Well who would have expected me to be writing another blog about another final text? Governments return at 11am Sunday to try and finish the negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. I myself left on Friday assuming it would finish then and went to see Mission Impossible last night. The best MI film ever!!!! If the text is finished today, tomorrow, next week then this is a great distressing event to go to.
The title has changed from just transforming our World to Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is great that the term doesn’t include poverty eradication but accepts it as part of sustainable development. So much better and I will talk more about this when we have a final final text.
The new preamble is much better than the longer version and doesn’t try to cluster the goals which were looking like a laundry list and incoherent. This marks a clear defeat for the UK and its attempt for a small number of goals. The introduction to the 5 Ps has the following text.
“They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.”
The inclusion of ‘women and girls has been a campaign by UN Women behind the scenes – sometimes useful other times unhelpful.
To those David Cassidy fans who were hoping that cherish would remain in the text you will be sorely disappointed. It has been replaced by much more correct language of ‘invest’ as I had suggested in a previous blog.
The family hasn’t come back into the text beyond the mention in the last draft in para 25 where it doesn’t define it in anyway – which is good. .
The wording around water, hygiene and sanitation did suffer from position by the US, UK and Canada but we do have them all in in the end: “we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right relating to safe drinking water and sanitation and where there is improved hygiene.”
On CBDR it has come down to one inclusion “We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as set out in principle 7 thereof.” This means that developed countries have succeeded in framing CBDR as only covering environmental issues. This is a great disappointment and shows selective memory as far as CBDR is concerned it applied to all of Agenda 21 which included chapters on education and health.
Climate change has been one of the controversial areas and the new text is a combination of para the alt para which I thought was good, some of the original language and also some of the language on what we would like to see in the outcome from COP21.
address decisively the threat
posed by climate change and environmental degradation. We note with grave concern the
significant gap between the aggregate effect of UNFCCC
Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of
global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a
likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C or 1.5 °C above pre-industrial
levels. Further to the Lima Call to Climate Action, we will work for a
comprehensive, ambitious agreement at COP21 in Paris applicable to all Parties and
principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective
capabilities, in light of different
national circumstances .]
On the issue of Financing for Development the Addis text is NOT annexed to the present text which is a victory for the developing countries, as is the paragraphs included on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism.
In the Means of Implementation there has been an emphasis on the need to revitalise ‘global partnership for sustainable development.’ A number of additional paras have been added from the Addis outcome on debt relief, trade, domestic mobilisation and on private sector. The last focuses on : ‘We will foster a dynamic and well-functioning business sector, while protecting labour rights and environmental and health standards in accordance with relevant international standards and agreements and other on-going initiatives in this regard, such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the labour standards of ILO, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key multilateral environmental agreements, for parties to those agreements.
On the issue of human rights the probable over ‘international human right’ is out and the present presentation of human rights is very good. -"We reaffirm the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international instruments relating to human rights and international law. We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status"
The push by Brazil to have people living with HIV/Aids in the vulnerable people section has succeeded. Para 23 now says; People who are vulnerable must be empowered. Those whose needs are reflected in the Agenda include all children, youth, persons with disabilities (of whom more than 80% live in poverty), people living with HIV/AIDS, older persons, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants.it has also removed the word ‘all’ infront of migrants and the same in subsequent mentions of migrants - which is not good.
In the SDG section no major changes the targets 11.5 and 11.b is now aligned with the Sendai Framework. 14.c has ended up as: Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want.
One sad addition is that in the follow up section where additions to the text on data are not helpful. ‘As national ownership is key to achieving sustainable development, the outcome from national level processes will be the foundation for reviews at regional and global levels, given that the global review will be primarily based on national official data sources. Hopefully the better language passed by the Statistical Commission on a more open approach to data input will stand.
The final bad part in where the role of the HLPF might be seen to be reduced where as in the previous version it had the HLPF overseeing a network of follow-up and review processes it now has been replace by The HLPF will have a central role in overseeing a network…..’ I hope this is replaced by the original version.
Lets see what happens now……