The 12th Session of the Open Working Group on the SDGs Begins

Following rounds of informal consultations last week, the twelfth session of the open working group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was convened by the member state delegations at the United Nations headquarters today. The agenda of this Open Working Group was to discuss the 17 goals and 212 targets as proposed in the zero draft of the SDGs that would succeed the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

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The relation between the efforts at the national and international levels was drawn upon to emphasize the importance of incorporating the national efforts into decision-making at the international level in order to produce a crisp final document. The global goals and targets in the post-2015 agenda, therefore, should not be solely a result of collective action at the international level; it should also reflect the progress made by individual member states in their national development towards the SDGs.

The Minister of Germany, H.E Dr. Maria Böhme, while acknowledging the solid basis the SDGs would provide for our society and its future generations, challenged the draft on its strategies and approaches. Though the global goals outlined contain a number of good targets, they lack transformative strategies for environmentally friendly goals. Also, the primary focus on economic and social goals leaves other equally vital aspects neglected, such as the much-required visionary and holistic approach.

Both the delegations of the EU and G77 laid stress on the importance of maintaining universality and a balance between the three dimensions of the SDGs: the environmental, social, and economic. They suggested that the international community must count on each other’s support in order to move forward.

The representative of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) called attention to the need to provide modern energy technology to LDCs on a preferential basis. LDCs will have to quadruple their efforts to enhance energy efficiency in order to keep up with the doubling of efforts at the global level. The international community should recognize the particular challenges faced by the LDCs and thus, the LDCs need enhanced global support and an appropriate mechanism for the achievement of the SDG goals and targets.

Meeting Title: Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (12th session)
Speakers: Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations; Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative Hungary to the United Nations
Date: 16 June 2014
Location: Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Nusrat Laskar
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

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