Again UNGA 5th committee is defunding Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda


It has been a great year for multilateralism with the agreements in Paris on Climate Change, New York on the SDGs and Addis on the Financing for Development.

These don’t happen without a huge effort by lots of people. Of course it is always said that the follow up is the most difficult and we know from the 1992 Earth Summit that this is true.

There the very comprehensive Agenda 21 was estimated to cost $625 billion a year to implement with $125 billion from developed to developing countries. ODA was in 1992 $56 billion and instead of increasing to $125 billion it fell by 1997 to $52 billion and only got back to $56 billion by 2002.

The 1990s were the lost decade which of course in part has contributed to the challenges we now face.

The 2030 Agenda has been costed out by SDSN at $2-$3 billion a year. So funding this new 'global agreement' is critical.

 I raised my concern earlier about the budget being discussed in 5th Committee (Biannual regular budget – negotiating 2016-2017 budget – all except peacekeeping) which originally had zero funds allocated for UN Central and Regional Commissions to do Follow Up. Lucky for us G77 was vigilant and this budget was returned to its authors who now have come back with a budget that the Secretary General asked for $15 million (A lot less than he initial budgeted for which was $60 million let me repeat that $60 million but due to developed countries reduced to this) for the work of UNDESA. The Advisory Committee on Administrative & budgetary Questions (ACBQ) said that the proposal was not comprehensive and approved only 7.5 million until he comes back with a comprehensive proposal.

 I understand that under this is push back by developed countries on both the role and contributions that the regional commissions should play in the implementation of Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa Action Agenda).

Just a short note that readers may not be aware of but in relation to the UN budget Brazil  is the 7th largest contributor, China is 3rd largest contributor (soon to be 2nd largest contributor).

 I can think of lots and lots of things that the Regional Commissions can do but perhaps the best thing to do is remind member states of what their Heads of State agreed to only ten weeks ago:

 Regional level
80.    Follow-up and review at the regional and subregional levels can, as appropriate, provide useful opportunities for peer learning, including through voluntary reviews, sharing of best practices and discussion on shared targets. We welcome in this respect the cooperation of regional and subregional commissions and organizations. Inclusive regional processes will draw on national level reviews and contribute to follow-up and review at the global level, including at the high-level political forum on sustainable development.

81.    Recognizing the importance of building on existing follow-up and review mechanisms at the regional level and allowing adequate policy space, we encourage all Member States to identify the most suitable regional forum in which to engage. United Nations regional commissions are encouraged to continue supporting Member States in this regard.

There are tons of language about the role of the regions on tax, infrastructure and illicit flows in AAAA which I haven’t listed because they don’t specifically target the regional commissions but clearly the UN at the regional level WILL play a role – or not if it isn’t funded.

And what the AAAA called for at the regional commission level:
 130.  Mechanisms for follow-up and review will be essential to the achievement of the sustainable development goals and their means of implementation. We commit to fully engaging, nationally, regionally and internationally, in ensuring proper and effective follow-up of the financing for development outcomes and all the means of implementation of the post 2015 development agenda. To achieve this, it will be necessary to ensure the participation of relevant ministries, local authorities, national parliaments, central banks and financial regulators, as well as the major institutional stakeholders, other international development banks and other relevant institutions, civil society, academia and the private sector. We encourage the United Nations regional commissions, in cooperation with regional banks and organizations, to mobilize their expertise and existing mechanisms, which could focus on thematic aspects of the present Action Agenda.

 But the MOST IMPORTANT para is from Agenda 2030 which the 5th Committee is ignoring and which is

46. We underline the important role and comparative advantage of an adequately resourced, relevant, coherent, efficient and effective United Nations system in supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and sustainable development. While stressing the importance of strengthened national ownership and leadership at the country level, we express our support for the ongoing dialogue in the Economic and Social Council on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system in the context of this Agenda.

Perhaps the Committee 2 representatives should talk with their Committee 5 colleagues and if this doesn’t work then with their Heads of State. I am pretty sure that if a Head of State heard about the lack of funding being put forward to realize the agenda they agreed they would be recalling some people.

Perhaps NGOS and other stakeholders might want to drop a note to the Heads of State of the EU countries and Norway……before Christmas comes and Scrooge really does take over. 


I leave the last word to Amb. Macharia Kamau ‏who just tweeted about this blog


Amb. Macharia Kamau Retweeted felix dodds
"Sad but true.The invisible hand of retraction at work.It's for us to remain vigilant 4 the #SDGs "

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