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UN General Assembly ADOPTS SDG OWG Report as basis for negotiations

Taken from the UN DPI News of the Event

AS SIXTY-EIGHTH SESSION NEARS CONCLUSION, GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION


INCORPORATING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS INTO POST-2015 AGENDA


Delegates A lso Pass Measures Addressing Malaria, Revitalizing Work of Assembly

The General Assembly adopted three resolutions today (10th September) , including one that would pave the way for the incorporation of sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda.

In adopting the “Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/288” (document A/68/L.61), as orally amended, the Assembly decided that the outcome document from the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals would be the main basis for integrating the sustainable development goals into the future development agenda.  The resolution went on to state that other inputs would also be considered during the intergovernmental negotiation process at the upcoming General Assembly session.

"Decides that the proposal of the Open Working Group on Sustainable 
Development Goals contained in the report shall be the main basis for integrating 
sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda, while 
recognizing that other inputs will also be considered, in the intergovernmental 
negotiation process at the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly."

Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of Bolivia, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the Group attached a high degree of importance to the outcome document of the Open Working Group, which contained constructive guidance for the sustainable development goals.  He noted that all reservations on the text must be compiled into and clearly referenced in an official document.

Libya’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said the Group had “valid and well-founded” concerns about Goal 16 of the proposed sustainable development goals.  The Group requested that the goal include targets on ending all forms of colonial domination and foreign occupation; strengthening adherence to international law by all stakeholders; and intensifying international cooperation on countering terrorism, especially by addressing its root causes.  He reiterated his request that the Arab Group’s positions be reflected in the Working Group’s report.

The representative of Malawi, speaking on behalf of the African Group and associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said that today’s adoption signified the beginning of an important journey that would take the international community through the next phase of development negotiations.

The representative of the European Union Delegation noted that considerable progress had been made over the last 18 months and said the discussions that had taken place within the Open Working Group would inform the intergovernmental negotiation process during the upcoming General Assembly session.

Benin’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, said a multilateral approach was the only way to tackle the world’s problems.  He stressed the need to take into account the relevant reservations that had been expressed, without challenging the substance of the document.

In another act, the Assembly adopted the “Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly” (document A/68/951*) and the resolution contained there within.  Through the resolution’s adoption, Assembly members decided to establish an ad hoc working group on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly to identify ways to enhance the role, authority, effectiveness and efficiency of the Assembly by building on progress already achieved.

Speaking after the adoption, the European Union Delegation’s representative pointed to “concrete results” within the resolution adopted, including the earlier election of non-permanent Security Council and Economic and Social Council members.  He added that the agendas of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council needed to be rationalized to eliminate duplication and overlap, as well as boostcomplementarity when considering and negotiating similar and related issues.

The representative of Liechtenstein welcomed a resolution reconfirming the President of the General Assembly’s role in supporting the election process for the Secretary-General by identifying potential candidates in consultation with Member States.  That had not yet happened, but hopefully, future Presidents would fulfil the mandate.  He said he hoped to start a debate in the General Assembly on criteria for possible candidates and regretted that the adopted text did not that.

The representative of Algeria, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the process of revitalizing the work of the General Assembly did not stop with the passage of the resolution, but rather, was an ongoing effort.

In a final act, the Assembly adopted ”Consolidating gains and accelerating efforts to control and eliminate malaria in developing countries, particularly in Africa, by 2015” (document A/68/L.60), thereby calling for increased support for the implementation of international commitments and goals pertaining to the fight to eliminate malaria.

The resolution urged malaria-endemic countries to work towards financial sustainability to increase national resources allocated to controlling that disease, while also working with the private sector to improve access to quality medical services.  Further, the resolution called upon Member States to establish or strengthen national policies, operational plans and research, with a view to achieving internationally agreed malaria targets for 2015.

Ethiopia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the African Group, called the resolution “critical” as it would serve as a rallying call for countries and provided tangible guideposts for development partners.

Also speaking today were representatives of Belarus, Thailand, Slovakia, Guatemala, Iran, United States, Japan, India, Brazil, Nigeria, Palau, Ecuador and Australia.

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