Member States, the UN, Major Groups and other stakeholders.
UN experts discussed Future Generations with a global audience
A Panel of five experts from DESA's Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), DESA's Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) and UNICEF answered questions on Future Generations from a global audience during a two-hour Facebook chat on 15 July 2013.
At the Rio+20 Conference in June last year, the UN Secretary-General was invited to prepare a report on promoting intergenerational solidarity for the achievement of sustainable development, taking into account the needs of future generations. The team currently working on the report participated in the chat both to hear stakeholders' views regarding this subject, and also to give insights into their current thinking on it. About 50 questions were answered by the experts during the two hours of live chat.
The panel of experts was composed of David O'Connor, Chief of the Policy and Analysis Branch, DSD; Friedrich Soltau, Sustainable Development Officer, DSD; Katia Vladimirova, DSD; Marta Roig, Social Affairs Officer, DSPD; and Martin Evans, Economic & Social Policy Analyst, Child Poverty at UNICEF.
Caribbean, Pacific and AIMS regions prepare for major conference in 2014
Three regional preparatory meetings for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place in the Caribbean, Pacific, and AIMS (Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea) regions in July.
The meetings provided an opportunity for SIDS from each region to gather and discuss regional priorities and concerns identified in the course of the national consultations. Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, Secretary-General for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, attended the meetings. The outcome documents of the meetings will be available on the SIDS Conference website shortly.
SIDS delegates from all three regions will come together in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 26-28 August for an inter-regional preparatory meeting. The inter-regional meeting provides the opportunity for delegates to crystallize a unified SIDS position and agenda that they will take into the global preparations for the Conference.
The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa.