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Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport to advance transport solutions to climate change

The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport, meeting on the margins of the Paris Climate Conference, pledged to highlight the critical role that sustainable transport will play in addressing climate change.

"Transport is currently responsible for nearly a quarter of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions," said Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. "The Advisory Group can help make sustainable transport a part of the solution to the climate crisis." The 16 members of the Group asserted that through innovation—in operations and policy as well as in technology—the transport sector can lower emissions while ensuring access to markets, services and social interaction for people in all parts of the world.

More support needed for national implementation of Energy SDG, targets and indicators

A workshop on capacity development for mainstreaming energy sustainable development goals (SDGs), targets and indicators into statistical programmes in select Asian countries that took place from 17 to 19 November in Incheon, Republic of Korea, called for more international cooperation and support to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into national programmes.

One of the key insights of the workshop was that more capacity development activities are necessary in many countries on energy statistics in general and energy goals, targets and indicators in particular. Most country representatives stressed the need for additional international cooperation and support to ensure the minimum institutional capacity for a successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Country representatives also expressed concerns about the need to harmonize efforts across different ministries to ensure planning and implementation of sustainable development programmes in an integrated manner.

Scientists and researchers invited to submit science briefs

Scientists and researchers are invited to submit science briefs - concise, factual, peer reviewed, open access contributions - that highlight issues, research findings or solutions. This is a unique opportunity to bring scientific issues to the attention of policy makers. The briefs will inform the ongoing work on emerging issues in preparation for the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). All briefs that meet the requirements set out in the call will be made available on the GSDR website.

The Global Sustainable Development Report is a United Nations publication aiming to strengthen the science-policy interface at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), and provide a strong evidence-based instrument to support policymakers in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable development. With the establishment of the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2012, Governments have created an entry point for scientists across the world to be heard at the highest levels of the United Nations.

Small Island Developing States Partnership (SIDS) Framework

On 4 December 2015, the General Assembly's Second Committee adopted a draft resolution that foresees the establishment of a Small Island Developing States Partnership (SIDS) Framework, which is to monitor and ensure the full implementation SIDS partnerships. The framework is based on a set of recommendations which were prepared by the Division for Sustainable Development in close consultation with member States.

The SIDS Partnership Framework consists of:

  • Steering Committee - open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of the specialized agencies, chaired by one small island developing State and one State that is not a small island developing State, to be appointed by the President of the General Assembly
  • Organization on an annual basis of a Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue
  • Standardized partnership reporting template and process of SIDS partnerships, to be finalized by DESA.

The SIDS Partnership Framework also encourages national and regional partnership dialogues to be organized through existing forums and meetings.

Second Committee advocacy meetings

The Division for Sustainable Development, in partnership with the Office for ECOSOC Support, the Financing for Development Office and UNCTAD, has been hosting open bi-weekly briefings for major groups and other stakeholders from civil society regarding the agenda of the UN General Assembly Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) meetings. Member States have expressed a strong desire to see rationalization of the agenda of the Second Committee in order to play a vital role in guiding and supporting the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Participants from around the world have been taking part in these bi-weekly meetings through simultaneous online calls. Stakeholders have been using these briefings to learn more about how to engage and influence the work of the Second Committee. Please check our Twitter account (@SustDev) regularly to get information about these calls.

Major Groups and other Stakeholders participate in retreat hosted by ECOSOC President

The President of ECOSOC (Republic of Korea) invited three representatives of Major Groups and other Stakeholders to attend a high-level retreat hosted on 21-22 November to launch the discussions on modalities for the 2016 High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). A self-organized process led to the selection of Christopher Dekki (Children & Youth Major Group, Local Authorities Major Group), Naiara Costa (Beyond 2015) and John Romano (TAP Network), who attended this high-level retreat along with Member States and senior UN officials.

The three representatives maintained close coordination with the HLPF Working group, creating an online collaborative platform to gather inputs from colleagues and convening a pre-retreat briefing on 20 November, when colleagues in New York and elsewhere communicated their main recommendations for the HLPF architecture, according to the retreat’s agenda. Following the retreat, the MGOS representatives shared a retreat report, which was the main basis for a de-briefing session held on 2 December.

Join the SDGs natural language processing and data visualization challenge!

An open challenge to identify and visualize the relations among the recently adopted sustainable development goals (SDGs) has been launched by the Division for Sustainable Development and Unite Ideas. The challenge consists of building an automated tool that extracts from a set of UN publications all the messages that relate to the relationships between urban development (SDG 11) and all the other SDG areas, and then visualizes the results. The deadline is 20 January, 2016.

The winning solution will be announced on 15 February 2016. The best solution or solutions will be showcased on the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform and on the Unite Ideas website, and may be featured in the Global Sustainable Development Report.

United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

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