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Zero draft resolution for 2030 Follow up

The zero draft is now out on the follow up to the 2030 Agenda at the global level. This is after consultations on the elements paper held by the two co-facilitators  Ambassador of Belize, Ms. Lois M. Young, and the Ambassador of Denmark, Mr. Ib Petersen.

Key outcomes and want it means 

The resolution seeks to ensure an integrated approach and for each four year cycle will:
"reflect the integrated, indivisible, interlinked nature of the sustainable development goals and three dimensions of sustainable development, including cross-cutting issues as well as new and emerging issues, and will serve as the lens through which to review all 17 goals"
It also suggests that a set of goals will be discussed at each session representing the three dimensions of sustainable development and that an indepth review on progress review of progress of all goals over the course of a four year cycle, with the goals 17 discussed annually.

The review of goal 17 each year is very important and should as a result strengthen the Financing for Development Forum which this year was a disaster.   The question is will the annual review of Goal 17 be in relation to the goals being discussed that year or a more generic review. The first course is what developing countries should push for as it offers more opportunity to focus on what needs to be done. 

The suggested cycles are:
  • 2017 Theme: Ensuring food security on a safe planet by 2030 Set of focus goals: 1, 2, 6, 13, 14, 15 and 17
  • 2018 Theme: Making cities sustainable and building productive capacities Set of focus goals: 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 17
  • 2019 Theme: Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness Set of focus goals: 3, 4, 5 10, 16 and 17
It is also good to see in the resolution the suggestion that now the Economic and Social Council should align its annual themes with the HLPF

National Reports 
The old UN Commission on sustainable Development sued to highlight national reports from 1992-1997 and the Annual Ministerial Review in ECOSOC has done this since 2008. If we are to have national reviews then what were the lessons from those previous times that might make these reviews have more impact.

Is it ok for member states to produce only two national reports by 2030? I think this is not enough. Why cant they be every year once the system is set up then its updating each report that would be needed. Doing it only twice is a recipe for a lack of  implementation. In addition shouldn't these reports and updates also go to national parliaments so that the Executive can be held accountable on their implementation. 

Regions
The idea of reaffirming the follow up at the regional and sub-regional level will require the UN 5th Committee to produce a new budget for the regional commissions as the one they agreed before Christmas gutted the follow up by these institutions. Well done developed countries.

Stakeholders
The draft resolution is supportive of stakeholder involvement saying the HLPF "shall be open to the major groups, other relevant stakeholders". It goes on to say "further encourages in this regard, that in the organization of the meetings of the high-level political forum innovative arrangements including web-based interfaces should be considered so as to support the effective, broad and balanced participation by region and by type of organization." I would suggest looking back at the stakeholder dialogues with Member states held at the CSD from 1997-2001. These were very successful. Two full days 4 three hour session but no more than 4 stakeholder groups participating in each sessions and half the time given over to Member states with papers by the stakeholders prepared by February for a June CSD with a comparative analysis. Stakeholder groups not in the four had to mainstream themselves in the other four. Over the four sessions all groups had at least one of the spots. 

Though i support the use of new technology to enhance involvement this can not  be a recipy for not supporting the actual attendance of developing country stakeholders. This means funds need to be made available for their involvement in the HLPF.

Just like Member states stakeholders need to realign around the SDGs and report on what they are doing. this call is not only important for them as far as making Member states aware of what they are doing but also to ensure that there is some form of accountability of their role in implementing the SDGs.

UN System
It is very good that the Functioning Commissions and main committees  and intergovernmental bodies and forums are being encouraged to line up behind the SDGs. This is in the hands of Member states its the same governments attending all these bodies. This requires a governmental decision in each country to do this effectively. Any country arguing against this in any forum should be highlighted to their Head of State and Parliament for an explanation why!!

UN Secretariat 
Obviously the UN Secretariat needs to reorganize around the new agenda too once the systems have been agreed but I believe this is a Secretary General staffing issue and should be dealt with by the new Secretary General. 

Two HLPFs in one year
The text suggests "different roles of the high-level political forum when meeting under the auspices of the General Assembly and when meeting under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, that when meeting in the same year they shall be closely coordinated to avoid duplication, ensure coherence and provide for mutually reinforcing linkages; and decides further for these purposes that the high-level political forum shall only have one negotiated political declaration for that year."

This is wrong there should be TWO political statements otherwise you are undermining the review by ECOSOC that year and reducing those SDGs to a lower level than in the other years., The political statement by Heads of State should be about the overall direction of the SDGs and any corrections they want to make. These two different roles. 

Presidents Summary 
In addition to the political statement there is a suggestion that there would in addition be a President Summary. This would be non negotiable. This is similar to what was done under the CSD with the CSD dialogues. There are strengths in this that it call collect ideas that appear from the main events that will happen around the HLPF and should be welcomed.  

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