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Where do we stand at year one?
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015 marked a watershed year for sustainable development. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets are expected to stimulate action over the upcoming years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. The new agenda has exhibited unprecedented level of political will to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions and to shift the world onto a more sustainable and resilient path, building on the Millennium Development Goals and completing its unfinished business, with the participation of all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnerships. To ensure effective implementation for people, planet, and prosperity, real progress is what really matters.

This session will address the question “where we stand at year one”, guided by evidence and prominent thinkers. It will kick off the 2016 HLPF assessment of progress with a short presentation of the 2016 SDG Progress Report, prepared by the Secretary-General in cooperation with the UN System based on the global indicator framework and data produced by national statistical systems and information collected at the regional level. Prominent thinkers will then challenge us with inquiries on where we stand, drawing on the SDG Progress Report. Adopting policies to spur implementation is important, as well as adapting institutions and processes and engaging all stakeholders. However, we need monitoring and review at the national level to see where we are and how to steer our course. We also need follow-up and review at the global level. We only have fifteen years to get it right and we need to start now in year one to ensure that we leave no one behind, as highlighted in the theme of this year’s meeting of HLPF.

Possible questions for discussion:

  1. Drawing on the SDG Progress Report of the Secretary-General, what are your thoughts and comments on where we stand? How should we get to our baseline?
  2. As countries focus on integrating the SDGs and targets into their national plans, are there any new trends in the economic, social and environmental dimensions that the international community needs to take into consideration at year one? Good news or bad news?
  3. What have you witnessed in countries around the world so far as the most effective measures taken to ensure that no one is left behind? What make them effective?

Background document: This session will draw on the 2016 SDG Progress Report.

Chair:

  • H.E. Mr. Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC

Presentation of Secretary-General SDG Progress Report:

  • Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Moderator:
  • Ms. Paula Caballero Gomez, Senior Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank

Speakers:

  • Mr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue and Chair of Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals
  • Ms. Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Lead discussants:

  • Mr. Martin Tsounkeu, General Representative of the Africa Development Interchange Network
  • Mr. Jose Maria Viera, Human Rights and Development Policy Advisor at World Blind Union
Biographies
H.E. Mr. Oh Joon
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC
H.E. Mr. Oh Joon

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC

His Excellency Oh Joon was elected seventy-first President of the Economic and Social Council on 24 July 2015. Ambassador Oh is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York.

Mr. Debapriya Bhattacharya
Director and founder of Southern Voice
Mr. Debapriya Bhattacharya

Director and founder of Southern Voice

Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, a macroeconomist and public policy analyst, is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) – a globally reputed think-tank in Bangladesh – where he had been earlier its first Executive Director. He was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the WTO, UN Office, and other international organisations in Geneva and Vienna. He was the Special Adviser on LDCs to the Secretary General, UNCTAD. Earlier, he had been a Senior Research Fellow at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

He currently chairs two global networks, viz. Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals – a network of 49 thinks tanks from Africa, Asia and Latin America, serving as an open platform to stimulate and disseminate high-quality evidence-based analyses for discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related issues; and LDC IV Monitor – a partnership of seven think tanks and international organisations, seeking to contribute to effective implementation of commitments envisaged under the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs.

Dr Debapriya is engaged in high-level policy designing and advising for the national government and various bilateral and international development agencies at home and in a number of developing countries. He serves in the boards and working groups of a number of national, regional, and international development organisations and networks (e.g. Governing Board, BRAC International), and in the editorial board of reputed journals (e.g. Oxford Development Studies). His recent edited book is Southern Perspectives on the Post-2015 International Development Agenda, Routledge, London (2017).

He holds a PhD in Economics from Plekhanov National Planning Institute, Moscow and had been a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford. He held a number of overseas visiting positions including Senior Fulbright Fellow at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Washington DC.

Mr. Jose Maria Viera
Human Rights and Development Policy Advisor at World Blind Union
Mr. Jose Maria Viera

Human Rights and Development Policy Advisor at World Blind Union

Mr. Jose Maria Viera, Human Rights and Development Policy Advisor, World Blind Union
Mr. Viera has more than 15 years of experience working nationally and internationally in the field of human rights. As a person with a disability, Mr. Viera has a personal commitment to improving the lives of persons with disabilities and advocating for their human rights.

Currently, Mr. Viera is the Human Rights Policy Advisor and Coordinator for the World Blind Union, a global organization with broad international membership with 235 organizations at the sub-national and regional levels and in over 190 countries. In addition, Mr. Viera is a professor in the department of International Relations at Silo 21 University in Argentina as well as the President of the Federation of the Blind of Argentina.
Previously, Mr. Viera was director of the Latin American Regional Center for Disability Rights Promotion International, which is a global monitoring rights system. Recently, Mr. Viera completed his term as employment secretary of the Latin American Blind Union.

Mr. Viera holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a master’s degree in Management of Development. Mr. Viera has contributed to various publications and research projects on disability and development with a special focus on the Global South. Moreover, Mr. Viera has supported many national and international organizations of persons with disabilities in their advocacy work.

Mr. Martin Tsounkeu
General Representative of the Africa Development Interchange Network
Mr. Martin Tsounkeu

General Representative of the Africa Development Interchange Network

Mr. Martin Tsounkeu, General Representative of Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN) and Leading Consultant for the Bureau of Economic Technical and Commercial Studies (BETEC) in Cameroon, is a Researcher who specializes in Financing for Development (FfD), with focus on the role and inclusion of grassroots people.

Working on the MDGs and now the SDGs impact evaluation since inception, his experience of more than 30 years in Development Economics, Management, Corporate Structure, Supervision, Monitoring and Evaluation, include Civil Society activities in many International Work Groups (Trade-Finance, FfD, MDGs, Development Effectiveness, and Environment), in collaboration with the Commonwealth, the World Bank Group and UNDP.
He assisted the United Nations System in Cameroon for the Post 2015 Development process in 2013 and 2014, as National Coordinating Expert for the national and sub-national consultations.
He is author of several publications and studies: Chinese Investments In Cameroon: Examining the Trends, Challenges and Perspectives on the Environment And Communities" (WWF, 2014); Smallholders’ access to credit and financing in the basic agricultural value chains and risk management" (FAO, 2010) and "the China - Africa Cooperation and the peculiarities of the Chinese Development Assistance in Africa: The Case of Cameroon (AFRODAD, 2011).

Mr. Wu Hongbo
UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
Mr. Wu Hongbo

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Mr. Wu Hongbo was appointed United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on 1 August 2012. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Wu served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Federal Republic of Germany. Among his various diplomatic assignments, Mr. Wu served as China’s Ambassador to the Philippines.

Ms. Christiana Figueres
former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Ms. Christiana Figueres

former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Ms. Figueres has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995. Initially a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team, she was also a member of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism and Vice President of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties in 2008-2009.

In 1995 she founded the Centre for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA), a non-profit think tank for climate change policy and capacity-building, which she directed until 2003. Before that, she served as Director of the Technical Secretariat, Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA).

Ms. Figueres began her life of public service at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Germany in 1982. She also served as Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Planning in Costa Rica (1987-1988), and was Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture (1988-90).

Ms. Figueres has served on many boards of non-governmental organizations involved in climate change issues. She is a widely published author on the design of climate solutions, has been a frequent adviser to the private sector, and lectures at many universities and colleges.

Ms. Figueres holds a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. She was born in San José, Costa Rica in 1956 and has two daughters.

Ms. Paula Caballero Gomez
Senior Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank
Ms. Paula Caballero Gomez

Senior Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank

Ms. Paula Caballero Gomez, Senior Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank; Former Director for Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia.

Prior to joining the World Bank in July 2014 as Senior Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, Paula Caballero was the Director for Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. In this role, she managed the team responsible for formulating foreign policy on a broad range of sustainable development issues including climate change, biodiversity, land degradation, fisheries, agriculture and transboundary systems, working closely with a wide array of national and international counterparts. She was a leading voice and negotiator in international fora, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Post 2015 framework. She was awarded a Zayed International Prize for the Environment in 2014 for her contribution to “environmental action leading to positive change.”

Statements
Opening Session
Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs