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Ninth Session of the Open Working Group (OWG) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

3-5 March 2014 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

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Highlights for Wednesday, 5 March 2014
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Dais during the joint meeting of the Open Working Group (OWG) and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF): (L-R) Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs; OWG Co-Chair Macharia Kamau; OWG Co-Chair Csaba Kőrösi; ICESDF Co-Chair Pertti Majanen; ICESDF Co-Chair Mansur Muhtar; David O’Connor, Division for Sustainable Development; Sangeeta Sharma, Secretary; and Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development
On the third and final day of the ninth session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), delegates participated in a joint meeting with the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) during the morning, and a session with Major Groups during the afternoon. During the joint meeting, the Co-Chairs of both bodies presented overviews of their work and members of each group raised questions for the other. Official development assistance (ODA) was among the issues discussed, on which OWG Co-Chair Kamau noted that that the challenges of global sustainability “go way beyond ODA,” though the debate is still centered around a North-South financing paradigm. Many speakers expressed their appreciation at the opportunity for the two groups to meet together, and suggested that additional joint meetings and informal discussions should be organized. Several countries stressed that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) should guide the design of the SDGs. Other countries said CBDR is not the overarching principle of SDGs. Delegates also discussed the role of ODA, the private sector, innovative financing possibilities, and the ICESDF’s mandate. One speaker cautioned that even “outside the box” thinking will be judged by “inside the box people.”

In the afternoon, Major Groups presented their reactions to the focus areas document. Among their proposals were to: firmly root the SDGs in human rights; base a health SDG on the achievement of the highest standard of health; call for free education at all levels; call for measuring water resource allocation and use in terms of sustainability and human rights; and include provisions to ensure legal identify and protect property rights.

During a discussion on the way forward, the Co-Chairs said they would provide the following inputs for the next session: a slightly amended focus areas document, reflecting the comments made by delegates at the current session, to be available by 19 March 2014; a matrix document, mapping how different focus areas could come together through interlinkages; a compendium document, describing existing targets that have previously been agreed; and a technical document, providing descriptions of the differences between goals, targets and indicators. OWG-9 adjourned at 5:49 pm.

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Conference Room 1 was packed during a joint meeting of the Open Working Group (OWG) and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF).
Delegates consulting before the discussion on “The Way Forward”

Funding for coverage of this Session has been provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
SDC

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Related Links
Session resources

*Session website and documents

*Draft programme of work

*Progress report of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs

*General information on SDGs

*Focus Areas of the SDGs

*Sustainable development knowledge platform website

*Website for the Eighth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 6-10 January 2014, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*Website for the Seventh session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 6-10 January 2014, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*Website for the Sixth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 9-13 December 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*Website for the Fifth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 25-27 November 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*Website for the Fourth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 17-19 June 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*Website for the Third session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 22-24 May 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*Website for the Second session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 17-19 April 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*Website for the First session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 14-15 March 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America


IISD RS resources

*Post-2015 Development Agenda Meeting Reporting

*IISD RS coverage from the Eighth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 3-7 February 2014, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*IISD RS coverage from the Seventh session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 6-10 January 2014, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*IISD RS coverage from the Sixth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 9-13 December 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Fifth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 25-27 November 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Fourth session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 17-19 June 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS summary report of the Arab Regional Implementation Meeting (RIM) on Rio+20 Outcomes, 29-30 May 2013, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Third session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 22-24 May 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS briefing note of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Meeting on Achieving Sustainable Development – “Integrating the Social, Economic and Environmental Dimensions”, 13 May 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS summary report of the Asia and Pacific Regional Implementation Meeting (RIM) on Rio+20 Outcomes, 22-24 April 2013, Bangkok, Thailand (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS summary report of the Second session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 17-19 April 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS summary report of the First session of the UNGA’s OWG on SDGs, 14-15 March 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS coverage of the Caribbean Forum: Shaping a Sustainable Development Agenda to address the Caribbean Reality in the 21st Century and Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20, 5-6 and 7-9 of March 2013, Bogotá, Colombia

*IISD RS summary report of the Eighth Session of the Committee on Food Security and Sustainable Development (CFSSD-8) and Africa Regional Implementation Meeting (Africa-RIM) in preparation for the Twentieth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable (CSD-20), 19-21 November 2012, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS coverage of Rio+20: Third PrepCom and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), 13-22 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

*IISD RS archive of sustainable development meetings

*UNCSD-L - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy

*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

*POST2015-L - A mailing list focused on internationally-relevant activities related to setting the post-2015 development agenda

*Post-2015 Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Post-2015 Development Agenda Activities

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
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