As the end of the Northern summer nears, several of the issues that are likely to be prominent on the sustainable development agenda during the final months of 2012 are taking shape.
In particular, a number of recent events have begun shaping the process for establishing the post-2015 development agenda. The eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were based on the 2000 Millennium Declaration and agreed upon in 2005, will formally expire in 2015. Furthermore, delegates at the just-concluded UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) agreed to establish a process to identify Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To follow up on both accounts, the UN is establishing consultation processes to create a new, post-2015 development framework. These processes will include: a UN Task Team to initiate work and provide system-wide support; a High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons to evaluate the current framework and consider the post-2015 agenda; an intergovernmental working group responsible for designing the SDGs, based on the negotiations leading to Rio+20; and a series of global thematic consultations and national dialogues.
Stories in this issue of Linkages Update report on a number of these processes. For example, the UN Development Group (UNDG) has released guidelines for national-level, multi-stakeholder consultations to help define the post-2015 development agenda. And the UN Secretary-General has announced the appointment of the High-level Panel, as well as its Terms of Reference. The Secretary-General has also appointed Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria as Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning.
Climate change issues are likely to continue to figure prominently on the sustainable development agenda during the coming months. In the next two weeks, two meetings will help shape expectations ahead of the Doha Climate Change Conference, which is scheduled to take place at the end of 2012. The first meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 23-25 August 2012, followed soon after by the Additional Sessions of the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Groups, which are convening in Bangkok, Thailand, from 30 August-5 September. We will report on these events as they happen, though our Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) coverage of the additional sessions and our Climate Change Policy & Practice coverage of the GCF Board meeting. And our next issue of Linkages Update will again bring together recent events in a variety of fields, to help you keep track of the direction that the sustainable development agenda is moving.