The second meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development commenced today at the United Nations Headquarters. The theme for the forum this year is -“Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and charting the way for an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals”.
His Excellency Sajdik, opened the meeting by highlighting the significant role of Rio+20 conference in establishing processes that have been working together towards the Post-2015 agenda. The international community, therefore, should aim to bring the working elements together to form an integrated development agenda that speaks universally of all the member state citizens around the world. Mr. Bapna identified three characteristics of sustainable development as absolutely crucial: (i) An integrated agenda that recognises the social, economic and environmental dimensions as equally important, (ii) A universal agenda to truly tackle emerging global challenges and (iii) A transformative agenda with focus on governance.
Mr. Körösi emphasised that sustainable development is a contract among generations and a political commitment between countries, aimed towards long term changes. It is imperative that we impose discipline in order to set out a working mechanism between goal setting, designing the implementation process and conducting it. With regards to the working mechanism, Mr. Patriota posited that the member states are expected to translate the roadmap provided by Rio+20 into the Post-2015 agenda through establishing effective institutions.
Ms. Frankinet stressed that sustainable development requires an integrated approach; all the working steps must be built on expertise and cooperation. Both the political class and the public must be willing to take the SDGs implementation at the national and international level. Mr. Bhattacharya added that this integration, which essentially means combining the three pillars of sustainable development, can be achieved by the inclusion of a fourth pillar called ‘governance’ that will bind the three pillars together.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka drew attention to women empowerment and gender equality as being vital to achieving sustainable development. Women have been recognised as the enablers and beneficiaries of sustainable development goals and therefore, we cannot achieve integrated goals without considering gender equality.
Meeting Title: Moderated dialogue: “From Rio+20 to post-2015: towards an integrated and universal sustainable development agenda”
Panellists: His Excellency Martin Sajdik (Chair), President of the Economic and Social Council; Mr. Manish Bapna, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, World Resources Institute; His Excellency Csaba Körösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations and Co-Chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals; Her Excellency Bénédicte Frankinet, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations; His Excellency Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations; Mr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (Dhaka) and Chair of Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals; Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
Date: 30 June 2014
Location: Trusteeship Council, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Nusrat Laskar
Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon