Problems at the SDG OWG

Missing the morning session of the SDG OWG because i was on my way back from 'The Band Perry' concert in Cary North Carolina I have only just caught up with today's developments.

The co-chairs want to finish the SDG OWG by Wednesday to move to a UN General Assembly session so it seems that the problems that were evident 3 months back are now coming into focus.

Means of Implementation

Those that have been reading this blog will have seen me blog on this a couple of times. I argued a long while ago that to make the goals effective you need MOI under each goal. This was done with Agenda 21. The G77 have supported this approach but it has happened late in the process. At this point it seems that developed countries do not want MOI under each of the goals. This is a mistake - I have explained my views on this in the past but a really good reason is to ensure that there is some accountability in the area of MOI and that makes it more likely if it is under each goal.

Co-chairs text or negotiated text

It has again been clear since early on that G77 supported a negotiated outcome and the developed countries a co-chairs text. This is now coming to ahead and there is a danger of there being no outcome from this process if it isn't resolved. If the G77 position was to go forward the document would be agreed by the UN General Assembly on Wednesday- Friday this week and be a strong starting place for 2015. If the EU position were to be the outcome then countries could easier walk back what they said this year.

Secretary General intervention

I hear that the Secretary General has had a meeting with some Ambassadors to explore the idea that he and his team should be given freedom to come forward with a small number of goals in his synthesis report.  As one developing country pointed out in the SDG OWG “Reducing the number of goals cannot become a goal in itself"

I hope that this was rejected by Ambassadors - the last two years this process has gone through national meetings, thematic discussions, a Secretary General Panel Report and 13 meetings of the SDG OWG to ensure we collect the best ideas and the relevant SDGs for the 21st century. The number is not important - what is is what are the critical issues that we need to face as a global community working together for a better world.

What I would hope to see in the synthesis report is adding to what the SDG OWG has done. In particular looking at the report as a whole and seeing what is missing.

If the we do see the secretariat reduce the number of goals then many people will ask what was the point of all the work that has been done by so many across the global. It will be a slap in the face for real internationalism, participation and transparency.


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