United Nations, New York Headquarters, 4 April 2014
On Friday, April 4, 2014, the Tenth session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals concluded in two meetings discussing the final two clusters established by the co-chairs: (1) Means of implementation/Global partnership for sustainable development and (2) Peaceful and non-violent societies, rule of law and capable institutions.
In the morning, the OWG debated what means of implementation entailed and whether or not it should be included as a stand-alone goal. Representatives from Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; Barbados, also on behalf of CARICOM; Peru; Brazil, also on behalf of Nicaragua; Argentina, also on behalf of Bolivia and Ecuador; and others all advocated for mainstreaming methods of implementation into every goal. However, Representatives from Iran, Sweden, India, Egypt, the Republic of Korea, and others demanded that means of implementation be a stand-alone and cross-cutting goal. Many representatives implored that topics like technology transfer, overseas development aid, and data collection be considered under means of implementation. With regards to common-but-differentiated-responsibility (CBDR), representatives from Poland, also on behalf of Romania; France, also on behalf of Germany and Switzerland; Japan; and India reiterated the understanding that it should only apply to environmental issues.
During the afternoon meeting, debate about including the peace, non-violent societies, and rule of law continued from previous sessions. Many countries expressed that peace, while necessary for development, should not be included in the SDGs. A Representative from Nicaragua expressed that peace was that realm of the Security Council and would detract funding from other interest. However, others reflected that peace is a necessary goal, which could focus on many domestic factors, like reducing organized crime, guaranteeing access to birth registration, and ending discrimination.
At the conclusion of the afternoon meeting, H.E. Macharia Kamau proposed a way forward for the OWG, which includes another session of consultations one the revised focus areas. A Representative from Colombia requested that the following meeting be more interactive and less monologue-statement driven. Further, many representative requested that the new focus areas document be dispersed as soon as possible and translated into many languages in order to facilitate discussions with national governments. H.E. Kamau stated the new document will be dispersed by Friday, April 18th, and translations will be available after that time.
Full Meeting Title – 9th and 10th Meetings of the Tenth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Key Speakers – H.E. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Kenya to the UN, Co-Chair of the OWG on SDGs; H.E. Csaba Körösi, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Hungary to the UN, Co-Chair of the OWG on SDGs
Written by WIT Representative: Katherine King