Strategy for SDGs from now on

Monday is the first day of the next phase on the SDGs, it all started in July 2011 in Solo Indonesia when Paula Caballero from Colombia supported by Guatemala and Peru suggested that we should have agreed some Sustainable Development Goals. That suggestion has gone through many iterations to the point where at the beginning of 2015 we find ourselves with 17 Goals and 169 targets, The big question is will this change? I don't think so. For those stakeholders just joining the discussion who may have amazing ideas - well you are too late. One of the great lessons that I have learnt from being around intergovernmental meetings for the last twenty years is be there at the beginning.  Probably the most influential input that stakeholders made from the UN DPI NGO Conference in Bonn to the SDGs was two months after the meeting in Solo when they came up with 17 SDGs. The paper became the main reference document for government discussions in the coming months. It covered 70% of what became the SDGs so a good example of influence by being the first to input.

That brings me to the present set of meetings. The first one on Monday will be stocktaking and it will cover initial comments on the declaration, the SDGs, the Means of Implementation and the Follow up process.

Declaration (17-20 February)
The following negotiations in February will be on the Declaration. If you do not have what you want for the Declaration in government hands this week your influence on the Declaration will reduce considerably. Look at the following for ideas:Rio Declaration (1992)Millennium Declaration (2000)2005 World Summit Outcome (2005)2010 High Level Plenary of the UNGA (2010)The Future We Want (2012)

In particular the Millennium Declaration.

Sustainable Development Goals (23-27 March)

There are still a few countries who want less goals - led by the UK. The UK now has a major difficulty to advocate this position as the UK Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee told them to stop doing this. If they start to raise the issue expect a lot of MP telephone calls to the PM and the Mission in New York.
The Secretary General clearly tried in his synthases paper to suggest what could be done with clustering around these six areas:
  1. Dignity: to end poverty and fight inequalities
  2. People: to ensure healthy lives, knowledge and the inclusion of women and children
  3. Prosperity: to grow a strong, inclusive and transformative economy
  4. Planet: to protect our ecosystems for all societies and our children
  5. Justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies and strong institutions
  6. Partnership: to catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development
Reading the report it was clear he would have liked to be clearer but didn't feel he could be. Expect some discussion on this. If you want to see where the fault lines on the present set of targets then read the reservations document that was compiled after the last SDG OWG. I would expect some technical discussion on some of the targets.  can not see new targets being agreed but if they are then the antibiotic target suggested by Sweden and eventually after MPs intervention int he UK supported by the UK.

On present targets my advise is prepare to defend the SRHRs and governance targets. 

Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Development (20-24th of April)
This is SDG17 which had the least discussion and needs considerable work. I have written about this often and that my viewpoint is it is better as a set of policy recommendations under each of the SDGs around:
  • technology facilitation 
  • capacity building
  • governance and stakeholders
  • finance
  • Institutional requirements
These were taken from the South Africa non-paper from 2002. It allows for specific conversations on financing each of the goals and what is needed for capacity building and technology facilitation for a particular goal and any changes to institutions that would support the delivery of a goal.

That will leave more general issues such as trade,aid, debt which are also being discussed in the FfD process. These two will need to be coordinated to ensure the same message is reflected in both.

If this is your area of interest then the next couple of weeks should be focused on what message you want and start sharing it by the 2nd SDG meeting at the latest.  You need to be following FfD too if you want to have an impact in this area.

Follow Up and Review (18th to 22nd May)
The least developed area but papers will shortly be delivered on this from a number of groups, The issues under consideration here are:

Role of HLPF and ECOSOC
National reports and processes including National Councils and Parliaments role
Regional activities to support implementation and review

After that starting in June (22nd) are three negotiating sessions. 


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