From a letter to ALL Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the United Nations New York from the co-chairs the Ambassadors of Kenya and Ireland
Food for thought paper
Modalities for the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda
The Co-Facilitators have been appointed to lead open, inclusive and transparent consultations on the post-2015 development agenda in order to agree an outcome which is to be adopted at a Summit at Heads of State and Government level in September 2015. Building on major United Nations conferences and summits held in recent years, the objective is to agree an ambitious and transformative agenda with a view to ensuring the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development by 2030.
Initial informal intergovernmental meetings were convened on 4 and 10 November to establish the views of Member States on the issues covered by this mandate.
On the basis of the consultations to date, the Co-Facilitators propose the following modalities for the forthcoming process.
It is clear that there is broad support for an intergovernmental process which is open, inclusive and transparent and which builds on the working methods used very successfully by the Open Working Group on SDGs. These methods included provision for all Member States to express their views, whether individually, as part of informal combinations of states or through traditional group structures. Flexible working arrangements of various kinds were also a feature of the Open Working Group as was the provision for regular structured engagement with major groups and other stakeholders.
The meetings on 4 and 10 November also helped to clarify what Member States regard as the scope for the substantive consultations. It is envisaged that the outcome document to be prepared for adoption at the Summit in September 2015 would contain the following main components:
- An introductory declaration;
- Sustainable Development Goals, targets and indicators;
- Means of Implementation and a new Global Partnership;
- Framework for monitoring and review of implementation.
A further element proposed by some Member States - though this will require further discussion - is the possible implications of the post-2015 agenda for the UN system and its institutions ("UN Fit for Purpose").
In accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/309, the proposal of the Open Working Group shall be the main basis for integrating sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda, while recognizing that other inputs, including the Secretary General's Synthesis Report, will also be considered.
It is envisaged that some technical proofing of the proposed targets will be required. Indicators to measure progress against the targets will also have to be developed and the UN Statistical Commission could assist in this regard; Member States will have to confirm their agreement to this.
As regards the Means of lmplemehtation, much of this agenda will of course be addressed in the separate consultations on Financing for Development. There are, however, certain aspects which require attention within the post-2015 consultations. These could include issues such as technology facilitation and the shaping of an overall Global Partnership.
Arrangements will be made to ensure close interaction between the post-2015 development agenda consultations and those on Financing for Development.
Similar arrangements will also be made in respect of the climate change negotiations in the UNFCCC context.
Consideration of a monitoring and review framework will also require that attention be paid to the role of the High Level Political Forum. It is proposed to make arrangements for liaison in this regard with the High Level Political Forum, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.
To enable the work of the post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations to be completed within the relatively short time available, a pattern of at least one session per month from January onwards is envisaged. These sessions will normally last for four and a half days each.
The dates envisaged are set out in the following timetable, which takes into account the schedule of meetings in the Financing for Development process and other relevant processes:
3-6 February (tbc}
17-20 February (tbc) 9-13 March (!be)
23-27 March (tbc)
20-24 April (tbc)
(Note that the dates of the drafting sessions on Financing for Development during this period are 27-29 January, 13-17 April and 15-19 June; the High Level Political Forum meets from 26 June to 8 July; and the Third International Conference on Financing for Development meets from 13-16 July).