The eleventh session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place from 5-9 May 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, and Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary, continued in their roles as Co-Chairs of the OWG, with participation from Member States and Major Groups for the third of five sessions in the OWG’s second phase, which is seeking to narrow down preferences expressed during a year-long “stocktaking” phase to develop a report on preferred sustainable development goals and targets.
OWG-11 delegates commented on a list of 16 “focus areas” and approximately 150 potential targets related to each focus area, which had been distributed by the Co-Chairs two weeks before the session. Following the discussion of focus areas related to the “unfinished business in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”—poverty eradication, food security, education, health, gender, and water—Co-Chair Kőrösi noted general agreement that these concepts should be included as goals in the new framework. The discussion on “newer” issues, such as climate change, ecosystems, oceans, sustainable consumption and production, energy, industrialization, infrastructure and economic growth and employment, human settlements, means of implementation, peaceful societies, and rule of law, revealed that delegates still have not settled whether these focus areas should be included in the framework and whether some of the areas should be combined or divided.
Delegates also discussed how the OWG should continue its work, including through four points of order that were raised on the first day. Some preferred to begin direct negotiations immediately and to hold intersessional negotiations. Others highlighted the number of participants attending from capitals and supported the Co-Chairs’ guidance under the current process.
At the close of OWG-11, Co-Chair Kamau proposed that the next draft of the working document would include an additional focus area—equality—and would contain many more draft targets. He said informal-informals would convene the week before each of the two remaining OWG sessions, and delegates should be prepared to discuss the working document target by target. The next draft is expected to be available at the end of May, in advance of OWG-12 in June.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OWG
During the UN Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, governments agreed to launch a process to develop a set of SDGs. They called for establishing an OWG that is transparent and open to stakeholders, and comprised of 30 representatives from the five UN regional groups, nominated by UN Member States, to elaborate a proposal for SDGs. They also called on the OWG to submit a report to the 68th session of the Assembly, containing a proposal for SDGs for consideration and appropriate action.
The Rio+20 outcome document outlines, inter alia:
• the importance of remaining firmly committed to the full and timely achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and of respecting all Rio Principles, taking into account different national circumstances, capacities and priorities;
• the SDGs should be action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries, and focused on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development;
• the need to ensure coordination and coherence with the processes considering the post-2015 development agenda, and to receive initial input to the OWG’s work from the UN Secretary-General in consultation with national governments;
• the need to assess progress towards the achievement of the goals, accompanied by targets and indicators, while taking into account different national circumstances, capacities and levels of development; and
• the importance of global, integrated and scientifically-based information on sustainable development and of supporting regional economic commissions in collecting and compiling national inputs to inform this global effort.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) endorsed the outcome document, titled The Future We Want, in resolution 66/288 on 30 November 2012.
UNGA DECISION ESTABLISHING THE OWG (67/555): On 22 January 2013, the UNGA adopted a decision establishing the membership of the OWG as allocated to the five UN regional groups. According to the annex to the decision, six seats are held by single countries: Benin, Congo, Ghana, Hungary, Kenya and Tanzania. Nine seats are held by pairs of countries, as follows: Bahamas/Barbados; Belarus/Serbia; Brazil/Nicaragua; Bulgaria/Croatia; Colombia/Guatemala; Mexico/Peru; Montenegro/Slovenia; Poland/Romania; and Zambia/Zimbabwe. Fourteen seats are held by trios of countries, as follows: Argentina/Bolivia/Ecuador; Australia/Netherlands/UK; Bangladesh/Republic of Korea/Saudi Arabia; Bhutan/Thailand/Viet Nam; Canada/Israel/US; Denmark/Ireland/Norway; France/Germany/Switzerland; Italy/Spain/Turkey; China/Indonesia/Kazakhstan; Cyprus/Singapore/United Arab Emirates; Guyana/Haiti/Trinidad and Tobago; India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka; Iran/Japan/Nepal; and Nauru/Palau/Papua New Guinea. One seat is shared by four countries: Algeria/Egypt/Morocco/Tunisia.
UNGA SPECIAL EVENT TOWARDS ACHIEVING THE MDGS: The High-Level Special Event took place on 25 September 2013 at UN Headquarters in New York. The Outcome Document of the event determined that the work of the OWG will feed into international negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, beginning in September 2014, and that a Global Summit will be held in September 2015 to agree on a new UN development agenda.
FIRST EIGHT SESSIONS OF THE OWG: The OWG held its first eight meetings between March 2013 and February 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York. During the first meeting (14-15 March 2013), participants shared their initial views on both the process and substance of the SDG framework. During the second meeting (17-19 April 2013), delegates focused on the overarching framework of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and cross-sectoral issues including: governance; gender equality and women’s empowerment; human rights and rights-based approaches; and means of implementation. Delegates at OWG-2 also discussed the Programme of Work for 2013-2014, and the following six OWG sessions focused on the issue clusters that were identified in this document.
The issue clusters for which the OWG conducted a “stocktaking” review were as follows:
• OWG-3 (22-24 May 2013): food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation and drought, and water and sanitation;
• OWG-4 (17-19 June 2013): employment and decent work for all, social protection, youth, education and culture, and health and population dynamics;
• OWG-5 (25-27 November 2013): sustained and inclusive economic growth, macroeconomic policy questions (including international trade, international financial system and external debt sustainability), infrastructure development and industrialization, and energy;
• OWG-6 (9-13 December 2013): means of implementation (science and technology, knowledge-sharing and capacity building), global partnership for achieving sustainable development, needs of countries in special situations, African countries, least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and small island developing states (SIDS) as well as specific challenges facing middle-income countries, and human rights, the right to development, and global governance;
• OWG-7 (6-10 January 2014): sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport, sustainable consumption and production (including chemicals and wastes), and climate change and disaster risk reduction; and
• OWG-8 (3-7 February 2014): oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity, promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance.
OWG 9 and 10: Based on the first eight sessions of the OWG, the Co-Chairs released a “stocktaking” document on 14 February 2014 and a “focus areas” document on 21 February 2014. The 19 focus areas, which were the basis for discussions at OWG-9 (3-5 March 2014), were: poverty eradication; food security and nutrition; health and population dynamics; education; gender equality and women’s empowerment; water and sanitation; energy; economic growth; industrialization; infrastructure; employment and decent work for all; promoting equality; sustainable cities and human settlements; sustainable consumption and production; climate; marine resources, oceans and seas; ecosystems and biodiversity; and means of implementation; and peaceful and non-violent societies, and capable institutions.
The Co-Chairs released a revised focus areas document for consideration at OWG-10 (31 March-4 May 2014). OWG-10 featured the first extended discussion of possible targets to accompany each focus area, with over 300 targets presented by Member States and Major Groups. Based on the OWG-10 discussions, the Co-Chairs released a “working document” on 18 April, to guide delegates’ preparation for OWG-11. The new document contained 16 focus areas and approximately 150 targets. The Co-Chairs also prepared a document they titled “Encyclopedia Groupinica,” which contains all of the proposals presented during OWG-10.
On Monday, 5 May 2014, OWG Co-Chair Kamau opened the session and called attention to the compilation documents prepared ahead of the meeting, which he said offer a record of what has been presented and will provide a resource for the post-2015 process. He said the OWG is working towards the development of a zero draft, the outlines of the goals are taking shape, and the biggest gaps are in refining the targets. He emphasized that the OWG needs to refine the targets, limit their number to a manageable amount, and address the universality of the goals and targets. Kamau also said a chapeau would be drafted, focusing on the main principles that give direction and historical context to the SDGs.
Co-Chair Kőrösi informed the OWG that there would be representatives from UN agencies and other experts at side events during the week to provide advice for members on the formulation of targets and indicators. Kamau urged OWG members to listen to the input of Major Groups and other stakeholders, noting that they provide a window to the world outside this room. He also suggested viewing the working document in its aggregate, not by each separate focus area, to determine whether the entire effort will support a “sustainable pathway” to 2030.
A number of delegates offered general comments on the working document and the OWG’s working methods throughout the discussion on Monday. Bolivia, for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), called for a more direct method of deliberation, to ensure a Member State-driven process. He proposed that the Co-Chairs commence and facilitate negotiations among all Member States. Saudi Arabia, in a point of order, expressed concern that the working document does not reflect a number of his delegation’s views.
The European Union (EU) called for all focus areas to address inequality and access to services for the most vulnerable and marginalized. He supported a strong gender focus area and gender analysis of data in all focus areas. On sustainable consumption and production (SCP), he called for decoupling economic growth from resource use, and expressed support for the “life-cycle approach” and “circular economy.” He said climate change should be visibly integrated in any post-2015 framework. He called for two separate focus areas on: transparent and accountable governance and rule of law, and peaceful and inclusive societies free from violence. He welcomed references to diverse actors in the section on global partnerships and means of implementation, citing the need for a common, comprehensive approach to financing development beyond 2015. He added that the Group’s current working methods would help it to reach a successful outcome. Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, cautioned against “artificial confrontations” that will create deadlock.
Lesotho, for the African Group, reiterated the importance of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and differing national capacities. Argentina raised a point of order, asking what the procedure would be for this meeting and recalling the OWG’s report needs to be negotiated by Member States. She said the focus areas on sustainable agriculture, economic growth, industrialization, SCP, and means of implementation are unacceptable.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, called for CBDR to be reflected in the text, along with tangible deliverables for developed and developing countries. Tanzania regretted that the working document merges infrastructure and equality with other focus areas, and called for “extreme caution” to avoid losing or distorting proposed elements.
In a point of order, South Africa expressed concern that delegations are restating their positions and hoped for more direct interactions. He called on the Co-Chairs to give the 30 members of the Group a chance to take charge of the process. Co-Chair Kamau noted that Saudi Arabia had cited the 70 constituents of the OWG, South Africa suggested the 30 members, and others have supported participation by all 193 UN Member States. He said the Co-Chairs would propose the way forward at the end of the week.
Nauru, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said the goals and targets should reflect the special circumstances of SIDS and other vulnerable groups. Israel, also for Canada and the US, said countries should set their own level of ambition, leaving “x%” and “y%” references in the targets. He called for addressing persons with disabilities, and said gender disaggregated data will make this agenda a powerful tool for women’s empowerment. Switzerland, also for France and Germany, said the preparatory documents showed that all voices had been heard, and the Co-Chairs can guide the Group to its conclusion.
India said the outcome needs to clear three tests: differentiation, universality and multilateralism. Egypt, also for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, noted that CBDR disappeared from the document and called for informal consultations between OWG-11 and OWG-12. Iran said the chapeau should note the importance of national ownership of development.
Japan preferred the current “inclusive and transparent” working format, and expressed concern about delegates from capitals left out of intersessional meetings. Regarding differentiation, he asked about the definition of developed and developing countries, and noted that some countries have moved from the latter to the former.
Belarus recalled his proposal for a goal on families with targets related to comprehensive national family policies and strategies, national programmes and initiatives that promote quality of life, sharing of responsibilities by men and women, and efforts to promote the value of the family among youth.
A representative of the UN Statistics Division said that, where targets are not quantified, statisticians can aggregate national targets into a global target, so global measurement can take place even if the national level sets targets first. He said global targets risk being interpreted as national targets, even when not applicable.
Bolivia said some targets may be impossible to realize and should not be included, such as zero net land degradation by 2030. Tunisia called for a stand-alone goal on equity at the national and international levels. He requested a preliminary assessment of the SDGs’ financial requirements to help decide whether to add specific global targets. In a point of order, Guatemala asked the Co-Chairs to explain how they have embedded each focus area with universality and differentiation, and the three pillars of sustainable development.
Austria said human rights provide a legal framework and minimum threshold in the progressive realization of rights. He urged that targets measure qualitative progress, not only quantitative. He suggested including people with disabilities in the focus areas on poverty eradication, health and employment, and proposed a separate goal on children. He said CBDR should under no circumstances be expanded to the SDGs or the post-2015 development agenda as a whole, but should be limited to its original context of environmental degradation.
FOCUS AREA 1. POVERTY ERADICATION, BUILDING SHARED PROSPERITY AND PROMOTING EQUALITY
On Monday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, expressed concern about merging inequality with poverty, calling for reinstating a single focus area on reducing inequality.
Lesotho, for the African Group, said means of implementation (MOI) could include: predictable and adequate financing for developing countries, mechanisms to reduce the root causes of poverty, policy space, and global trade and investment rules to address constraints facing developing countries.
Guyana, for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), asked for clarification on which communities were addressed in the target on building resilience of the poor, including reducing economic losses related to disasters.
Benin, on behalf of LDCs, suggested setting a target to end a specified percentage of people living below poverty lines by 2030. He suggested widening the scope of risks and shocks beyond “disasters.”
Papua New Guinea, for Pacific SIDS (PSIDS), Nauru and Palau, said the goal on poverty eradication will underpin the success of the SDGs and cannot be achieved without attention to ocean ecosystems. He said the reference to full and productive employment should reference “appropriate remuneration.”
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, called for eradicating poverty for those who live above the poverty line but remain highly vulnerable. Zambia, on behalf of LLDCs, called for targets that speak to the special needs and challenges of LLDCs. She suggested that the integration of goals and targets in the three pillars could be elaborated in a chapeau.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, proposed new targets on official development assistance (ODA), policy space, and global trade and investment rules.
Guatemala, also for Colombia, said eliminating the impact of poverty in all its dimensions is a key goal, as is attention to inequality.
Ireland, also for Denmark and Norway, said: targets under the headline goal of poverty should build on the standards and principles of human rights; measurement of poverty must go beyond measurement of income; and strategies for economic growth must be inclusive and sustainable.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, said “equality” should not be limited to the title of the goal and suggested a target for the income growth of the bottom 25% to be x% higher than the national average by 2030.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, welcomed the target to build resilience to natural disasters. Israel, also for Canada and the US, proposed reference to improvements in accuracy and lead-time of disaster warnings and forecasts.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, said MOI should include policy space, debt sustainability, and ODA, and called for a separate target on decent work.
Singapore, also for Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), emphasized the need for disaggregated data across focus areas to address inequality. He suggested adding a reference to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Mexico, also for Peru, stressed social inclusion.
Romania, also for Poland, welcomed the text on disaster reduction and proposed adding “inheritance” of land and property.
Australia, also for the UK and the Netherlands, suggested eliminating discrimination in laws, reducing inequalities between groups, empowering groups, and promoting differentially high per capita income growth for those at bottom.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, proposed eradicating extreme poverty “in all its forms,” and underlined the need for a target on inequality.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, suggested changing “achieve full and productive employment” to “eliminate barriers to productive employment.”
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, supported a goal on eradicating extreme poverty, fighting inequality, and building resilience, including a target on inequality at both national and international levels, including between rural and urban populations.
Viet Nam, also for Bhutan and Thailand, underlined the multidimensional aspects of poverty and the importance of building societies resilient both to natural disasters and to economic and social shocks.
India said text on disasters could be moved to the focus area on settlements, and supported rights to “productive resources” rather than land, property and other productive assets.
Egypt, also for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, suggested removing “secure rights to own land and property” and replacing them with “access to productive resources.” He said achieving “full and productive employment for all” is not pragmatic.
Japan suggested separate numerical targets for reducing deaths and reducing economic losses from disasters. Pakistan suggested reducing to half by 2030 the intensity of poverty based on nationally determined indices. Palau said they will develop indicators on animals, which can be drivers of resilience in times of disasters. Bangladesh said the text should call for secure access to “productive resources” rather than specifying land, property and other productive assets.
The Republic of Korea said eradicating extreme poverty, reducing the proportion of people living below national poverty lines, and social protection are the minimum requirements for this focus area. He proposed a new target on the role of culture in eradicating poverty.
Bolivia suggested the language “productive and dignified employment and decent work.” Tunisia suggested new targets on: return of foreign stolen assets; transparency in management of natural resources; taxation; and international movement of persons.
Cuba suggested: adding “by 2030 reduce wealth and inequality between nations by x%;” replacing “most marginalized” with “most vulnerable;” adding “ensure that adequate policy space is given to countries by international organizations to protect their agricultural producers;” and discussing resilience to disasters in Focus Area 10 (Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements).
Costa Rica suggested referencing “decent” work, not just full and productive employment, for all. Sweden suggested adding reference to the right to own and inherit land.
Rwanda emphasized the need to curb inequalities, and recognize CBDR. Ethiopia proposed text calling for building resilience of the poor and reducing losses from disasters by “protecting livelihoods including livestock” and said secure rights to own productive “resources” rather than “assets” should be called for.
El Salvador asked whether the targeted percentage reduction for the proportion of people living below national poverty lines is to be determined nationally or internationally.
FOCUS AREA 2. SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION
On Monday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, highlighted eliminating subsidies, market access, differentiating between developing and developed countries with regard to the responsibility for reducing food waste, and the “financialization of the food sector” and its role in food price volatility. He said this focus area should include eliminating hunger and food insecurity.
Lesotho, for the African Group, said the title should be: “Promote sustainable agriculture and achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all.” He outlined 11 new or revised targets, including agro-industrialization; livelihood of small farmers and fishers; agricultural research; post-harvest losses; market access for African countries; and a land degradation neutral world (LDNW). MOI could address: public financing and transfer of technology for sustainable agriculture; regulating commodity markets to address food price volatility; trade distorting subsidies; and adequate policy space for loans and aid to the agricultural sector.
Benin, on behalf of LDCs, proposed adding text on supporting regeneration of natural ecosystems and achieving a LDNW. He suggested calling for tripling agricultural productivity by increasing access to irrigation, among other mechanisms, and exploring the feasibility of a system of stockholding food to address humanitarian emergencies and price volatility.
Papua New Guinea, for PSIDS, Nauru and Palau, proposed adding a reference to sustainable fisheries to ensure food security, and called for appropriate support for agricultural scientific education.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, supported a goal on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture, based on the right to food. He said the issue of food price volatility had been unjustly removed from the working document.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, called to: create two separate targets on reducing the global rate of food loss, and reducing the global rate of global food waste due to unsustainable lifestyles; and replace the reference to climate-smart agriculture with “sustainable agriculture.” He suggested new targets on: agricultural productivity, food price volatility, productive capacity of small farmers, clean and environmentally sound technologies, loans and aid to farmers, and market access for small farmers and fishers.
Ireland, also for Denmark and Norway, stressed including elements of food and nutrition security in addition to agriculture, such as sustainable ecosystems and addressing climate change, and reflecting the role that seafood plays in food security.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, said chemicals are not bad when they are used appropriately, and suggested removing a reference to reducing their use. He proposed reducing the global rate of food loss and global rate of food waste due to unsustainable lifestyles in developed countries, and immediately phasing out export subsidies.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, supported the references to climate, chemicals and energy in this focus area.
Nauru, for AOSIS, stressed the vulnerability of net food importers, and called for insurance schemes for farmers and fishers.
Israel, also for Canada and US, suggested titling this focus area “End hunger and raise proportion of well-nourished children.”
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, said MOI in this area should address trade distorting subsidies, clean and environmentally sound technologies, and seed patenting. In her national capacity she said reducing intensity in use of water, energy and chemicals is difficult in the context of raising yields.
Singapore, also for Cyprus and the UAE, proposed referencing anemia and adding a target on food education. Mexico, also for Peru, called for increasing agricultural and fishing production. Romania, also for Poland, said under- and over-nutrition should be addressed. Australia, also for the UK and the Netherlands, suggested addressing the needs of pregnant and lactating women, and increasing open, fair markets.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, proposed targets to reduce water use and to increase by 50% the use of renewable energy.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, highlighted sustainable fisheries and aquaculture production. Switzerland, also for France and Germany, suggested including over-nutrition and obesity, favored the Rome-based Agencies’ wording on secure tenure of land and property, and stressed the importance of climate resilience and food waste and losses.
Viet Nam, also for Bhutan and Thailand, recommended promoting stable crops that are high in micronutrients. On MOI, he proposed supporting the involvement of the private sector and reducing distorting subsidies.
India said there should be targets to address food price volatility and address access to agricultural markets. He said food loss and food waste are different concepts and should not be in the same target, and suggested deleting a reference to “climate-smart agriculture.” He proposed MOI to give developing countries adequate policy space and avoid rules that create barriers to market access.
Egypt, also for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, recommended: mentioning the right to food; connecting resilience for the poor with technological and financial support for developing countries; and differentiating between food loss and food waste.
Saudi Arabia opposed references to reducing intensity in use of resources in the context of increasing food productivity. Iran supported shortening the subtitle to “End hunger and improve nutrition for all.” Japan suggested referring to anemia in pregnant and lactating women, and a new target on research and development to increase agricultural production.
Pakistan suggested calling for doubling food production, noting that access will follow suit. Palau said over-nutrition, including obesity, should be addressed in a target. Bangladesh said he was not sure what “climate-smart agriculture” was and suggested deleting the reference. Bolivia suggested reducing dependence on genetically modified seeds, stressed that inputs should be environmentally sound, and said developed countries bear a greater responsibility for food waste. He opposed the term “climate-smart agriculture,” saying lowering emissions is not the focus of the Group’s food and poverty discussion.
Tunisia said MOI could address policy space for food security, support for net food importing developing countries; and small farmers’ access to markets and financial services.
Iceland, on behalf of Benin, Burkina Faso, France, Liechtenstein, Germany, Mongolia, Namibia and Qatar, offered comments related to land and soil throughout the focus areas, and proposed adding calls to reduce “land degradation by x%” and “unsustainable land-use change by y%.” He suggested changing a call for “sustainable land-use policies by 2020” to have in place “sustainable land management.” He suggested moving the target on LDNW to this focus area, and to incorporate a target on capacity-building measures to restore or rehabilitate degraded land and reverse land degradation into the focus area on MOI.
On sustainable agriculture and food security, Cuba recommended: deleting text on the intensity of use of water, chemicals, and energy; and adding “due to unsustainable life styles” in regards to food loss and waste.
Costa Rica suggested adding references to reducing agricultural subsidies that distort trade, and to add “sustainable technologies” to the list of inputs to which small farmers and fishers should have access to by 2030.
Sweden suggested reducing the use of water by x%, “toxic” chemicals by y%, and energy by z% by 2030, and supported reformulating the target on climate-smart agriculture to get clear linkages between climate change and its effects on agriculture.
El Salvador underlined the need to address the issues of genetically modified organisms and intellectual property rights. Nigeria called for the elimination of agricultural subsidies and trade terms that distort the agricultural sector. Barbados, for CARICOM, called for a target on eliminating harmful subsidies, and said MOI could address food safety nets, food price volatility, and water supply systems.
Focus area 3. Health and Population Dynamics
On Tuesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, called for recruitment, training, and retention of health workers. He said universal health coverage and sexual and reproductive health and rights will require policy space for developing countries to ensure investment in health budgets.
Lesotho, for the African Group, said the health SDG should “ensure quality, adequate, affordable, accessible and comprehensive health services for all.” He suggested targets on life expectancy, zero infant and child mortality, and local pharmaceutical manufacturing. He proposed MOI, including capacity building, modern methods of family planning, and enforcing traffic rules.
Trinidad and Tobago, on behalf of CARICOM, called for a 25% reduction in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2025, delinking NCDs and mental health issues, financing for rural health centers, and capacity building.
The Netherlands, also for Australia and UK, supported the proposed health targets, while adding references to persons with disabilities, readiness to learn, and skills that support employment and economic growth.
Nicaragua, also for Brazil, welcomed health targets building on the unfinished business of the MDGs, and proposed MOI including ensuring access to basic medicines, support for research, and improving the health infrastructure in developing countries. Montenegro, also for Slovenia, emphasized universal health coverage, access to medicines and vaccines, universal sexual and reproductive health services, long-term care for ageing populations, and mental health services.
Zimbabwe, for Southern African States, suggested keeping child mortality to under 20 deaths per 1,000. She said diarrhea should be included in the list of epidemics to be ended by 2030, “quality” medicines are important, and food contamination and tobacco-related health conditions should be highlighted.
Canada, also for the US and Israel, said the target on reducing maternal mortality should have a focus on skilled health attendants, the target on NCDs could be framed around healthy life expectancy, and the target on universal health coverage should not include “financial risk protection.”
Peru, also for Mexico, suggested including marginalized and vulnerable groups in the target on epidemics. He called for a separate target on preventing NCDs, and proposed that the reference to family planning include “acceptable” modern methods.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, stressed the need for access to health and sexual and reproductive rights.
Indonesia, also on behalf of China and Kazakhstan, called for attention to the affordability of generic medicines and improved health infrastructure.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, welcomed proposed health targets on universal health coverage, reaching vulnerable groups, reducing maternal mortality rates, promoting and protecting women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, and reducing the irrational use of antibiotics.
Norway, also for Denmark and Ireland, questioned whether access to medicine should be treated as a target or MOI. She also stressed the need to focus on the social and environmental determinants of health.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador: suggested deleting a reference to promoting mental health; supported addressing drug and substance abuse from a health perspective; and proposed text on increasing life expectancy, including for vulnerable groups, and MOI to support research on diseases in developing countries and improved health infrastructure.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, said the focus area should be people-centered and equity-focused. He called for access to quality health services, protection from impoverishment from health costs, and addressing drug abuse, among others.
Guatemala, also for Colombia, called for making medicines and vaccines accessible to all, supported the target on indoor and outdoor air pollution, and said MOI could include a reference to the Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Singapore, also for Cyprus and the UAE, supported referring to mental health, qualifying the target on reproductive health as “within national circumstances,” and adding a target on halving the number of fatalities from traffic accidents.
Thailand, also for Bhutan and Viet Nam, highlighted universal health coverage and stressed: affordable, essential medicines and vaccines; sexual and reproductive health and services based on the universally recognized right to health; emotional, psychological and mental health; and global road traffic accidents.
Serbia, also for Belarus, said affordable access to medicine is important.
Palau highlighted “well-being” as the aspirational goal of sustainable development, which is more than the absence of disease or disability. He said implementing the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control would help to control many NCDs.
Benin, for LDCs, preferred all targets to be time-bound. He said his group would insist on “the right to physical and mental health, including sexual and reproductive health,” which is the agreed language contained in the Istanbul Programme of Action. He called for targets on reducing migration and remittance costs.
Japan prioritized universal health coverage, including the provision of basic services in a comprehensive manner, and financial risk protection. Uruguay called for prioritizing sexual and reproductive health, increasing efforts to address NCDs, international cooperation, and technology transfer. Bangladesh highlighted the importance of: treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, immunization, and access to affordable medicines. He called for deletion of “sexual and reproductive health.”
Costa Rica said the title should reference “well-being,” the main target should be universal health coverage, and mental health should be incorporated. Pakistan proposed reducing human and economic losses from water-borne diseases, and MOI on the cost of acquiring international patents on essential medicine. Saudi Arabia expressed strong reservations on including reproductive and sexual rights and universal sexual education.
Cuba suggested a target to decrease the differences in life expectancies among countries, and MOI to ensure access to affordable medicines. The Republic of Korea stressed the importance of universal health coverage with attention to the most marginalized. Iran supported: changing “marginalized” to “vulnerable;” adding a target for the affordable transfer of vaccines to developing countries; and establishing an early warning mechanism for transboundary health issues.
Romania, also for Poland, supported a goal on health, well-being and population dynamics. Austria emphasized universal access to quality, comprehensive, integrated, and affordable sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, as well as universal health coverage. Sweden called for quantitative targets, said financial risk protection is an important part of the target on universal health coverage, and medicines must be safe and effective, not just affordable. She called for adding the rights dimension to the target on sexual and reproductive health.
Nigeria called for targets on migration, youth employment, and reducing the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock. Poland supported the current wording on sexual and reproductive health.
Egypt proposed deleting “comprehensive” in the reference to sexual and reproductive health, in accordance with the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). He said MOI could include access to affordable medicines and flexibility provided by TRIPS on producing generic medicines.
Malaysia called for a target to reduce road traffic injuries globally by 50% by 2030. Greece called for promoting mental health and well-being, persons with disabilities, and sexual and reproductive health.
FOCUS AREA 4. EDUCATION AND LIFE-LONG LEARNING
On Tuesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, said the SDGs should place more emphasis on measurable learning outcomes and qualified teachers, not just the number of children receiving an education.
Lesotho, for the African Group, said targets should address migrants, persons with disabilities and indigenous people, and investment in learning infrastructure. African countries are strongly attached to tertiary education, he added.
Trinidad and Tobago, for CARICOM, called for including references to job markets and internationally-agreed targets
Nicaragua, also for Brazil, proposed widening the target. on access to education to reference all vulnerable groups, and called for expanded higher education scholarships for students in developing countries.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, called for a focus on life-long learning and adult education to be better reflected.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, suggested a separate target on 100% educational completion rates.
Canada, also for the US and Israel, favored a focus on outcomes, including that children start primary school “ready to learn.” He suggested a separate target on secondary education with access for every child regardless of circumstance, to encompass those traditionally marginalized.
Peru, also for Mexico, said free and compulsory primary education was needed, and that learning outcomes must be considered in designing concrete targets. He suggested that the target on curricula include “with an intercultural approach.”
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, called for a target on education and learning for all as a basic human right, while reflecting the importance of education for the labor market and jobs.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, said the education goal should mention the “poor and most vulnerable” and persons with disabilities. She called for SCP and information and communication technologies (ICT) issues to be included in curricula.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, said a stand-alone education goal should be focused on younger generations, and improve the quality of education for all with a life-long perspective.
Denmark, also for Norway and Ireland, emphasized access to quality education, making schools safer for girls, and promoting early childcare and pre-primary education.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, suggested a target to implement curricula that eliminate gender stereotypes and address disabilities, and MOI for scholarships in science, engineering and management.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, said this goal should be framed around accessibility, acceptability, adaptability and availability. He said education should include issues of climate change, wise use of biodiversity, and nutrition, and should seek to eliminate gender stereotypes in curricula.
Guatemala, also for Colombia, suggested linking education and the labor market, and adding MOI targets on capacity building. Singapore, also for Cyprus and the UAE, suggested a reference to life-long learning. Bhutan, also for Thailand and Viet Nam, supported a target on enhancing teaching quality, and a global partnership on education as an MOI.
Serbia, also for Belarus, highlighted life-long learning, and suggested a target that by 2030 all learners would be taught by qualified and trained teachers. Palau suggested a “physically and mentally” safe and healthy learning environment for all students. Benin, for LDCs, said MOI could include student exchange programmes, access to digital libraries, modern facilities, equipment and qualified teachers.
Japan called for particular attention to be paid to education for sustainable development.
Uruguay suggested an education goal for compulsory and free primary and secondary quality education for girls and boys. He called for eliminating all forms of discrimination.
Bangladesh stressed the need for a balance on both input and outcome. He supported a separate target to ensure that education policies integrate the special requirements of vulnerable groups.
Costa Rica said schools should provide “physical and mental dimensions” of safe and healthy learning environments. Pakistan suggested reintroducing a target to ensure that every child regardless of circumstance has access to lower secondary education. Cuba proposed a reference to access to labor markets for persons with disabilities.
The Republic of Korea said education should be ensured for at least ten years, and proposed references to education for social and communication skills, and education on global citizenship. Romania, also for Poland, supported providing “physically and mentally” safe learning environments.
El Salvador said persons with disabilities and youth migrants should be taken into account in indicators, peace should be included in curricula, and teacher training should be addressed. Sweden supported quantitative targets that are met by everyone, and proposed a new target that all adolescents reach their knowledge requirements after completing compulsory schooling.
Nigeria said MOI could include skills and technology sharing between developed and developing countries. Poland welcomed references to marginalized groups and persons with disabilities.
Egypt cautioned against using controversial concepts that do not enjoy international agreements, both in this area and the focus area on health. Greece proposed a reference to the important link between education and employment. Austria called for mention of vocational training, equal access to education at all levels, freedom from violence in schools, and eliminating gender stereotypes in the curriculum.
FOCUS AREA 5. GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
On Tuesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, reaffirmed its position on eliminating all forms of gender-based violence, promoting equal opportunities for women in decision-making, and equal access to services and education for women and girls.
Barbados, for CARICOM, called for a more specific target on education of women and girls, and incorporation of education quality. Zimbabwe, for Southern African States, suggested changing the reference to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights to the ICPD-agreed language.
Colombia, also for Guatemala, said the target on unpaid care work could be merged into the target on equal employment opportunities and equal pay for women. Speaking in her national capacity, she supported keeping the reference to sexual and reproductive rights.
Papua New Guinea, also for Palau and Nauru, PSIDS and Timor-Leste: called for support services to victims of gender-based violence; highlighted women and girls’ right to education; and suggested revising the target on child, early and forced marriage to include all harmful practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM).
Nigeria, for the African Group, called for eliminating FGM and early marriage, improving healthcare services for women, and ensuring access to and ownership of land and other productive assets. He said unpaid care work relates to societies’ value systems.
Peru, also for Mexico, and on behalf of the Group of Friends of Financial Inclusion, highlighted access for women to banks and other financial services. Slovenia, also for Montenegro, said: mainstreaming of gender through all focus areas should be strengthened; and boys and men need to take part in eliminating discrimination. Ireland, also for Denmark and Norway, proposed adding a reference to FGM, and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive rights.
The UK, also for the Netherlands and Australia, suggested promoting economic empowerment of women, ensuring equal rights to own property, and integrated gender across each focus area. In response to the Co-Chair’s inquiry about why he did not mention target dates in his proposals, the UK said the targets should be accomplished now, not in 2030.
Cyprus, also for Singapore and the UAE, supported targets on ending discrimination and violence against women and girls, but called for more comprehensive actions to make the targets more feasible. She called for the elaboration of affordable childcare and flexible working arrangements.
Israel, also for Canada and the US, supported targets on ending violence, access and control of natural resources, early and forced marriage, and gender disaggregated data. She said targets on access to education and employment could be covered by separate goals. The US and Israel supported focusing on universal sexual and reproductive health.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, proposed including targets on: gender-discriminating policies and practices; impunity for gender-based violence; asset ownership and inheritance; and participation and leadership in decision-making.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, urged reflecting the outcomes of the 58th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 58) in the targets. He proposed addressing all forms of harmful practices including FGM. On unpaid care work, he suggested promoting public awareness and shared responsibility.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, called for addressing the structural causes of gender inequality, which she said include: violence, early and forced marriage, the wage gap, unpaid care work, and unequal participation in decision-making.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, said CSW 58 should form the basis of this focus area, and suggested the title: “Achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and human rights of women and girls.” He called for, inter alia, eliminating FGM and honor crimes, and a new target on the engagement of men and boys in promoting gender equality.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, supported: referencing the full realization of human rights of women and girls in the title; eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spaces; equal sharing of unpaid work by 2030; and maintaining consistency with the Rio+20 outcome on the target on reproductive health.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, suggested combining the targets on ending all forms of discrimination and ending violence against women and girls. She supported text on universal access to health services in accordance with ICPD text.
Thailand, also for Bhutan and Viet Nam, supported adding text to ensure older women’s rights.
Bangladesh supported targets to end discrimination and violence against, and to promote equal education and jobs for, women and girls. He called to delete targets on early and forced marriage, unpaid care work, and disaggregated data.
Poland proposed targets to either “promote and protect sexual and reproductive health” or increase “access to sexual and reproductive health services,” and supported reflecting this issue under only one focus area. Japan suggested consolidating targets on education, employment, natural resources, and data into other goals. India said access should focus on productive assets, said “early” marriage is too hard to define, noted the cultural foundations of unpaid care work, and said the target on gender disaggregated data would receive support if capacity building is provided.
Iran said the target on sexual and reproductive health and rights should not go beyond the agreed language in the Beijing Declaration and ICPD. Romania suggested adding harmful practices including FGM, and noting the right to own and inhered property, land and other productive resources and assets.
Saudi Arabia said there is no agreement on the target on universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, so it should be deleted. He called for more clarification on the control of assets.
Tunisia said a human rights perspective is not enough to achieve gender equality, and women in vulnerable situations, such as foreign occupation, need support. He proposed: MOI to support rural development including modernizing basic infrastructure; ensuring women’s access to modern forms of communication technologies; and protection of mothers’ human rights.
Nepal and Maldives supported a stand-alone goal on gender. Peru, also for Mexico, said the target on ending all forms of discrimination should refer to “all social, economic and cultural conditions” as well.
Malta suggested that: the target on equal access to education should refer particularly to the primary and secondary levels; the target on reproductive health should be “in accordance with the ICPD;” and the term “reproductive rights” is problematic.
Latvia called for a reference to girls’ empowerment to be added to the goal and all focus areas. El Salvador called for the merging of targets on ending violence and discrimination against women, saying that they should be indicators, not targets. Costa Rica called for language to strengthen the participation of women in political processes and decision-making, and for improving access to care facilities to reduce the burden of unpaid care work.
Sweden called for all references to 2030 to be deleted from the targets, as “non-discrimination is in accordance with human rights law and needs to be complied with immediately.” She called for addressing the burden of unpaid care work, universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and disaggregation of data by sex.
Finland called for putting women’s rights at the center of the agenda. She urged a stronger focus on human rights across the framework, as this would help eliminate discriminatory legislation and practices, and increase attention on the needs and rights of girls.
Iceland, also for New Zealand and Liechtenstein, cited CSW 58’s support for a stand-alone goal on this focus area and for integrating it through the targets and indicators of all other goals.
Egypt supported a stand-alone goal on gender equality. On the target on sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights, he suggested adding “in accordance with the ICPD.”
Austria suggested adding “girls” to the target on ending discrimination, and including “sexual rights.” He proposed including to “value, reduce and redistribute” unpaid “care and household” work.
Portugal said the target on reproductive health should be under the health focus area. She also said targets and indicators will be essential to track implementation, and suggested adding a target on the engagement of boys and men to achieve the empowerment of women.
The Holy See said the Rio+20 outcome makes no mention of “reproductive rights” and added that the target calling for equal participation and leadership of women in decision-making in public and private institutions should be deleted.
Uganda supported a stand-alone goal on gender equality, and said access to assets and resources should focus on factors of production. Greece suggested a reference to access to financial and banking services, property rights and markets.
Ethiopia supported including inheritance, and would add “conflict and disaster affected settings and environmental management” to the target on women’s participation and leadership. She supported a mention of harmful practices and FGM.
Qatar expressed concern that proposals on family policies were not reflected in the working document. On sexual and reproductive health and rights, she suggested avoiding issues that do not enjoy universal agreement.
Nigeria supported a stand-alone goal. He said the 2030 target date could be counterproductive, preferring to eradicate the problems as early as possible. He shared concerns about the references to unpaid care work and early marriage, and shared the view of the Holy See on the target on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
FOCUS AREA 6. WATER AND SANITATION
On Tuesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, called for equitable and safe access to drinking water that is managed in an integrated manner. He called for support for developing countries through financial resources and technology transfer.
Barbados, for CARICOM, noted the absence of a substantive target on sanitation, supported targets on water quality and supply, and welcomed a reference to disaster risk reduction (DRR).
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, proposed a target on providing water for productive sectors, especially agriculture and industry.
Colombia, also for Guatemala, said the document had lost the balance between water and sanitation, and suggested a target or MOI on infrastructure and facilities for sanitation.
Papua New Guinea, also for Palau and Nauru, PSIDS and Timor-Leste, suggested adding mitigation and adaptation measures, and called for education, skills and transfer of appropriate, affordable technology for water and sanitation.
Nigeria, for the African Group, proposed new targets to: increase rural and urban coverage, improve sanitation to 100% by 2030; and reduce mortality and economic loss from natural and human-induced water-related disasters by x%.
Slovenia, also for Montenegro, welcomed the inclusion of wastewater treatment.
Denmark, also for Ireland and Norway, suggested adding references to: adequate water, sanitation and hygiene; water-use efficiency in energy as well as agriculture; and equal access to water as a productive resource.
The UK, also for the Netherlands and Australia, proposed adding references to access for people with disabilities, increasing safe reuse of water, and strengthening equitable, participatory water governance.
Cyprus, also for Singapore and the UAE, said sanitation is under-represented in the working document, and proposed a target to end open defecation.
Israel, also for Canada and the US, supported proposals for a separate target on ending open defecation and access to sanitation. He also emphasized: wastewater treatment, water use efficiency, and waste reduction.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, called for a goal on “Water and Sanitation for All.” He proposed deleting the target on water efficiency, and adding “regeneration of ecosystems” in a target on sustainable supply.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, cited the right to potable water and sanitation, and the need for investment in infrastructure and technology. On water harvesting and storage, he noted the diversity of solutions.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria: considered safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right; called for the first target to include eliminating open defecation; and highlighted the need for water governance to be participatory, equitable and accountable.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, prioritized targets highlighting the importance of: reducing inequalities in service levels; water quality; water quantity; integrated water resources management (IWRM); protecting ecosystems; and reducing the impact of water-related disasters arising from climate change.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, said water-use efficiency should refer to all productive sectors and not just agriculture, and proposed adding a target to reduce by x% unsustainable consumption of water in developed countries. He noted that the Rio+20 outcome does not refer to transboundary cooperation.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, said ODA will remain important for this issue, supported water-use efficiency in all sectors and not just agriculture, suggested moving the target on investment in water harvesting and storage technologies to the MOI section, and supported an MOI target to expand international support for sewage technologies.
Thailand, also for Bhutan and Viet Nam, said the water cycle should be taken into account, targets should protect water resources from overexploitation, and local communities should be engaged when responding to disasters.
Bangladesh supported the water goal, called for additional reference to rural communities, and reference to enhanced global partnership for MOI.
Poland supported targets on safe and affordable drinking water and hygiene, water efficiency, and a balance of the three dimensions of sustainable development.
Japan supported most targets, although suggested that wastewater management be replaced with “wastewater treatment.”
India said setting objectives will not ensure that they are reached, as developing countries face challenges of scale, capacity, and resources. He supported a separate target on sanitation and deleting transboundary cooperation, and preferred “reducing” instead of “eliminating” pollution.
Iran echoed the call for a multilateral perspective. He did not support a focus on transboundary cooperation. He said MOI could include access to multilateral financial resources for developing countries, and affordable access to relevant knowledge, science, technologies and innovations.
Romania expressed support for this area as a stand-alone goal. She suggested a reference to disabilities in the target on universal access, making IWRM participatory, and adding a focus on protecting and restoring forest and mountain ecosystems.
Tunisia suggested reducing the number of countries facing water scarcity and the number of people below the water poverty line through specified targets, noting that these issues are closely linked to peace and security at the international level.
Nepal supported a stand-alone goal on water. Peru, also for Mexico, supported retaining a DRR target, and suggested building water and drainage projects to appropriate hazard resistance standards. Latvia called for universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, especially for women and girls.
El Salvador said access to water should be for “all,” rather than for only women and children. He called for references to DRR to be included in the focus area on climate change or conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas. Sweden called for a water goal on “Integrated water management, sustainable water use, and sanitation.”
Finland supported a stand-alone goal in this area and encouraged keeping the reference to hygiene. She suggested a reference to progressively eliminating inequalities in access, and to ending open defecation. Noting that only one-third of basins have transboundary agreements, she called for a global target to increase such arrangements.
Egypt, in the target on universal access, suggested a reference to non-conventional water sources. He also called for a target to reduce the number of countries facing water scarcity and the number of people living under the water poverty line.
Austria welcomed the reference to transboundary cooperation. He suggested referring to empowerment of women, and proposed a reference to forest and mountain protection. Maldives asked how the target on water harvesting and storage technologies could be applied, and suggested adding a target on education for sanitation and hygiene. Uganda highlighted water and sanitation infrastructure, including harvesting and storage.
Greece welcomed the targets on universal access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and IWRM. Ethiopia supported water and sanitation as a stand-alone goal, which she preferred to title: “improve availability and access of clean water and sanitation to all.” She suggested referring to accountable water governance. Nigeria shared other delegations’ concerns about the reference to transboundary cooperation.
FOCUS AREA 7. ENERGY
On Wednesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, emphasized universal access to modern energy services, and said developed countries must take the lead in ensuring sustainable and fair consumption of limited energy resources.
Trinidad and Tobago, for CARICOM, emphasized the importance of providing modern energy services for SIDS.
Nauru, for AOSIS, called for an accelerated timeline for investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Lesotho, for the African Group, supported an energy goal, with targets on transforming the power infrastructure, accessibility and affordability, and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Zambia, for the LLDCs, proposed targets on energy infrastructure for expanding supply and transmission of modern and renewable energy.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, agreed with the energy goal as worded, proposed a target to ensure universal access to sustainable energy services by 2025, and stated that a target to increase the share of renewable energy in the global mix should be guided by UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) outcomes.
Guatemala, also for Colombia, called to restore targets from the previous draft. Cyprus, also for Singapore and the UAE, supported a stand-alone goal on energy.
Benin, for LDCs, said increasing the share of low- or zero-emission energy will require transfer of such technologies, and that phasing out fossil fuel subsidies is not relevant for LDCs. He proposed a target on renewable energy sources for electricity generation.
Australia, also for the Netherlands and UK, called for a goal combining energy and infrastructure, and supported investment in safe and sustainable transport, and disaster and climate resilience.
Palau, for Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the PSIDS, and Timor-Leste, called for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and for targets to be consistent with the principles of polluter pays, precautionary, and CBDR. Montenegro, also for Slovenia, welcomed targets on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and universal access. Canada, also for the US and Israel, said an energy goal should refer to doubling the share of renewable energy for the development of diverse energy systems.
Bulgaria, also for Croatia, stressed the need to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Indonesia, also for Kazakhstan and China, supporting calling for “significantly raising” the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, said a target on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies should not be included. She proposed adding targets to reduce per capita energy consumption in developed countries and remove barriers to developing countries in accessing clean energy technologies.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, stressed the importance of partnerships for energy issues. Switzerland, also for Germany and France, said the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative provides an approach that can be built upon, and supported targets on national and local enabling environments, and rationalizing and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
Ecuador, also for Argentina and Bolivia, proposed deleting references to sustainable modern energy, clean energy, and fossil fuel subsidy phase-out. On MOI, he called for operationalizing a technology facilitation mechanism by 2017.
Viet Nam, also for Bhutan and Thailand, said MOI are essential for these targets, and requested an indication of the contribution needed from each group of countries to achieve the global targets.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, wished to let countries determine their own numeric targets, and suggested replacing “biomass” with “bioenergy.” He proposed that the target on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies should refer to ensuring energy access for the poorest. MOI should include public and private investment.
Norway, also for Ireland and Denmark, said targets on renewable energy, access, and energy efficiency are crucial to the SDG framework, and called for a target on phasing out harmful fossil fuel subsidies.
Iran called for deleting specific percentages in targets. New Zealand, also for Iceland and Lichtenstein, said gender equality and women’s empowerment should be incorporated into an energy goal, and proposed a target in this regard. Japan called for a “rationalized phase out of fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.”
Saudi Arabia did not support a stand-alone goal on energy. He stressed his delegation’s preference to change the reference to low- or zero-emission energy technologies to “cleaner fossil fuel technologies.”
Poland, also for Romania, preferred to “increase” rather than “double” the share of renewable energy.
Bangladesh suggested deleting references to “modern” energy. He said ensuring universal access and increasing the share of clean energy technologies depend on MOI.
India proposed a target on reducing energy consumption in developed countries. He said the burden for increasing the share of renewables and improving energy efficiency falls disproportionately on developing countries.
Serbia, also for Belarus, supported the first three targets as consistent with the SE4ALL initiative.
Egypt said it was unclear how some of the targets (universal access and the share of renewable energy) could be translated to national-level deliverables. Peru, also for Mexico, called for universal access to “high quality” energy services, suggested improving energy efficiency in the residential sector, and called for phasing out “electric tariffs” that cause wasteful consumption as well as fossil fuel subsidies. Romania, also for Poland, supported phasing out “inefficient” fossil fuels.
Maldives emphasized the urgency of increasing renewable energy in the global mix, saying that we cannot afford to wait until 2030. Sweden supported ensuring universal access for “women and men” to sustainable modern energy services. Nigeria suggested merging the issues on energy, infrastructure and industrialization, and including references to global partnership
Latvia supported references to gender equality and the creative economy. Austria supported a stand-alone goal on energy and the target on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. He suggested noting women’s involvement in decision-making on energy. Ethiopia supported a goal on energy, and said the five targets addressed both developing and developed countries.
FOCUS AREA 8. ECONOMIC GROWTH, EMPLOYMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE
On Wednesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, expressed concern that economic growth, employment and infrastructure appeared as one goal, and that it lacks a mention of sustained economic growth. He said the income of the bottom 40% of society must increase more than average income growth of the country. He also emphasized achieving “full employment,” addressing youth employment, and prioritizing development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He suggested providing access for 100% of rural populations to basic infrastructure and services.
Trinidad and Tobago, for CARICOM, called for references to “micro-, small- and medium-sized” enterprises, and policies to reduce the cost of remittances.
Nauru, for AOSIS, said growth should be climate-friendly and climate-resilient, and called for defining “youth employment” to avoid child labor.
Lesotho, for the African Group, said infrastructure should be incorporated into a goal on industrialization, and another goal on economic growth, employment, and decent jobs for all should focus on productive capacity in developing countries.
Zambia, for the LLDCs, proposed to focus on infrastructure development in key sectors for the LLDCs, and to achieve deeper regional and economic integration.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, supported the goal on economic growth and employment as it stands, and proposed a target on achieving full, productive, and decent work for all by 2030.
Guatemala, also for Colombia, said employment and economic growth should have separate goals, while infrastructure could be incorporated under targets. She proposed a target or MOI on measures beyond gross domestic product (GDP) to measure sustainable development progress.
Cyprus, also for Singapore and UAE, noted overlaps among targets.
Benin, for LDCs, preferred separate stand-alone goals on these three issues. On economic growth, he said increasing productivity in LDCs will require new technologies, and that reducing waste and emissions does not apply to LDCs. On employment, MOI could include job-rich technologies. On infrastructure, he highlighted modern energy services, sustainable transport and communications, and tourism.
Australia, also for the Netherlands and UK, favored increasing: investment and competition; developing countries’ market share; foreign direct investment in LDCs; financial services; and resource productivity.
Palau, for Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the PSIDS, and Timor-Leste, called for recognizing the healthy role of sustainable oceans and seas in employment and economic growth.
Peru, on behalf of the Group of Friends for Culture in Development, called for a reference to creativity in employment and productivity, and called for a target on expanding access to financial sectors.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, supported a target on formalizing informal employment and expanding non-agricultural employment opportunities for rural areas. He said that a target on infrastructure should take into consideration a life-cycle perspective.
Canada, also for the US and Israel, said an energy goal should double the share of renewable energy.
Indonesia, also for Kazakhstan and China, supported a stand-alone goal on inclusive economic growth, and proposed targets on sustained growth of per capita income and productivity in developing countries, and enhanced macroeconomic policy coordination.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, said there should be a reference to women, “high productivity sectors” should be defined, and references should be added to migrants and inclusive systems for the vulnerable.
Switzerland, also for Germany and France, encouraged merging the focus areas on economic growth and industrialization, and incorporating inclusive green growth, innovation, decent work, population and climate change in the focus area. He said infrastructure issues could be included in the focus area on human settlements.
Ecuador, also for Argentina and Bolivia, proposed adding sustainable transport, deleting targets on halving youth employment and improving resource and energy productivity, and adding a reference to social security for the informal sector. MOI could include a UN global technology facilitation mechanism.
Viet Nam, also for Bhutan and Thailand, preferred greater emphasis on economic growth and infrastructure. He would restore targets on: growth per annum; proportion of developing countries moving to the next development level; sustainable transport and communications; and transboundary infrastructure.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, said the most notable legacy of Rio+20 is putting poverty eradication and inclusion at the center of sustainable development, and the SDGs should reflect this. He suggested combining infrastructure with industrialization, and restoring equality to a separate goal. In addition, employment should be restored to a separate focus area.
Ireland, also for Norway and Denmark, called for a target on the full participation of women in the economy, focusing economic growth on the poorest, reducing youth unemployment, factoring in decent green jobs, and social protection.
Iran said that by merging issues, the focus area on economic growth had been diluted. He said there is no value added by repeating the issue of employment across multiple focus areas.
Japan said a specific deadline for reducing youth unemployment is difficult, but proposed that it should be reduced by x%. Saudi Arabia proposed deleting the target on resource productivity, which could “cap” some countries’ development. Poland, also for Romania, supported the employment references and incorporating infrastructure.
Bangladesh objected to merging these three topics into one focus area. He said child labor was already addressed by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and energy and resource productivity would require partnership.
India strongly insisted that employment and infrastructure be reinstated as separate focus areas. He added that sustained economic growth is a subset of sustainable development; therefore it does not need to be qualified as “sustainable.”
Peru, also for Mexico, suggested targets to strengthen the link between disasters and economic growth. Romania, also for Poland, supported adding a target on women’s economic empowerment. Serbia, also for Belarus, said economic growth and employment should have a stand-alone goal, while infrastructure could be merged with the focus area on industrialization.
Tunisia suggested splitting this focus area into three, although infrastructure also could be linked with industrialization. He called for adding MOI targets on diversifying developing countries’ economies and improving their competitiveness.
Pakistan said infrastructure is pivotal to all three pillars of sustainable development, and stressed the importance of manufacturing. Co-Chair Kamau said this suggestion seemed country-specific, while the goals must be global. Pakistan cited United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) findings on the importance of moving from commodity production to industrialization by raising the share of manufacturing; therefore this should be an international objective if the overall goal is poverty reduction.
Egypt listed several possible MOI on these areas, including ODA and other sources of financing, debt relief and trade preferences, and a UN global technology facilitation mechanism and its operationalization by 2017.
Kazakhstan stressed the need for a target on the planning and construction of energy infrastructure, with international assistance and financial support. El Salvador supported adding references to “vulnerable” groups and middle income countries in targets, and developing multidimensional indicators beyond GDP.
Sweden suggested a target to call for x% of economic activity to promote sustainable production and consumption including through a life-cycle approach, and a target on effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels. She said the worst forms of child labor must be eliminated immediately.
Finland supported targets related to structural issues and debt, and enhancing economic growth beyond GDP. She said several targets under the industrialization focus area could be included in this focus area.
Greece suggested adding a reference to eliminate the “gap of employment between persons with disabilities and the general population” and supported adding references to creativity. Costa Rica suggested encouraging the formalization of informal sector activities and developing metrics that measure progress beyond GDP criteria, and proposed a target on investment in resilience to disasters and climate change.
Austria said the focus area should include the right to work and the right to social security. He highlighted employment for persons with disabilities, green jobs, and domestic workers’ rights.
Ethiopia called for a target on attaining economic growth of at least 10% per annum for LDCs, and supported Egypt’s suggestions on MOI.
Jordan proposed addressing the transition of youth into labor markets. She outlined new targets on: providing social protection for employees, and recognizing the social value of work.
FOCUS AREA 9. INDUSTRIALIZATION AND PROMOTING EQUALITY AMONG NATIONS
On Wednesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, called for support for developing countries to make industrialization inclusive and sustainable. He proposed MOI for international financial resources and aid, concessional loans for developing countries, market access, access to technologies at affordable prices, and trade.
Lesotho, for the African Group, said this goal should include infrastructure, and outlined targets on sustainable and job-rich industrial development, and increasing domestic processing of raw materials. On inequalities between countries, he called for making international institutions more democratic.
Benin, for LDCs, called for numerical targets on infrastructure and inequality, along with technology transfer to LDCs. He proposed targets on structural economic transformation and increased support for LDCs.
Barbados, for CARICOM, said equality should be incorporated across goals. She called for micro-enterprises to be included in the concept of SMEs.
The US, also for Canada and Israel, called for addressing inequality across other issue areas. She proposed that targets on industrialization should focus on strategic economic growth, not just industrial sectors, and proposed targets on: infrastructure investment; enabling business environments and entrepreneurship; research and development; demand-driven education; and vibrant labor markets.
Zimbabwe, for Southern African States, called for targets on increasing decent manufacturing jobs and reducing by y% the amount of chemical use and waste generated.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, welcomed a possible target on reducing harmful use of chemicals, but suggested further attention to sustainable alternatives.
Nicaragua, also for Brazil, said the gap between developed and developing countries is not confined to industrialization, and supported a stand-alone focus area for equality. He proposed a target for infrastructure and industrialization on reliable and sustainable transport, and for implementation of quota and governance reforms of the International Monetary Fund.
Viet Nam, also for Bhutan and Thailand, cited the need for strong MOI to implement existing policies, and suggested making the target on technological capabilities more action-oriented.
The UAE, also for Cyprus and Singapore, did not support a stand-alone goal on inequality. He said the elements in the resource efficiency target could become indicators on resource productivity.
Poland, also for Romania, welcomed the language on resource efficiency, waste and chemical management and environmentally sustainable products.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, highlighted equality between nations. She also said the target on resource efficiency does not provide for differentiation.
Bulgaria, also for Croatia, said equality is a cross-cutting issue, and industrialization should be seen as a pillar of economic growth. Colombia, also for Guatemala, said targets on industrialization should be included in the focus areas on economic growth or SCP, in order to consolidate the number of goals.
Belgium highlighted the importance of interlinkages between focus areas, and called for greater attention to inequalities within countries. Norway said industrialization is better covered under a goal on economic growth, but the three pillars of sustainable development were better addressed in this focus area.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, proposed adding targets on increased economic diversification, ensuring that the outcomes of research and development are accessible to developing countries. The Netherlands, also for UK and Australia, said the targets under this focus area could be moved to other focus areas, and called for a strong role for the private sector in attaining the objectives.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, said industrialization could be addressed under other focus areas. Japan said the issue of equality at all levels is important for the SDGs, but he was not sure the concept should be merged with industrialization.
India agreed with calls for a stand-alone focus area on inequality. Targets could address reaching the next stage of economic development, and adding value to raw materials and commodities through domestic processing and manufacturing.
Saudi Arabia said the target on resource efficiency would “cap” industrialization. He proposed deleting the target on retrofitting industries.
Iran welcomed suggestions on addressing equality among nations, including to ensure that trade rules and regulations are consistent with developing countries’ objectives, and to establish measures at the global level to reduce inequalities.
Nepal said that issues of inequality must be addressed very carefully, as it is one of the most important issues facing humanity. Gabon proposed the target: “by 2020, upgrade secure social responsibility and accountability to international legally binding certification in the management of industries.”
Egypt called for addressing equality among countries, and for developed countries to take the lead on provision of financial resources and technology transfer.
El Salvador called for targets to take into account equality between, among, and within countries. South Africa suggested that protection of policy space at the national level should take into account national circumstances. Costa Rica proposed a target to promote manufacturing growth, and suggested adding a focus area on inequality.
FOCUS AREA 10. HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
On Wednesday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, addressed the need for urban-level inclusive policies that are people-centered and promote the right local policy environment for investments.
Lesotho, for the African Group, supported the goal but proposed strengthening the links between cities, peri-urban and urban areas.
Benin emphasized the need to ensure security of land tenure, universal access to adequate and affordable housing, eliminate slum-like conditions everywhere, and provide financial and technical support to LDCs. Barbados, for CARICOM, lamented the absence of benchmarking in the targets on cities and human settlements, and said that new infrastructure in all cities should be accessible.
The US, for Canada and Israel, remained open to a goal on cities and human settlements, but expressed concern about artificial separation between urban and rural issues. She called for targets on: reducing non-biodegradable waste, including plastics, by 50%; increasing water efficiency in agricultural and urban areas; and reducing road traffic deaths.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, suggested adding a target on eradicating homelessness and deleting a reference to eliminating slum-like conditions.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, suggested referencing green city areas and emphasizing non-agricultural job opportunities in the agriculture focus area.
Nicaragua, also for Brazil, said “ecological footprint” is not an agreed concept so it should be deleted, and proposed bringing in the target on participatory decision-making from the focus area on peaceful and inclusive societies.
Switzerland, also for Germany and France, supported the goal. He called for a separate target on air quality and air pollution related to diseases. UAE, also for Cyprus and Singapore, strongly supported the goal, highlighted the importance of public transport, and suggested a combined target on “socially cohesive communities.”
Poland, also for Romania, supported universal access, and suggested highlighting links between cities and rural areas. Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, agreed with the need for more emphasis on rural areas. She called for clarification of “ecological footprints.”
Bulgaria, also for Croatia, called to reflect cities across multiple relevant goals. Colombia, also for Guatemala, said targets on cities and human settlements should include reducing urban pollution, and supported the US proposal for reducing non-biodegradable waste.
Norway supported targets on: achieving universal access to adequate housing and basic services; eliminating slum-like conditions; safe, affordable, and sustainable transport; urban planning and management; and effective and accountable local governance.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, suggested deleting a reference to “slum-like conditions” and adding targets related to disaster risk reduction from other focus areas, as well as adding text on the development and provision of reliable and sustainable transport.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, proposed targets to develop a quality of life indicator for cities, and to recognize the needs of vulnerable groups, such as women, children and migrants. Serbia, also for Belarus, proposed a target for reducing the number of deaths by traffic accidents. Japan asked for clarification on measuring ecological footprints, and suggested moving text on transport, road safety and air quality to the focus area on health.
Nigeria suggested adding targets to make land use policies people-oriented. India said the goal needs a greater focus on rural areas, and should mention public transport, and should not include “ecological footprints.” Saudi Arabia supported deleting the reference to ecological footprints.
Iran supported developing and improving provision of reliable and sustainable transport and communications, especially in developing countries. Nepal emphasized that both cities and rural areas must be addressed.
Egypt called for attention to both urban and rural development, and to remove mention of “ecological footprints.”
El Salvador called to replace “personal security” with “citizen security,” and to reference cultural and national heritage. Costa Rica said there should be a target to improve living conditions in rural areas.
FOCUS AREA 11. SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
On Thursday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, said damage to the global environment could be mitigated or even reversed with strong leadership from developed countries to implement the 10-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on SCP.
Trinidad and Tobago, for CARICOM, proposed adding targets on overconsumption, and said sustainable tourism should incorporate community participation and local culture and products.
Lesotho, for the African Group, cited Agenda 21 attributing the continued deterioration of the global environment to unsustainable consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries.
Paraguay, for LLDCs, supported the targets on resource productivity, product life-cycle approach, and the financial sector, and said control over natural resources is the responsibility of sovereign states.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, said SCP targets should be consistent with the 10YFP, and supported those proposed. Mexico, also for Peru, called for careful revision of the SCP focus area, emphasizing environmental degradation, sustainable agriculture, assessment, sustainable tourism, and chemicals, and called for a stand-alone goal on the issue.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, said the focus area should better reflect unsustainable consumption, and refer to the responsibilities of developed countries.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, said differentiation between developed and developing countries should be integral to an SCP goal, and called for direct language on the necessary leadership of developed countries.
The US, also for Israel and Canada, stressed the need to prioritize outcomes that are actionable and measurable over vague inputs, and supported SCP targets on post-harvest food waste, water and energy efficiency, recycling, and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, suggested adding a target related to the sound management of chemicals and wastes. Slovenia, also for Montenegro, suggested targets on the reduction of waste, incentives for green entrepreneurship, and chemicals management.
The UAE, also for Singapore and Cyprus, said many of the targets address undefined or unmeasurable concepts, and more specific, actionable targets will be required. Guatemala, also for Colombia, said the 10YFP offers a strong basis for a stand-alone goal on this issue, and noted the need to address waste from plastics.
The UK, also for Australia and the Netherlands, said targets on this issue could be integrated across the goals framework. Romania, also for Poland, said the target on sustainable management and use of natural resources should be consistent with Aichi Target 4, referring to safe ecological limits. She suggested adding sustainable public procurement.
Bhutan, also for Thailand and Viet Nam, supported a mention of policies and principles for governments, businesses and other stakeholders, in line with Aichi Target 4. Denmark, also for Norway and Ireland, wished to add references to: earth’s carrying capacity, education for sustainable lifestyles, sustainable public and corporate procurement, and decoupling economic growth from environmental impact.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, supported a stand-alone goal on SCP. She suggested sub-targets on reducing per capita energy consumption and consumer-level food waste in developed countries, and implementing the 10YFP with developed countries in the lead.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, called for a target on achieving sound management of chemicals throughout their life-cycles. Switzerland, also for France and Germany, said SCP targets on sustainable management and use of natural resources, awareness raising, corporate social responsibility, sustainable tourism and public procurement, and sound management of chemicals and wastes are critical.
Japan said there is a problem measuring the sustainable use of natural resources, and proposed a target to “by 2030, improve the cyclical use rate by x% through reuse and recycling.”
Bangladesh said this focus area needs to address how countries can achieve the targets; indicated the need for further clarity on the question of resource productivity and global supply chains; and suggested adding references to building a culture of sustainable lifestyles and reporting by multinational enterprises instead of “companies.”
Benin, for the LDCs, said the targets are not for LDCs, and MOI targets should include measures that are earmarked for these countries. Iran said there is no agreement on how to implement this area within the UN, and, with Saudi Arabia, suggested a reference to the 10YFP with developed countries taking the lead. Saudi Arabia also expressed concern about the target on sustainable lifestyles.
India said this area will require a “rider” recognizing that developed countries will take the lead. He supported targets on reducing per capita energy consumption and consumer-level food wastage in developed countries, sound management of chemicals and hazardous materials, and implementation of the 10YFP.
Pakistan said SCP should be embedded across the SDGs, which would be more appropriate than a stand-alone goal in this area. Honduras called for the target on sustainable tourism to be included under a goal on MOI, and to focus on its benefits to society and quality of life.
Costa Rica called for targets on the sustainable management and use of natural resources through capacity building and design improvement, and called for moving the target on sustainable tourism to the goal on economic growth and employment. Sweden proposed reinstating the reference to management of chemicals and wastes.
South Africa cited the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation regarding developed countries taking the lead on SCP, and all countries benefiting from the process and implementing it within their capabilities and priorities.
Egypt proposed a new first target on implementing the 10YFP by 2022, with developed countries taking the lead. He favored referring to sound management of chemicals and hazardous materials, and collaboration with academic, scientific and technical communities.
Austria said this goal should clearly mark the 10YFP as its basis. He suggested a target on gender-responsive management and use of natural resources.
FOCUS AREA 12. CLIMATE CHANGE
On Thursday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, said climate change should be addressed within the UNFCCC, and suggested enhanced cooperation among the conventions on desertification, climate change, and biodiversity.
Trinidad and Tobago, for CARICOM, suggested treating climate change throughout the SDG framework, in support of urgent, transformational action and ambition. She suggested a 2030 timeframe for adaptation and emissions reductions, consistent with UNFCCC obligations.
Lesotho, for the African Group, suggested incorporating previous UNFCCC outcomes, such as on loss and damage, a technology mechanism, and the Green Climate Fund. A goal on climate change must recognize desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD), he said, proposing a target on zero net land degradation by 2030.
Paraguay, for LLDCs, called for a goal on climate change and DLDD.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, supported a climate change goal to promote worldwide mitigation and adaptation, but said targets should be tied to the outcome of the UNFCCC process.
Mexico, also for Peru, called for a stand-alone goal on climate to “give sufficient political ability” to this issue.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, did not support a stand-alone goal on climate change, saying that many of the issues included in the focus area are the work of the UNFCCC.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, said climate change should be mainstreamed throughout the agenda and addressed in the narrative as a most pressing issue. He did not support a “placeholder target” tied to the outcome of the UNFCCC.
The US, also for Israel and Canada, supported a suite of targets across issue areas to drive action on climate change more powerfully that a weak, stand-alone goal. She called for targets that emphasize outcomes. Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, said this topic should be cross-cutting and not a stand-alone goal.
Palau, also for Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and PSIDS, said climate change should be addressed in the strongest sense, and suggested options for treating the targets in a cross-cutting manner.
Slovenia, also for Montenegro, supported a target to hold average temperature below 2°C.
The UAE, also for Singapore and Cyprus, said the targets should be mainstreamed under other goals.
Guatemala, also for Colombia, asked if climate change deserves a “headline” in the SDGs, noting that the Rio+20 outcome includes strong language on climate, despite the ongoing UNFCCC process.
The UK, also for Australia and the Netherlands, recognized that tacking climate change is an important cross-cutting issue that could be incorporated into a number of focus areas.
Romania, also for Poland, said the SDGs should incorporate adaptation and mitigation, and reflect climate change throughout the document. She supported including climate-smart targets.
Norway, also for Denmark and Ireland, said their main priority is mainstreaming mitigation and adaption targets to build resilience and reduce and manage risk across the focus areas, and deliberations on the possibility of a stand-alone goal were not yet concluded. She favored climate-smart targets, and a reference to the 2°C target.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, called for mainstreaming climate change and including it in the narrative that precedes the goals. Targets should address the need for adaptation and disaster risk resilience, with developed countries taking the lead.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, said that the climate change focus area should be reinvigorated by addressing its linkages with agriculture, food security, water, health, population, gender, and other areas.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, called for coherence with UNFCCC negotiations to avoid duplication, and said targets should tackle the root causes of climate change.
Niger highlighted the issue of DLDD and the nexus of these issues with climate change. He proposed a target to regenerate areas affected by desertification.
Japan did not support a climate change goal, since the UNFCCC process is separate and should not be prejudged.
Bangladesh favored a robust focus on climate change in the SDGs, adding that it would be a missed opportunity not to convey concern about climate change.
Benin, for the LDCs, said his group insists on a stand-alone goal and differential treatment in terms of responsibilities and access to technology and support. He proposed MOI including providing x% of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects to LDCs.
Iran questioned the “value added” by targets on infrastructure and education in this focus area.
Papua New Guinea, also for the PSIDS and Timor-Leste, “fully embraced” a dedicated SDG on climate change. He suggested specifying 1.5-2°C for the maximum global temperature rise, and highlighting necessary actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Saudi Arabia said a stand-alone goal would inevitably overlap with the UNFCCC. He said carbon is not discussed under the UNFCCC, and the SDGs should only refer to greenhouse gases (GHGs).
India said the SDGs should address climate change as a driver under relevant goals. Any reference to climate change must explicitly include principles of equity, CBDR and respective capabilities, he said.
Pakistan said the commitment to mobilizing US$100 billion in climate financing is important to include, and called for addressing the fundamental challenges of climate change across the goals. Costa Rica said climate change should be a stand-alone goal, while also being streamlined across the agenda. He called for attention to transportation systems and awareness-raising on climate issues.
Sweden said climate change needs visible attention and strong targets throughout the framework. The Maldives said climate change should remain a focus area until the goals are negotiated, and should then become cross-cutting across the goals.
South Africa suggested clarifying the parameters of the OWG vis-à-vis the UNFCCC and other processes, which contain legally binding obligations.
Solomon Islands supported a stand-alone goal on keeping the increase in global average temperature below 1.5°C. She suggested an additional target on closing the pre-2020 mitigation gap on GHG emissions. Egypt said mainstreaming climate change across focus areas is the best approach and supported the African Group’s call for a reference to DLDD.
Austria said climate change should have its own focus area and a target on keeping global average temperature rise to 2°C. He suggested adding “sustainable” to the reference to low-carbon solutions, and new targets on women’s participation in climate-related decision-making.
FOCUS AREA 13. CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF MARINE RESOURCES, OCEANS AND SEAS
On Thursday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, said it is critical to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, follow agreed commitments on oceans issues, and build capacity and transfer marine technologies.
Nauru, on behalf of AOSIS, called for a separate target on ocean acidification, immediate action to eliminate IUU fishing, establishing marine protected areas (MPAs), and eliminating fishing subsidies that contribute to over-fishing. She called for support to developing countries in marine, scientific, and technical capacities.
Lesotho, for the African Group, suggested streamlining the focus areas on marine resources, oceans and seas and ecosystems and biodiversity, under the title “Take urgent and significant actions for the conservation, sustainable use and restoration of biodiversity, marine resources and terrestrial ecosystems.”
Benin, for LDCs, emphasized the need for differentiated targets, and supported references to small-scale fisheries and protection of coastal degradation, including salinization.
Barbados, for CARICOM, called for greater emphasis on small-scale fisheries, highlighted the need to improve access to fisheries and markets, and suggested strengthening the resilience of coastal communities.
Papua New Guinea, for PSIDS, supported a stand-alone goal on oceans and seas, said the target on fish stocks needs to be robust, and said MPAs should be in line with science.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, said the two focus areas on oceans and ecosystems should be stand-alone goals, but they could agree to combine them, and proposed a new target to encourage sustainable small-scale fisheries.
Australia, also for UK and the Netherlands, called for an integrated land and seascape approach. He outlined targets on oceans and seas that also relate to food security, and said the framework should visibly integrate the importance of oceans.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, supported the target on marine pollution, and suggested that the target on establishing MPAs could include areas beyond national jurisdictions. In his national capacity, he supported a separate goal on oceans and seas.
Nicaragua, also for Brazil, said the target on marine pollution should note “in accordance with CBDR and MOI.” He suggested adding a reference to the special circumstances and requirements of developing countries in the target on restoring fish stocks, and to special and differential treatment for developing countries in the target on eliminating fishing subsidies.
Colombia, also for Guatemala, saw value in merging the two focus areas, as long as strong targets for both areas remain. She also supported merging targets on IUU fishing and sustainable fish stocks.
Cyprus, also for Singapore and the UAE, supported a goal on oceans and seas that upholds what has been agreed internationally.
Serbia, also for Belarus, said the oceans focus area should highlight its environmental aspects.
Poland, also for Romania, supported a stand-alone goal on the sustainable use of marine resources, oceans, and seas, and said the issue also should be integrated into the framework as a cross-cutting issue.
Iran proposed adding “in accordance with international agreements” to targets in the oceans focus area.
Croatia called for a goal on sustainable use of oceans and seas, and suggested highlighting linkages between marine resources and coastal areas.
Gabon said conservation and sustainable use of marine resources are major challenges for other issue areas. She supported targets on reducing marine pollution.
Iceland called for a target to “reduce marine pollution by x%” to allow for measurability. He also highlighted the importance of: adaptation issues; ocean acidification; responsible and sustainable fisheries management; the economic benefits of sustainable marine resources; and training and capacity building.
Sweden supported the proposed targets, although called for the target year to be 2020 for sustainable management of marine resources.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, said they would like to see a stand-alone goal and suggested using the Rio+20 wording: “Conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and their resources.” She also proposed deleting the target on fishing subsidies.
Mexico and Peru said it is a good idea to merge the oceans and ecosystems focus areas, but the targets should be holistic. He said establishment of MPAs should be “within areas of national jurisdiction.”
The US, also for Canada and Israel, supported a dedicated goal on marine resources, oceans and seas; suggested a reduction of marine debris particularly from plastics; proposed that MPAs be added to conserve at least 10% of coastal marine areas; supported eliminating fishing subsidies; and suggested deleting the target on resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, said action to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing should include elimination of destructive fishing practices.
Norway, also for Denmark and Ireland, supported targets on marine ecosystems, IUU fishing, fishing subsidies, and restoring fish stocks. She suggested referring to sustainable aquaculture.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, called for achieving all Aichi Targets, and said the SDGs should aim to go beyond them. In the target on fishing subsidies, he suggested to “gradually” eliminate “environmentally harmful” subsidies, including for fossil fuels.
Japan strongly supported a stand-alone goal on oceans and seas. Bangladesh supported bringing in the element of differentiation as proposed by the LDCs, as well as small-scale fisheries.
The Republic of Korea said he was open to merging the oceans and ecosystems focus areas. He said the target on IUU fishing should be presented in accordance with international agreements, and the target on fishing subsidies should be deleted. Bulgaria highlighted the need for targets on marine pollution and ensuring full implementation of agreements on oceans and seas.
Argentina said a stand-alone goal on oceans is necessary, and the text should take into account existing agreements on oceans. She said the issue of fishing subsidies should be addressed under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
New Zealand opposed any effort to undermine the dedicated approach to oceans and seas. She suggested strengthening the economic aspects of the goal, called for a greater focus on eliminating overfishing, and suggested clarifying “destructive” fishing practices.
Maldives called for a stand-alone goal on oceans. He suggested calling to “take immediate action” on marine ecosystems, restoring fish stocks, and establishing MPAs.
Greece strongly supported a stand-alone goal on oceans and seas. He called for consistency with existing international targets, and a reference to supporting aquaculture. He suggested that establishing MPAs should include areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Monaco supported a stand-alone goal on oceans and seas. She said halting ocean acidification may not be possible, preferring to call for preventive efforts to be taken. She also supported referring to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) code of conduct on sustainable fisheries, and noted the importance of sustainable tourism.
FOCUS AREA 14. ECOSYSTEMS AND BIODIVERSITY
On Thursday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, called for recognizing the contribution of sustainable forest management to sustainable development, and called for enhanced cooperation and coordination on the relationship between climate change, loss of biodiversity, and desertification.
Benin, for LDCs, suggested text to ensure prior informed consent related to traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, said the target on achieving a LDNW was reflected in the target for sustainable management of ecosystems.
Australia, also for UK and the Netherlands, highlighted reducing deforestation and combatting DLDD.
Montenegro, also for Slovenia, said mountain areas should be addressed from the social and economic perspectives as well as environmental. He said the values in the biodiversity target should be compatible with the Aichi Targets, and highlighted animal genetic diversity and biosafety.
Nicaragua, also for Brazil, proposed a target to improve the condition of ecosystems affected by desertification and to reduce the total area affected by desertification. On poaching and trafficking, he suggested eradicating demand and supply, and increasing local communities’ capacity to pursue sustainable alternatives.
Colombia, also for Guatemala, called for more measureable and numerical targets, and for a target on environmental and social accounting.
Cyprus, also for Singapore and the UAE, called for a stand-alone goal on ecosystems and biodiversity, and supported targets on halting deforestation and creating protected areas.
Serbia, also for Belarus, called for adding “environment” into the goal on ecosystems and biodiversity. She proposed a target on strengthening the science-policy interface.
Poland, also for Romania, said biodiversity should be reflected through interlinkages to poverty, water, energy, health, education, equality and gender.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, said the target on poaching and trafficking of endangered species be changed to “protect endangered species according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).”
Mexico, also for Peru, proposed targets to increase resilience in ecosystems and, by 2030, have all countries develop comprehensive ecosystems plans that consider disaster risk.
The US, also for Canada and Israel, supported a strong goal and targets to protect species and halt biodiversity loss and achieve a LDNW. She suggested that the target on the latter will require the development of data, and said one of the benefits of the target is to drive data development.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, said the important role of mountains has to be reflected in the document and suggested adding a target on their benefits.
Norway, also for Denmark and Ireland, supported the targets on biodiversity and ecosystems. She reiterated their support for achieving a LDNW, and suggested a target on wealth accounting of ecosystems.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, called for consistency with the Global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2022 including the Aichi Targets. He suggested a target to strengthen forest governance frameworks and promote sustainable forest management.
Japan called for consistency with the Convention on Biological Diversity decisions including the Aichi Targets. He said eliminating invasive alien species is unrealistic, proposing instead to focus on “priority” species.
Iran supported the proposal to address halting deforestation and restoring degraded forest ecosystems, although he added that consultations to define a LDNW are ongoing, so this phrase should be deleted.
Nepal called for including a focus on community-based forest management and mountain development. Croatia welcomed targets on sustainable management of forests and mountain ecosystems, and said a LDNW is crucial.
The Republic of Korea stressed the importance of the sustainable management of forests, and of the targets on conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems, ensuring sustainable management of forests, and achieving a LDNW. Egypt said “desertification” should be added to the title, and targets should be added to ensure that all drought-prone countries prepare drought plans.
Bolivia, also for Ecuador, supported to “reduce substantially”—not halt—biodiversity loss. He suggested deleting the LDNW target, and specifying inclusion of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision making.
Saudi Arabia expressed concern about desertification and wished to address it. Maldives suggested incorporating the Aichi Targets into the SDGs and addressing MOI for them.
Finland supported a stand-alone goal to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources and productive, healthy and resilient ecosystems and biodiversity. She suggested a target on ownership or tenure rights of natural resources, and one on nature-based mitigation and adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction.
Gabon called for biodiversity and ecosystems areas to be spread through focus areas on poverty eradication, sustainable agriculture, and food security. Sweden proposed targets on accounting and the valuation of ecosystems services, and providing economic incentives for sustainable management of natural resources.
Greece suggested adding reference to desertification and drought, and addressing the challenges of DLDD by achieving a LDNW.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature said the focus area does not fully encompass the social and economic aspects of the issue, and risks becoming a “conservation silo.”
FOCUS AREA 15. MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION/GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
On Friday, Bolivia, for the G-77/China, called for clarifying the proposed targets to refer to specific requirements of developing countries. He emphasized the need for: a time-bound financing target; technology transfer to assist developing countries; using Monterrey and Doha as a basis for the targets; distinguishing between MOI and the global partnership; separating the target on trade and financial systems; and adding a target on ensuring debt sustainability.
Barbados, for CARICOM, said a goal on MOI should serve to catalyze achievement of the SDGs, and called for greater specificity in framing the issues. She said that partnership shouldn’t be redefined to the engagement of stakeholders. She called for targets on: addressing the needs of SIDS; debt restructuring; and ICTs.
Papua New Guinea, also for PSIDS, Nauru and Palau, said this issue will determine the success of the SDGs. Trade targets should focus on equality and fairness among trade partners, he said, and refer to Aid for Trade.
Zambia, for LLDCs, proposed a reference to LLDCs in the chapeau and targets. She suggested new targets on adding value to LLDCs’ primary products, and technical support for regional, sub-regional and national programmes for LLDCs.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, said the SDGs should not be left to philanthropy. He proposed: reforming international financial institutions to promote inclusive, participatory decision-making; removing trade barriers; and recovering all stolen resources by 2020.
Benin, for the LDCs, called for a renewed ODA commitment that allocates at least 15% to LDCs and for debt relief. He proposed including “the right for development” in the subtitle, and targets to: eliminate harmful subsidies in relation to trade; increase LDCs’ exports; and improve the capabilities of SMEs and their participation in regional and global supply chains.
Colombia, also for Guatemala, called for a target to “reduce by x% distortions in international trade,” and proposed references to a technology facilitation mechanism, data collection, and regulating the international financial system.
Nauru, for AOSIS, emphasized MOI as a fundamental prerequisite for SIDS to achieve their goals. She proposed, inter alia: including references to SIDS in targets on market access and exports; adding a target on the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries; and achieving ICT access for all, including in SIDS.
Denmark, also for Ireland and Norway, said the work of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) and the Financing for Development (FfD) conference should not be duplicated or prejudged. He said the most effective MDGs have involved partnerships, but noted that successful partnerships like GAVI could not have been designed by a multilateral forum.
The Netherlands, also for the UK and Australia, emphasized the need for a strong, cross-cutting partnership, which he said could be elaborated at the FfD conference. He also said: CBDR is specific and does not apply to all topics; the trade references should specify the outcome from the WTO Bali agreement; a target should be added to encourage financial flows to states and communities where the need is greatest; and support should be given for effective use of development finance.
Slovenia, also for Montenegro, stressed a focus on the non-financial aspects of MOI, promoting national ownership and shared responsibility.
The US, also for Canada and Israel, stressed considering other UN discussions on finance for development and all financial flows when setting MOI targets. She proposed, inter alia: referencing sound fiscal and microeconomic mechanisms; removing barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation; promoting low-cost and scalable technologies that make relevant public data accessible; and protecting space for civil society.
Romania, also for Poland, called for a dedicated stand-alone goal on MOI, rather than including it under each focus area, in order to address all of the different elements together.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, called for a standalone MOI goal with a target on “building capable institutions for sustainable development,” under which rule of law and participatory decision-making could be placed.
Peru, for the Group of Friends of Financial Inclusion, called for engaging all stakeholders to implement financial inclusion.
Mexico, also for Peru, supported a stand-alone goal on MOI, which must be in the framework of a strengthened global partnership for sustainable development. He said the OWG’s agreement on MOI should be linked to the results of the FfD conference, and the recommendations of the ICESDF. He said the target on accountability for monitoring and reporting of progress on the SDGs should link to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, said MOI should be the cornerstone of the agenda, and proposed adding references to the role of the private sector and corporate responsibility, among others.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, said financial markets should be regulated to end speculation, and supported others’ proposals for ideas including targets on debt and ICT for all.
Sweden stressed that the agenda needs to be gender-mainstreamed and proposed, inter alia, targets on regional and sub-regional trade cooperation and on increased coherence at the policy level.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, said the text does not reflect the importance of mobilizing ODA, yet highlights domestic resource mobilization. She said MOI should be clustered to: enhance ODA; reform and enhance the global trade and financial system; establish a global technology facilitation mechanism for development; and ensure debt management.
Bulgaria, also for Croatia, said the OWG’s approach to MOI should not overlap with the Monterrey/Doha or Busan processes. She noted the importance of domestic resource mobilization, tax collection and reducing corruption.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, called for replacing CBDR with the principle of flexibility with regard to national circumstances, and supported targets on: a stable, strong, regulated global financial system; inclusive access to financial services; and mobilizing innovative financing sources in addition to ODA.
Palau said the partnerships section should refer to conflicts of interest, and suggested a target on strong implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Nigeria said the MOI goal is the bedrock of the framework, and suggested targets on regional and international trade agreements, taking into account the different capabilities of countries, increasing support to increase trade-related capacities, and ensuring that the international property rights regime is supportive of technology transfer.
Japan did not support separate MOI for each goal, which he said would lead to a “silo approach.” He suggested deleting the reference to debt relief, which he said should be a last resort.
The Republic of Korea supported MOI as a stand-alone goal, while incorporating MOI in each goal should be discussed further. He stressed the importance of monitoring in the section on global partnership.
Bangladesh suggested adding a reference to a UN technology facilitation mechanism.
Latvia, also for Estonia and Lithuania, noted that MOIs should be based on national responsibility and leadership.
Saudi Arabia said subsidies for trade should be addressed and finance needs to be “provided” and not just “mobilized.”
Austria said greater involvement of the private sector should be based on strong regulation, and proposed a target on implementing gender-responsive budgeting.
Tunisia supported a stand-alone goal on MOI as well as linking it to each goal and target. He suggested targets related to foreign stolen assets, the working methods of international credit rating agencies, and operationalizing the UN global strategy on youth employment.
Costa Rica called for mobilizing additional resources and for involving all relevant public and private stakeholders, both national and international. Under financing and debt sustainability, he suggested a target on transfer pricing in international value chains.
Maldives proposed adding tourism and fisheries in relation to trade, and adding references to preferential treatment for SIDS in addition to LDCs. India said ODA needs to be redefined and commitments need to be fulfilled by 2020 and reach 1%.
Uruguay stressed the need for ODA and a positive result to the Doha Round of trade negotiations.
Morocco called for a target on enhancing the trade-related capacity of developing countries. He said the monitoring element of the global partnership was essential.
Paraguay proposed a target on MOI to ensure gender equality. She also highlighted MOI for: access to education and vocational training, accessibility in public spaces, dissemination of cultural products, and special and differential treatment for LLDCs.
Egypt supported mainstreaming MOI under each focus area. He said global partnership should not be seen as separate from the other aspects of MOI.
FOCUS AREA 16. PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES, RULE OF LAW AND CAPABLE INSTITUTIONS
On Friday, Barbados, for CARICOM, said peaceful societies should be treated in a cross-cutting manner, but supported a goal on rule of law and capable institutions. She called for a focus on specific deliverables that address inequalities.
Iran, for the Non-Aligned Movement, called for more attention to the international dimensions of the rule of law, and equal opportunities for all states to participate in law-making processes. He said pursuit of rule of law should account for the diversity of systems and local cultures. Measurable goals and targets on rule of law would be helpful to entrepreneurs in developing countries, he added.
Papua New Guinea, also for PSIDS, Nauru and Palau, suggested revising several targets to address “people from all social groups,” and said the target on migration should cover people displaced by all forms of shocks.
Zimbabwe, for the Southern African States, said poverty is the main source of conflict, and thus eradicating poverty promotes peace and stability.
Benin, for the LDCs, called for: support for a regulatory framework to prevent corruption and illicit financial flows; access to timely and transparent information on governments’ financial commitments; and a strengthened LDC voice in international decision-making processes.
Lesotho, for the African Group, called for realizing that peaceful and inclusive societies are not ends in themselves, but means for achieving the overall goals. He said that these issues require actions on poverty, inequality, governance, and environmental degradation, and called for a cautious approach to rule of law.
Colombia, also for Guatemala, called for targets on rule of law to be incorporated into other focus areas, as it is an enabler of sustainable development, addressed at the national level.
Denmark, also for Ireland and Norway, said this focus area should be divided into two goals. He emphasized “inclusivity” in relation to the goal on peace, and suggested adding targets on reducing the number of displaced persons and enhancing the security sector. On good governance, he suggested that access to information should not be limited to certain types of information.
The UK, also for the Netherlands and Australia, welcomed this focus area, and said, inter alia: the target on access to justice should ensure justice institutions are accessible and well resourced; access to justice should go beyond for property and business; “free and universal” legal identity should be provided; and bribery should be reduced.
Slovenia, also for Montenegro, supported two separate goals on peaceful and inclusive societies and the rule of law, and targets on migration and culture, and freedom of speech, media and association. The US, also for Canada and Israel, supported two separate goals for this focus area. She proposed, inter alia: enhancing the professionalism and accountability of police; adding a reference to “inclusive publicly-available data about governments and public expenditure;” and including marginalized groups, including women and youth, in participatory decision-making processes.
Romania, also for Poland, maintained a preference for having a stand-alone goal, and adding “good governance” to the heading. She underscored the non-hierarchical nature of the goals.
Brazil, also for Nicaragua, called for a standalone MOI goal, which could include a target on “building capable institutions for sustainable development,” under which issues of rule of law and participatory decision-making could be placed.
Peru, for the Group of Friends on Culture and Development, called to add cultural aspects to the target on eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices.
Mexico, also for Peru, proposed moving all targets on “peaceful and inclusive societies” to other focus areas, while retaining a goal on rule of law and capable institutions. He said the target on institutions should refer to both national and international levels, and that the corruption target should place greater emphasis on international cooperation in criminal affairs and strengthening capacities for monitoring, and zero tolerance for impunity.
Spain, also for Italy and Turkey, suggested adding references to decision making at the local, national and international levels, and decent employment, among others.
Argentina, also for Bolivia and Ecuador, said peaceful societies should not be included as an SDG. She said rule of law concepts should be incorporated as cross-cutting targets, including reference to access to accountable and independent justice and accountable institutions. She said legal identity is a basic right, and not linked to public services, as the draft text suggests. She said corruption could be difficult to measure.
Sweden supported two separate goals, and suggested targets to eliminate all forms of violence and exploitation against children, and to include refugees and internally-displaced persons in decision-making processes.
Indonesia, also for China and Kazakhstan, proposed deleting this focus area. She said the reference to migration could be added to the focus area on economic growth, employment and infrastructure, and suggested deleting the target on freedom of speech, as it more political than development-oriented.
Croatia, also for Bulgaria, supported separate goals for the two issues in this focus area. She supported Peru’s proposal to include cultural aspects in the targets on discrimination and culture of non-violence.
Switzerland, also for France and Germany, supported separate goals for this focus area and proposed targets clustered in three areas: personal safety, access to fair justice for all, and tackling external stresses. Singapore, also for Cyprus and the UAE, suggested: eliminating any form of discrimination in laws, policies and practices and empowering all groups; establishing strong institutions to combat corruption; and ensuring that the judicial system achieves its responsibilities in a clear and transparent manner.
Palau suggested adding targets on the role of culture and on the ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
Liechtenstein stressed the importance of inclusive, accountable governance structures, and supported goals on peaceful and inclusive societies, and rule of law and capable institutions. He supported references to human rights, intensifying efforts against human trafficking, slowing flows of illicit arms, and fighting corruption in all its forms.
Nigeria said issues of disarmament, especially nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, should be addressed in this section.
Timor-Leste supported a goal on peaceful and inclusive societies, and suggested that targets ensure that people from all social groups can participate in political dialogues, address the need to reduce the number of displaced people and find solutions for those who are displaced, and ensure free and universal legal identity.
Finland called for two separate goals. On peaceful societies and freedom from violence, she suggested references to trafficking in illicit drugs, reduction of civilian deaths in conflict, and minimizing conflict risk with regard to natural resources and environmental shocks. On good governance and rule of law, she proposed a target on inclusion of women and civil society in decision-making.
Japan supported two stand-alone goals. He suggested new targets on accountability of police and security forces, and access to responsive and independent judicial institutions.
Thailand, also for Viet Nam, suggested the title: “maintenance of international peace and security for sustainable development.” She called for a separate target on violence against children. She preferred to promote freedom of media, association and speech “in accordance with national laws and applicable international treaties.”
The Republic of Korea said “governance” should appear in the title of this focus area, and he was open to a stand-alone goal on peaceful and inclusive societies. On rule of law, he said the target on effective, accountable and transparent institutions is the core of the goal.
The State of Palestine, on behalf of the Arab Group, stressed that including these issues in the SDGs should not put preconditions or restrictions on cooperating with developing countries to implement sustainable development. He said “maximum priority” issues—such as terrorism, disarmament and allocating a percentage of military expenditure to development—must be included for the OWG to continue discussing peaceful societies.
Bangladesh did not support this focus area as a stand-alone goal.
Latvia, also for Estonia and Lithuania, supported separate goals for this focus area and proposed references to: the role of local governments; addressing women’s security rights and participation in the decision-making process; and social media and the internet in relation to freedom of speech and association.
Zambia emphasized good governance, enhanced democratization, and ensuring human rights and the right to development.
Saudi Arabia said the targets need to be assessed against the three pillars of sustainable development. He cited the target calling for freedom of association and speech as an example of a target that did not pass this test.
Iran said the elimination of all nuclear weapons, a ban on the illicit transfer of small weapons and a ban on the transfer of narcotics could be included in this section, but the OWG should be realistic. He suggested moving targets related to “capable and accountable institutions” from this focus area to the capacity-building section of the MOI focus area, with targets to broaden participation of developing countries in international economic decision making and norm setting, and to establish global accountability systems for corporations, which would be developed nationally.
Austria proposed targets on ensuring: protection of civil society space, including human rights defenders; women’s participation in conflict resolution and reconstruction at all levels; and accountability for violations of human rights.
Portugal called for two stand-alone goals. The section on peaceful societies was missing a specific target, she said, on the external stressors leading to conflict (organized crime) and internal stressors (state fragility and stress on natural resources). She said the section on rule of law should mention sexual and gender-based violence, and called for a separate target on universal legal identity.
Tunisia supported a stand-alone goal on equity and justice at the international and national levels. He said the most important target would be on ending foreign occupation.
Costa Rica said peace, legitimacy, transparency and democracy could only help to enhance countries’ capacity to take independent decisions and not rely on external contingencies.
India did not support a stand-alone goal on these areas, which he said require different approaches. He added that the rule of law should be stronger at the international level.
Liberia suggested that the title read “Building Peaceful, Inclusive and Stable Societies.” He said targets should address the need to build capacity of national institutions, strengthen cross-border cooperation, and provide quality information on a culture of non-violence and tolerance.
Guinea said there is a relationship between development and peace and security, and suggested adding a target regarding the operationalization of early warning mechanisms.
South Africa said conflict-ridden societies are unlikely to achieve their development objectives, and the root causes of conflict have to be addressed.
Cuba did not support a goal on peace and inclusive societies, and suggested moving some of the rule of law targets to other focus areas.
Egypt said rule of law is broad, with undefined parameters. He agreed with proposals to mainstream some targets elsewhere in the document and delete others. He said the issues of foreign occupation, terrorism, arms race and proliferation of nuclear weapons, and arms trafficking must be included.
Greece supported two goals for this focus area, and suggested amendments to reference culture, policies for planned, well-managed and legal migration, and strengthened capacity of parliaments.
Sierra Leone supported the issues addressed under this focus area, and proposed enhancing references to global cooperation, building institutions in LDCs, referencing “democracy,” and respecting rule of law at the global level in multilateral institutions.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) said the SDGs will only be transformational if they include a stand-alone goal on democratic governance, and stronger parliaments will be pivotal in this endeavor.
CLOSING OF OWG-11
On Friday evening, OWG Co-Chair Kamau presented the Co-Chairs’ views on the next iteration of the working document and the way forward. He said the issue of equality will be included in the next working document. On climate change, he said some supporters of a stand-alone goal are willing to be flexible, if the concerns are addressed elsewhere in the framework to their satisfaction. Therefore, climate change will remain in the next version of the document. He said the MOI focus area will remain in the document, and he welcomed the increase in “directive language” on MOI in each focus area. He noted that delegates were divided on whether to include a focus area on peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions, and said it would therefore remain in the document, for a total of 17 focus areas. The next version also will have many more targets, he said. The OWG-12 working document will be made available on or around 27 May, while the draft chapeau, which had been promised by the end of OWG-11, would be sent out by midnight, 9 May.
On the process for the upcoming OWG sessions, Kamau proposed placing greater focus on discussing the targets. At OWG-12, following opening statements on the first morning, he said delegates would discuss the document, target by target. He also proposed that, in response to delegations’ requests for more informal conversations, the week before each of the remaining two OWG sessions would be dedicated to informal-informals. He said the first such session would take place from 9-11 June. He stressed that the informal-informals will not preempt the OWG. Kamau opened the floor for comments, and delegations applauded in approval. Kamau gaveled the meeting to a close at 6:42 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF OWG-11
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
In the words of delegates, the OWG’s eleventh session marked a “critical juncture.” OWG-11 was billed as the last meeting before delegations turn to the long-awaited direct negotiating format. The Co-Chairs have guided the working draft through several iterations to help participants sharpen their focus before turning it over to negotiations, but many could sense the strains that negotiators felt from not yet engaging in their vocation.
As the process begins to pivot in a new direction, governments face several questions. And some of those who were relatively new to the process found it comforting to know that, since the SDGs are charting a new path for the UN, many who have been with the process from the start share the same questions they have. Queries regarding how the OWG process will evolve in the final two sessions, where the OWG’s report fits into the other streams of activities feeding into the post-2015 development agenda, and how the OWG may resolve some of its key substantive issues featured in many discussions during OWG-11, both within and outside Conference Room 1. Looking back at the path that the OWG has taken during its first eleven sessions, some guideposts emerge, although many point towards an emerging process in which questions force choices that will determine the future direction of this process. This brief analysis examines the directions where their answers may take them.
QUESTIONS ON PROCEDURE
As the four points of order raised on the first day indicated, many delegates had questions about when the Member States would finally play the role they usually play in drafting a new agreement, reminding everyone that the outcome should emerge from a Member State-driven process. In anticipation that the next version of the Co-Chairs’ working document will become the “zero draft,” after which Member States would take ownership of the text, many speakers reiterated their lists of preferences, in a last chance to get their proposals into the text. The Co-Chairs’ proposal at the end of the meeting addressed some of their concerns—informal discussions will take place prior to each of the final two OWG sessions—and the Co-Chair-led discussions will discuss the text “target-by-target.” But answers regarding how much the Co-Chairs might further “tweak” the document and how open the informal discussions would be remained to be seen.
Questions of process also arose regarding the OWG’s place as one of several intergovernmental processes that will help set the post-2015 development agenda. Many remained unclear as to which other processes will feed into the decision-making process, and how they will do so.
For example, on implementation, other processes include the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, preparations for the third international conference on financing for development, and ongoing discussions on a technology facilitation mechanism. Co-Chair Kőrösi suggested to delegations that the OWG’s priority is to set targets, and that implementation will belong to another part of the negotiation “sequence.” Meanwhile, many governments called for a target on a technology facilitation mechanism, with some specifying “operationalization of a UN global technology facilitation mechanism by 2017.” Observers noted that both elements foreshadow another stream of negotiations, and more questions to be answered.
On accountability, the operationalization of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is also running in parallel to the final OWG meetings. When the HLPF holds its second session, under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council, in July, its potential role in monitoring and reporting on the SDGs will be a key topic for consideration. In addition, one delegate told a meeting of stakeholders that, while the SDGs would likely include a reference to an accountability framework, this would be a subject of the intergovernmental post-2015 negotiations.
With regard to substance, some participants have questioned whether the eventual set of SDGs should aim to reflect as many of the other processes and existing agreements as possible, allowing the international community to focus on implementation, or to carve itself a separate scope, filling in what is currently an empty space in the international sustainable development framework. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is set to adopt a new global agreement in 2015, so many said that Convention is the only forum for goal-setting on climate change. However, others said if the SDGs lack a “headline” (stand-alone goal) on the importance of climate change, the agenda will not be considered complete or legitimate. On biodiversity, many argued that SDG targets should be aligned with the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Aichi Targets, since it would be unrealistic for governments to follow two separate sets of targets on the same issues. But positions diverged on this, too, with some calling for the SDGs to show higher ambition than what has been already agreed.
QUESTIONS ON RESPONSIBILITIES
Although the Rio+20 outcome document calls for the SDGs to be universal, it is clear from the last eleven meetings that delegates interpret this instruction differently. Many developed countries understand this to mean that the goals will be universally applicable to all countries, but many developing countries argue that the agenda should not treat all states alike.
The legacy of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and its agreed principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is affecting the elaboration of the SDGs, with Member States strongly calling both for and against its application to the new sustainable development agenda. Developed countries want the goals to recognize that all countries have responsibilities and stand to gain from pursuing a sustainable development agenda. But, as one speaker at OWG-11 pointed out, developing countries do not want to be held to the same goals as the developed world, especially without the resources to achieve them. Across the discussions on the focus areas, numerous proposals were made to specify which countries would be responsible for achieving a specific target, and which country groups should benefit from means of implementation. And as in previous discussions on the topic of sustainable consumption and production, some governments asserted that all of the goals and targets should only apply to developed countries.
Differentiation of responsibilities also arose in discussions of implementation. Governments stressed to the Co-Chairs that while some problems, such as lack of access to energy, exist only in developing countries, this does not mean that the burden for solving them should fall disproportionately on the shoulders of poor countries. They stressed that means of implementation targets must accompany each goal, and proposed targets that transfer knowledge and resources from developed to developing countries. On the other hand, developed countries called for universal implementation efforts by including non-state actors, such as the private sector, civil society, and philanthropists, in efforts to achieve the goals.
Many anticipated that procedural options for addressing questions regarding universality vs. differentiation would feature in the final outcome. At OWG-11, for example, the US/Israel/Canada troika suggested that all countries would individually select the percentage changes to be achieved. Others have suggested that indicators would be selected at the national level, leaving room for responses that are tailored to individual country circumstances. Nonetheless, observers anticipated that the competing interpretations on what universality means would extend beyond the last two months of the OWG’s work, only to be defined in the subsequent intergovernmental negotiations on an accountability, financing, and a narrative framework for the entire post-2015 development agenda.
THE FIRST STEP IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST
Just like the ever expanding list of proposed goals and targets, the critical questions facing the OWG seem to be growing with each meeting. Whatever the result of the OWG’s work, the post-2015 development agenda will be a reflection of multiple processes. One of many unanswered questions is which processes will ultimately be reflected in the SDGs. As the OWG dives headfirst into extended meetings and negotiations in the coming weeks and attempts to conclude a unified SDG framework, a key lingering question remains: Can the governments of the world come together to agree to a set of universal goals on some of humanity’s biggest questions?
Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing: The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing is scheduled in May 2014. dates:12-16 May 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www:http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1687
WAVES Fourth Partnership Meeting: The fourth partnership meeting of the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) programme will bring together WAVES countries and partners to share successes and challenges, with a focus on water and ecosystem accounts. WAVES is a global partnership that aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that natural resources are mainstreamed in national economic accounts and development planning. dates: 14-15 May 2014 location: Washington DC, US contact: WAVES Secretariat www: http://www.wavespartnership.org/fourth-partnership-meeting
UNGA High-level Event: Contributions of South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation and information and communication technologies for development to the post-2015 development agenda: This event is part of a series convened by the President of the UN General Assembly under the theme, “The post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!” The objective is to generate concrete contributions to the formulation of the SDGs. dates: 21-22 May 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Office of President of the General Assembly www: http://www.un.org/en/ga/info/meetings/68schedule.shtml
UNGA High-level meeting on “Achieving poverty eradication through full employment and decent work for all in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”: This high-level meeting, called for by resolution 68/226, will explore the role of the MDGs and what transformative changes are needed to ensure the objective of poverty eradication is achieved. date: 23 May 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Office of President of the General Assembly www: http://www.un.org/en/ga/info/meetings/68schedule.shtml
UNGA Dialogue 3 on Technology Transfer Mechanism: In General Assembly Resolution 68/210, UN Member States decided to hold a series of four, one-day structured dialogues to consider possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies. date: 4 June 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development email: email@example.com www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1822
UNGA High-level Event: Human rights and the rule of law in the post-2015 development agenda: This event is part of a series convened by the President of the UN General Assembly under the theme, “The post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!” The objective is to generate concrete contributions to the formulation of the SDGs. dates: 9-10 June 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Office of President of the General Assembly www: http://www.un.org/en/ga/info/meetings/68schedule.shtml
Informal-Informals Prior to OWG-12: As announced during the closing session of OWG-11, the Co-Chairs will convene informal-informal discussions on the focus areas prior to OWG-12, in the General Assembly Hall. dates: 9-11 June 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/owg12.html
OWG-12: The OWG will continue the consideration of sustainable development goals, targets and indicators. dates: 16-20 June 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: email@example.com www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/owg12.html
UN Environmental Assembly of UNEP: The first meeting of the UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP is expected to include ministerial plenaries on the SDGs and post-2015 development agenda and illegal trade in wildlife and timber. dates: 23-27 June 2014 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Jiří Hlaváček, Secretary of Governing Bodies, UNEP phone: +254-20-7623431 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.unep.org/unea/
High Level Political Forum: The second meeting of the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development will take place in conjunction with 2014 substantive session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from 30 June-3 July, with a three-day ministerial segment from 7-9 July. The theme for the forum for 2014 will be “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and charting the way for an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals.” dates: 30 June - 9 July 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: email@example.com www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1768
OWG-13: The OWG will continue the consideration of sustainable development goals, targets and indicators. Informal-informal consultations will be scheduled during the week before. dates: 14-18 July 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/owg13.html
UNGA Dialogue 4 on Technology Transfer Mechanism: In General Assembly Resolution 68/210, UN Member States decided to hold a series of four, one-day structured dialogues to consider possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies. date: 23 July 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development email: email@example.com www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&nr=702&type=13&menu=1822
Fifth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing: The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing is scheduled in August 2014. dates: 4-8 August 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1688
Third UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS): The Third UN Conference on SIDS will focus on the theme “Sustainable Development of SIDS through Genuine and Durable Partnerships.” dates: 1-4 September 2014 location: Apia, Samoa www: http://www.sids2014.org/index.php?menu=32
World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014 will be organized as a high-level plenary meeting of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and supported by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. dates:22-23 September 2014 location:UN Headquarters, New York contact:Nilla Bernardi phone:+1-212-963-8379 email: email@example.com www : http://wcip2014.org/
Special Session of the General Assembly on the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the ICPD: An eight-hour Special Session to Follow Up on the Programme of Action from the International Conference on Population and Development is being organized to coincide with the high-level segment of the general debate of the UN General Assembly. date:22 September 2014 location:UN Headquarters, New York contact:Mandy Kibel, UNFPA phone: +1-212-297-5293 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www : http://icpdbeyond2014.org/
UN Climate Summit: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene the Summit with the aim of mobilizing political will for a universal and legally-binding comprehensive climate agreement in 2015. date:23 September 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York www: http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit2014/
For additional meetings, see http://post2015.iisd.org/