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A Year in View - 2014

Some people New Years can be positive others less so. I am one of those positive guys' lots to look forward to in 2014 and lots to be thankful for 2013. So what is the year looking like as I contemplate going to New York tomorrow.
Next week will be the next meeting of the Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group (SDG-OWG). In particular it will look at an area I have been working with the Communitas Coalition that of Urban and Human Settlements. Should there be a stand-alone goal on Urban and Human Settlements? You might guess I would say yes – with projections of over 70% of us living in urban areas by 2050 then the urban areas and the inputs or footprints of our urban areas will play the critical role in determining how we become more sustainable in the way we live on this planet. January also sees me to my first International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) General Assembly in Abu Dhabi. IRENA is headed by one of the best international civil servants Adnan Amin whose vision is seeing IRENA take its place in the international mix of intergovernmental organizations – for an organization only 3 years old that is an amazing achievement. I have had the pleasure working with them to help put their stakeholder engagement process together with Marcie Shaoul. We launch the first Coalitions for Action this month to address the Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy.
The final meeting of the SDG OWG in its phase of input in February will deal with issues such as peace and security and how any new set of goals might incorporate building a more peaceful world can only be good. The Rio Declaration in 1992 said the pre-request to sustainable development was peace. Since the end of the cold war there has been an increasing reduction in the number of  people who have been killed in armed conflict. There is still much work still to be done in building trust and finding a better way to address our differences. February is also the month I with Jorge and Liz will launch the new book on the world J - From Rio+20 to a New Development Agenda: Building a Bridge to a Sustainable Future - with an event at the UN. We truly hope it will add to the understanding of how intergovernmental processes happen and what goes into making them work or not.
The first meeting of the SDG OWG in its negotiating phase will be the 3,4,5 of March and March also seeing the Nexus Conference- Water-Energy-Food-Climate in Chapel Hill in North Carolina. It I hope will become a major annual event to address the Nexus in a coherent way and a practical way. We will also do a launch of the book in Chapel Hill as well. March may also be the time to start on the new book on the Nexus…….

The World Urban Forum in Colombia will be a major meeting place for those working on urban and human settlements issues and Communitas will have a major event to bring together for more support for the Urban and Human Settlements Goal. The second meeting of the SDG OWG negotiating phase and probably the more important one will be April 7th to 11th. I am also planning to attend the Tribeca Film Festival for the first time. Still in the designing phase for a project which I hope will be organized around a future TFF.

The SDG OWG negotiating phase will be getting tougher by now and clear divisions will be more obvious and what might be achieved by this process prior to the UN General Assembly will be starting to solidify.
Hope by now to have handed in the new book J for a November publication date.
Crunch meeting of the SDG OWG --- how far will governments give up negotiating tradeoffs for this report as opposed to waiting until 2015.
Final meeting of the SDG OWG in the negotiating phase. My guess is that there will be a list of goal areas that have large support and then a list that has less support. An approach to the targets and hopefully a recommendation that the indicators will be worked out afterwards with experts. San Diego Comic Con 23rd to the 27th July will be the high point of the month planning to go to my fist one. Maybe pitch my Father Christmas story J

Final meeting of the Expert Committee on Financing Sustainable Development. This will give us an idea what the funding regime for any new set of goals is likely to look like. It will also help to frame what the negotiating lines between different blocks of countries are likely to be. Time for a holiday somewhere nice with my daughter.
UN DPI NGO Conference 2014, the first to happen since I chaired it in 2011, will focus on SDGs and climate change before the UN General Assembly starts. This UN General Assembly will in September take stock of where we are on the development of the post 2015 development agenda. The inputs will be by from the SDG OWG, the events organized by the President of the UN General Assembly and in the background last year's reports by the High Level Panel and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. There will also be a Climate Summit of leaders on the 25th of September. The UN Secretary General is trying to tease out early commitments not only by governments but also by other stakeholders.
Informal meetings on the state of play with the new development agenda.
Hopefully new book out on the Nexus. Workshop planned for Communitas with the pilot local authorizes that we will be working with to trial out the urban targets and develop local indicator sets.
The UN Secretary General to present a synthesis of views on post 2015 development agenda. UNGA to agree preparatory process to lead up to the UNGA in September 2015 to agree the new set of Goals.





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