Monday, January 26, 2015

Stocktaking the first Post 2015 meeting

There is less than 250 days left for governments to agree to what Heads of State will agree to at the end of September. This has been a long road from the time that Colombia, Guatemala and Peru raised the idea of the SDGs in July 2011 to where we find ourselves today.  

STOCKTAKING SESSION

The first session of the Post 2015 process – the Stocktaking Session - with the two Co-Facilitators   of   the   negotiations,   Ambassador David   Donoghue,   Permanent   Representative   of   Ireland   to   the   UN,   and   Ambassador   Macharia  Kamau,  Permanent  Representative  of  Kenya - was held from 19-21st of January 2015.

In December the UNGA agreed to the timetable to remind us what this is all about:
  • Declaration (17-20 February)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (23-27 March)
  • Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Development (20-24th of April)
  • Follow Up and Review (18th to 22nd May) 


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

The Stocktaking session was also organized around the four substantive areas.

On the Declaration any one interested in influencing this should be sharing suggested paras with governments now and during the next few weeks as governments will already be coming to an initial view on what should be in the Declaration and what should not be there. 

During the discussions at the Stocktaking session there were quiet wide views on what it could be like. The Europeans and US wanted a shorter document while many G77 saw it as a space to take a broader look at the world and would be suggesting within it elements not reflected in the SDGs.

The co-facilitators will circulate in the next few weeks an ‘elements paper’ on the Declaration which will also help stakeholders in their preparation. My recommendation is to look at the Millennium Declaration as a model; regarding the issues of peace and security, the World Summit 2005 outcome document would be of greater help those stakeholders interested in that area. Other documents worth looking at are the Rio Declaration (1992) and the MDG+10 (2010) outcomes. There was some support for the idea that the document might be structured around the UN  Secretary Generals six elements (dignity, people, prosperity, planet, justice and partnership). 

On the Sustainable Development Goals and targets it was clear that there was little support among member states for reopening what was agreed at the SDG OWG. The UK was one of the countries that had advocated a smaller number of goals, but has now been told to stop doing that by the UK parliament, and at least in public is doing what they were told to do.

The UN Task Team has started carrying out a ‘technical proofing’ of the targets. This prompted a few key G-77 governments to push back at them doing this. In fact they should have been doing some of this already during the OWG, but this clearly had not happened.  The concern now is that the UN is basically interfering with what governments have already agreed to. The issue revolves around if they try and suggest that some of the targets instead might be indicators. 

Linked to this is the indicators issue  the process will be under the Statistical Commission . Here you can find the draft decision for the March Statistical Commission plus in Annex 1 what would be done on indicators through the establishment of an inter-agency committee (see point 36).

Means of Implementation was the least negotiated section of the SDG OWG. The two Ambassadors that are facilitating the Finance for Development process addressed the Stocktaking meeting – at this point the process is on two parallel tracks and the FfD process is not engaged enough in the sustainable development finance ideas. Clearly there will be a major challenge to link the two processes.

Follow-up and review
This is a new area that governments will need to begin develop their thinking about. this will include issues such as 
  • the  HLPF and ECOSOC;
  • National follow-up mechanisms including National Councils and Parliaments;
  • Role of regional Institutions;
  • What role partnerships will play 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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
Partnerships
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. 





Monday, January 12, 2015

'Making your voice heard: How to influence the post-2015 development agenda'

             

SAVE THE DATE

'Making your voice heard: How to influence the post-2015 development agenda'

6-8pm, Monday 19 January

Room 27/26 UN Secretariat Building, ​New York

Beyond2015SD2015 and the Tellus Institute invite you to participate in this practical training to help you and your organisation engage successfully in the post-2015 agenda over this coming year. 

Find out the latest information and updates on post-2015 processes and learn how to effectively influence governments and other key decision makers to make sure we bring about the world we want by 2030​.

Please register your interest to participate in this training session as soon as possible as there is limited room capacity and participation will be confirmed on a first come, first serve basis. To register you need click here

Note: You will need to have already registered to attend the post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations that are taking place at the UN between the 19-21 January to have qualified for a pass to get into the UN building ​for this training OR you must already have a UN grounds pass to ensure access.



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My top stories for the year that have been naughty or nice


As Father Christmas starts his travels around the world to deliver his presents I managed to hack the list which you may find interesting
Nice: The co-chairs of the SDG OWG Ambassador Mr. Macharia Kamau Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya and Mr. Csaba Kőrösi Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Hungary for achieving shepherding governments and stakeholders to an agreed set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Naughty:  Save the Children Fund Management for awarding its global legacy Award – to a former British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
Nice: while over 200 of Save the Children Funds own staff joined 100,000s of people condemning the decision even as further questions arose over his role in accepting fictitious intelligence promoted by the Bush-Cheney administration to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Naughty: One of our favorite NGOs Greenpeace had some of their campaigners at the climate conference in Peru hoping to make a global impression at the Nazca Lines World Heritage Site.  Unfortunately, they did and the results may be with us for 100s of years. One humorous comment by the Shadow Knows “This is really going to piss off the aliens. Saved the environment, started an intergalactic war. Thanks Greenpeace.” Not sure that the condemnation by Annie Lenox the Greenpeace America Executive Director will do enough to avert that intergalactic war but we can hope.    
Nice:  The UK House of Common Audit Committee under the leadership of Joan Wally telling the UK government to stop lobbying for fewer goals as it would have a negative impact on sustainable development
Naughty: Russia, Canada and the U.S. (the US can’t do this as they have not ratified the treaty so would only be Russia, Denmark and Canada for using clauses of the International Convention on the Law of Sea to assert claims of territorial sovereignty over the potentially oil-rich Arctic seabed. And of course at the last minute Denmark joining that group through access land rights through their Greenland property.
Nice: World Animal Protection’s campaign on antibiotic resistance becoming an issue for the SDG’s
Naughty: The vicious panic and backlash by local politicians and media in tje US over the risk of Ebola - directed at the very medical personnel who had bravely volunteered to fight the epidemic in Africa.
Nice: Thanks to WHO and the medical personnel who all their wonderful work on the Ebola crisis.
Naughty: The failure by the organizers of the Peoples Climate March, in New York  in September, to include any speakers or statements, to call for any specific policies or actions, or to march within even a half  mile of the UN summit which was its proclaimed target.
Nice: But a big thumbs up for the Secretary Generals climate finance team and the announcement of disinvestment from fossil fuels by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.
Naughty: Australian PM Tony Abbott's government's attempts  to abolish his country's carbon trading system to deny that the drought and wild sweeping his nation were exacerbated by climate change to keep climate change away from the G20 summit agenda,  to undermine an COP 20 agreement by claiming to want stronger targets, and to send a 'chaperone' to accompany his own foreign minister in Lima because she was feared too sympathetic to supporting effective action.
 Nice: US- China deal on climate change – a game changer
Naughty: The Intergovernment Committee on Sustainable Development Finance refusing to have its meetings open to stakeholders with the result that their report is mostly ignored by governments and stakeholders

Nice: Paula Caballero Gomez of Colombia for the leadership the in putting the SDGs on the table in 2011 and taking us all to a point where they are universally accepted

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Modalities Resolution agreed by the UN GA on 2015

The modalities resolution has now passed the UN General Assembly for the 2015 process. There are some key aspects that are worth mentioning.

The first and most important is that:

(b) the co-facilitators will ensure the engagement of the relevant stakeholders including major groups, civil society, scientific and knowledge institutions, parliaments, local authorities and the private sector, and seek their views, building upon the practices of the Open Working Group on sustainable development goals and in accordance with resolution xxx on the organization of the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda;

This ensures a positive space for stakeholders to engage in the process.  How the co-facilitates interpret this will be vital but it will also require a responsible approach by stakeholders. There were a couple of incidents in the SDG OWG which cannot be repeated next year.

To help new people engaging in the process there will be a training put on by the UN Division on Sustainable Development and me the evening of the 19th of January 6-8pm. More details on this to come.

Another issue I would draw people’s attention to is the now confirmed structure of the outcome document it the resolutions says it: may include the following main components
Declaration;
Sustainable Development Goals and targets;
Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development; and
Follow-up and review;

If you are preparing input then think what you want in the Declaration. Look back at the Millennium Declaration for ideas and txt.

The modalities resolution also says that the “main basis for integrating sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda, while recognizing that other inputs, will also be considered;” It is unclear that means reopening the SDGs and Targets my guess is they will be a technical review against previous agreements to ensure they are in line and perhaps there were a few missed out those that dealt with interlinkages were mentioned in the recent EU Council decision. I would also add now with two major reports out (WHO, KPMG) on Antibiotic Resistance that should be additional target. Well done to the World Animal Protection for raising the issue and the government of Sweden.
Finally I would draw your attention to this part of the resolution:

“the initial draft of the outcome document on the post 2015 development agenda shall be prepared by the co-facilitators  on the basis of views provided by member states and taking into account substantive discussions in the process of intergovernmental negotiations, and shall be presented to member states by May 2015 for the intergovernmental negotiations;”

So the May session of the negotiations will have text so if you are working on this the important meetings are January, February and March. As the text starts to take shape the ability of stakeholders to impact reduces. 

Full resolution below:

Decision adopted by the General Assembly on …December 2014 on modalities for the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda
  
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 55/2 of 8 September 2000 on the United Nations Millennium Declaration, 60/1 of 16 September 2005 on the 2005 World Summit Outcome, 56/210 B of 9 July 2002 on the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development  and 64/193 of 21 December 2009 on follow-up to and implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the outcome of the 2008 Review Conference (Doha Declaration on Financing for Development),  66/288 of 27 July 2012 on the Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development entitled “The Future We Want” and 68/6 of 9 October 2013 on the Outcome document of the Special Event to follow-up on efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals,

Also recalling its resolutions 68/309 of 10 September 2014 on the report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/288,  69/106 of 8 December 2014 on the report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/288, 67/290  of 9 July 2013 on the format and organizational aspects of the high-level political forum on sustainable development, 61/16 of 20 November 2006 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council and 68/1 of 20 September 2013 on review of the implementation of the General Assembly resolution 61/16 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council,  68/310 of 15 September 2014 on four one-day structured dialogues on possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies, 68/279 of 30 June 2014  on modalities for the third International Conference on Financing for Development, 69/xxx of xxx December on implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development,

Further recalling its resolution 69/xxx of xxx December 2014 on the organization of the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda, and the decision xxx of xxx December 2014 on dates for the meetings of the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda,

1.       Notes the Synthesis report of the Secretary-General on the post-2015 development agenda “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet;
 2.       . Decides that:

(a) the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda will be in accordance with the rules of procedure and established practices of the General Assembly and open, transparent and inclusive, consistent with the resolution xxx of xxx December 2014 on the organization of the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda;

(b) the co-facilitators will ensure the engagement of the relevant  stakeholders including major groups, civil society, scientific and knowledge institutions, parliaments, local authorities and the private sector, and seek their views, building upon the practices of the Open Working Group on sustainable development goals and in accordance with resolution xxx on the organization of the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda;

(c) the outcome document to be prepared for adoption at the Summit in September 2015 may include the following main components: Declaration; Sustainable Development Goals and targets; Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development; and follow-up and review;

 (d) in accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/309, the proposal of the Open Working Group shall be the main basis for integrating sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda, while recognizing that other inputs, will also be considered;

(e)in accordance with resolution xxx on the organization of the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda and resolution 68/279, every effort shall be made to ensure effective coordination between the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and the preparatory process for the third International Conference on Financing for Development and other relevant United Nations intergovernmental processes in order to promote coherence, build synergies and minimize duplication of effort;

(f) the initial draft of the outcome document on the post 2015 development agenda shall be prepared by the co-facilitators  on the basis of views provided by member states and taking into account substantive discussions in the process of intergovernmental negotiations, and shall be presented to member states by May 2015 for the intergovernmental negotiations;

 3. Further decides on the following provisional indicative roadmap:
(a) 19-21 January 2015 [3 days] – Stocktaking
(b) 17-20 February 2015 [4 days] – Declaration
(c) 23-27 March 2015 [5 days]  Sustainable Development Goals and targets
(d) 20-24 April 2015 [5 days] - Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
(e) 18-22 May 2015 [5 days] – Follow up and review
(f) 22-25 June 2015 [4 days] – Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document
(g) 20-24 July 2015 and 27-31 July 2015 [10 days] – Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document.
 4. Underlining the importance of achieving a consensus outcome, decides that the outcome document of the post-2015 development agenda should be adopted by consensus;
5. Decides that the interactive dialogues of the Summit shall have an overarching theme of ‘Transforming the world: Realizing the post-2015 development agenda, and that the themes for the six individual dialogues will be decided through the process of intergovernmental negotiations of the post-2015 development agenda;

6. Also decides that these modalities will be flexible and reviewed as necessary.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nexus Conference on Water, Food, Climate & Energy side events and registration now open - influence the SDGs in an interlinked way


Dear Friends,

The 2015 Nexus Conference on Water, Food, Climate & Energy  will again be in Chapel Hill on the 15-17th of March web site here

The conference is now accepting side event requests here. While event themes will be determined by the organizers, they should be related to the conference themes:
  • Sustainable and Resilient Development at a Local Level
  • Transboundary, National and Local Nexus Governance
  • Corporate Stewardship of the Nexus
  • Financing in a Nexus World
  • Sustainable Agriculture 
  • Water Stress, Vulnerability, and Health
  •  Managing Resources: Optimizing Co-Demands

We are also open for attendance registration here.
The main plenary sessions of the conference will be:
  • Science of the Nexus 
  • Governing the Nexus Globally, Nationally and Locally
  • No regrets: Health & the Nexus
  •  Corporate Stewardship for the Nexus
  •  Partnerships for the Nexus


Speakers and Chairs include

Confirmed speakers include: Hans R. Herren, President & CEO Millennium Institute and 2013 Right Livelihood Award winner; Kitty Vander-Heijden, Director of World Resources Institute’s Europe Office and former Netherlands Sustainable Development Ambassador; Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director of Stockholm Environmental Institute; Liz Thompson former UN Assistant Secretary General Rio+20 and Barbados Health and Environment Minister, Derek Osborn President of Stakeholder Forum and former Chair of the preparatory process for Rio+5; Gavin Powers Deputy Head UN Global Compact; Steve Waygood Head of Sustainability Research and Engagement,  AVIVA

Outputs

We plan on producing multiple outputs as a result of the Nexus Conference. These include:
1.       Nexus Declaration input to the SDG process: Participants will be able to input to the redraft of the 2014 Nexus Declaration. This will be updated in time for the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets which will be discussed the week following on the 23rd to the 27th of March.
Current Declaration  can be found here

We also plan to have the following:
  1. Draft Nexus Principles for companies: As indicated last year, in an effort to make the Nexus practical this will be available for input and will hopefully have an impact on how companies address the Nexus. 
  2.  Draft Guidance for governments: To help kick off the discussion within government departments we will have a draft for input to.

The conference will also be a place for networking and helping to develop the approaches to an interlinked agenda for the future.

We hope you can attend.

Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram
Nexus 2015 Conference Co-directors


 

Council of the European Union Conclusions on post-2015 agenda

Brussels, 16 December 2014


The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. In the post-2015 agenda we have a great opportunity to address some of the key global issues facing the world today in a truly transformative manner. As the Council has emphasised in previous conclusions

1, foremost among these issues are the interrelated challenges of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development in all its three dimensions (environmental, social and economic). To address these challenges in a coordinated and coherent manner, we need an ambitious agenda, which leaves no-one behind. It should be truly global and universal, with all countries and stakeholders playing their full part. These Council conclusions consider the progress so far and the opportunities ahead, as we enter the next stage of the international process.

2. Achieving a transformative agenda is a key priority and the EU and its Member States stand ready to engage in an open and constructive dialogue with all partners and stakeholders to this end.

3. The EU and its Member States remain strongly committed to the Millennium Declaration, to accelerating efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to ensuring that the post-2015 agenda provides a comprehensive follow-up to Rio+20 and addresses the structural causes of poverty, inequality, climate change, and environmental degradation.

4. The EU welcomes the range of inputs into the international process, including the many contributions from stakeholders and the global thematic consultations organised by the United Nations, that have helped engage an unprecedented number of people across the world. Further to the Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the outcome document of the MDGs Special Event, the Council welcomes the Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) and the proposal from the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which shall be the main basis for integrating sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda, while recognizing that other inputs will also be considered, as set out in UN General Assembly resolution
68/309.

1 Council conclusions of 25 June 2013 on The Overarching Post 2015 Agenda (doc. 11559/13) and Council conclusions of 12 December 2013 on Financing poverty eradication and sustainable development beyond 2015 (doc. 17553/13). EU priorities for the 69th session of the UNGA (doc. 10856/14).

5. The Council welcomes the presentation by the UN Secretary General on 4 December 2014 of his Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Agenda "The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet". The report, by bringing together various elements needed for a successful agenda, provides a key contribution for the upcoming intergovernmental processes in the run-up to the September 2015 Summit.

6. We welcome the opportunity the Third International Financing for Development Conference in July 2015 provides to address both enabling policy frameworks and the mobilisation and effective use of financial resources for the achievement of the post-2015 agenda.

7. We emphasise the importance of the ongoing negotiations to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and of reaching an ambitious legally binding agreement applicable to all Parties in Paris in December 2015.

8. We note the importance of the upcoming negotiations for a Post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Sendai Conference in March 2015.

9. The previous Council Conclusions and the Commission Communication "A Decent Life for All: From Vision to Collective Action" 2 are important contributions to further developing the position of the EU and its Member States in the run-up to the summit in September 2015.

Guiding principles

10. The Council reaffirms the vision and priorities of the EU and its Member States as set out in its Conclusions of June 2013 and emphasises that poverty eradication and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing and intrinsically linked. The post-2015 agenda should therefore integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced way across the agenda; ensure coherence and synergies; and address inter-linkages throughout the goals and targets. It is also crucial to ensure that the agenda has a rights-based approach encompassing all human rights and that it respects, supports, and builds on existing multilateral agreements, conventions, commitments, and processes.

11. The universality of the agenda is fundamental. The agenda should be global in coverage and universally applicable, while taking into account levels of development, national contexts and capacities and respecting national policies and priorities. It should overcome traditional divides and recognise that all countries have common challenges and opportunities and a shared future.

12. The post-2015 agenda must reflect the complexity of sustainable development and poverty eradication. At the same time a clear and concise framework is also essential for ownership and effective implementation by all governments and all relevant stakeholders. A framework that can easily be communicated and understood is crucial to success and to ensuring public support for the agenda.

13. The post-2015 agenda should be guided by the principle of accountability, the fundamental requirements of which are ownership of the whole agenda by all countries, transparency and effective and efficient monitoring and review of progress. It should also significantly increase people's ability to effectively and meaningfully participate in and contribute to the policy choices affecting them and to hold governments and other actors accountable for progress.
2 Doc. 10412/14 + ADD 1 - COM(2014) 335 final.

14. Business as usual is no longer an option, whether in terms of human dignity, equality or sustainability. The new agenda should aim to eradicate poverty in all its forms and to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions in a balanced and integrated manner. It must steel our determination to end extreme poverty in one generation, building on and completing the unfinished business of the MDGs. We note with concern that conflict-affected and fragile states are still lagging behind. The agenda must also recognise that environmental sustainability is fundamental to ensuring the sustainable prosperity and wellbeing of all people within planetary boundaries. It must unlock the drivers of the green economy, make our economies and lifestyles more equitable and sustainable and more effective in reducing poverty. The new agenda must be people-centred, based on human rights, and combat discrimination, including gender inequality and gender based violence. It should address the structural causes of poverty, inequality and violence including by strengthening effective inclusive and democratic institutions, good governance and rule of law. Only by addressing all these elements will the new agenda be transformative.

Achieving a transformative agenda

15. The agenda should address the challenges and opportunities as set out in the OWG
proposal, i.e.: poverty; hunger, food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture; health and well-being; education; gender equality and women's empowerment; water and sanitation; energy; inclusive and sustainable growth, employment and decent work; infrastructure, sustainable industrialisation and innovation; inequality; cities and human settlements; sustainable consumption and production patterns; climate change; oceans, seas and marine resources; terrestrial ecosystems, forests, desertification, land degradation and biodiversity;
peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice and accountable institutions; means of implementation and the global partnership for sustainable development.

16. The UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report presents a vision for carrying forward a universal transformative agenda for the next 15 years and beyond, underpinned by human rights and aimed to end poverty, transform lives, and protect the planet. We welcome the innovative approach to use an integrated set of six essential elements to facilitate discussions in order to frame a sustainable development agenda; an approach focused around: ending poverty and fighting inequality; ensuring healthy lives, knowledge, and the inclusion of women and children; growing a strong, inclusive, and transformative economy; protecting our ecosystems for all societies and our children; promoting safe and peaceful societies, and strong institutions; and catalysing global solidarity for sustainable
development.

17. The agenda should tackle cross-cutting issues which should be mainstreamed throughout, including disaster risk reduction and resilience. In addition, well-managed migration and human mobility should be fully recognised in the agenda as potential development enablers, acknowledging the need to address also the opportunities and challenges of migration. We acknowledge the natural and cultural diversity of the world, and recognise that culture, including world cultural heritage and creative industries, can have an important role in achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

18. We stress the importance of maintaining in the agenda the integrated approach of the OWG proposal for SDGs, which bring together the many interrelated challenges and opportunities. We highlight the need to maintain and strengthen synergies, coherence and inter-linkages across the whole agenda.

19. The agenda should leave no one behind. In particular, it must address, without any
discrimination, the needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable, including children, the elderly and persons with disabilities, as well as of marginalised groups and indigenous peoples; and it must respond to the aspirations of young people. We should ensure that no person – wherever they live and regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion or belief, race, or other status is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities. We emphasise the critical importance of quality education, universal health coverage, and social protection for all, which are central for the achievement of sustainable development. We further reiterate the need to eliminate malnutrition in all its forms.

20. We reiterate that the empowerment and human rights of women and girls, and ending both discrimination in all its forms and violence against women and girls, must be at the core of the post-2015 agenda. Goals, targets and indicators across the framework should address legal, social and economic barriers to gender equality. We recognise the importance of involving men and boys in advancing gender equality. We remain committed to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the outcomes of their review conferences and in this context sexual and reproductive health and rights.

21. We highlight the opportunities for building an inclusive green economy. The agenda must lead to a transition towards sustainable consumption and production patterns which also fosters resource efficiency and prevents and minimises pollution, including through sustainable management of chemicals and waste.

22. We highlight the need to prominently address peaceful and inclusive societies, democratic governance and the rule of law. Progressing these issues successfully is a key part of making the post-2015 agenda transformative. Human rights and fundamental freedoms must be respected, protected and fulfilled, including freedom of expression, association and the media. Strengthening civil society and ensuring an enabling environment for civil society actors is essential. We need to ensure that institutions, including security and justice institutions, are legitimate, accountable, and efficient and act in accordance with the rule of law. We need to effectively address the drivers of violence and conflict in all societies and to tackle issues that hamper good governance such as corruption and exclusion.

23. We reiterate that the post-2015 agenda must be fully coherent and supportive of climate objectives, and these should be visible within and across the agenda. This should support the UNFCCC without opening up parallel climate negotiations.

24. We recognise that biodiversity is a critical foundation of the earth’s life support system on which our present and future welfare depends as emphasised by the Convention on Biological Diversity. We support the integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity in the post- 2015 agenda. Meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Targets will contribute significantly to broader global sustainable development priorities.

25. The EU and its Member States welcome the OWG proposal. An important area for further work will be to ensure well-defined indicators, allowing for implementation and monitoring of a final set of targets that are specific, measurable, and achievable, preserving the important political balance that the OWG proposal represents. Targets should have a transformative impact, avoid duplication and be consistent with UN standards and agreements, and with international legal frameworks. In particular, we emphasise full compliance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out.

A new global partnership

26. The strongly interlinked challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development are both common – since they are of universal concern and relevance to all people – and global, since in an interdependent world many challenges call for collective action and global solutions. The implementation of the post-2015 agenda requires a global partnership for sustainable development based on the guiding principles of universality, shared responsibility, mutual accountability,  consideration of respective capabilities, and the adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach. We need to develop a stronger, more accountable and inclusive global partnership to mobilise action by all countries and stakeholders at all levels. It is essential to have a more comprehensive, coherent and effective approach, enabling the implementation of the agenda through various means while addressing the special needs of the least developed countries and people most in need.

27. We have a unique opportunity to make a difference together, with a new global partnership that is based on multi-stakeholder cooperation, which provides a high level of exchange and collaboration can achieve higher levels of ambition and innovation. The global partnership needs to promote and learn from the experience of existing partnerships, such as the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The private sector and civil society will have a key role to play in the implementation of the agenda and we recall the importance of the
principles set out in the Global Compact and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

28. The EU and its Member States recognise that universality will require  ommitment from all. In this context, the post-2015 agenda should be reflected in the internal and external policies of the Member States and of the EU, including the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy3, and the Europe 2020 strategy and related policies. The EU and its Member States commit to playing their full part in all aspects of the agenda including means of implementation, and will also expect other partners - including new and emerging actors – to contribute their fair share. We need to frame  appropriate and ambitious commitments for all, taking account of levels of development, national contexts and capacities. National ownership and accountability will be of key importance for the post-2015 agenda and its implementation, including through sustainable development strategies or commitments at the appropriate levels.

29. We must ensure a policy environment conducive to the success of the framework. All countries should promote policy coherence for sustainable development at all levels and review and assess their policies, as appropriate, in order to support the successful implementation of the framework. We note in particular the importance of sound policies inareas including trade, science, migration, technology and innovation, knowledge and expertise sharing. The EU and its Member States also remain fully committed to ensuring Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) as a key contribution to the collective effort towards broader policy coherence for sustainable development.

30. We recall previous Council Conclusions on the Annual Report 2014 to the European Council on EU Development Aid Targets4, including that development cooperation remains a key priority for the EU, which has formally undertaken to collectively commit 0.7% of GNI to official development assistance by 2015, thus making a decisive step towards achieving the MDGs, and by which the EU and its Member States reaffirmed all their individual and collective Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments, taking into account the exceptional budgetary circumstances.
3 Doc. 10117/06
4 Council conclusions of 19 May 2014 on the Annual Report 2014 to the European Council on EU Development Aid Targets (doc. 9989/14).

31. In a changing global context, the financial resources required for poverty eradication and sustainable development remain significant and will have to be addressed in a holistic, coherent and comprehensive manner. We welcome that the ICESDF report highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to sustainable development financing including mobilisation and effective use of domestic resources, international public finance, private finance and innovative financing from domestic and international sources as well as the fight against illicit financial flows. We note the need for the gradual elimination of environmentally harmful subsidies that are incompatible with sustainable development, including for fossil fuels. We recall previous Council conclusions on Financing poverty eradication and sustainable development beyond 2015, and we recognise that ODA remains an important and catalytic element in the overall financing available for developing countries, in particular to those most in need.5

32. The EU and its Member States consider that preparations for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in July 2015 and the Post-2015 Summit in September should reinforce each other. The Financing for Development Conference should address the range of means of implementation for the post-2015 agenda, including both enabling policy frameworks and mobilisation and effective use of financial resources thereby making a positive contribution to the Post-2015 Summit. The outcome of these and related processes should result in one single agenda.

33. A solid, efficient and effective approach to the review, monitoring and accountability of the post-2015 agenda at national, regional and global level will be crucial in order to assess progress towards the achievement of goals and targets. It should be based on effective multilateralism, openness, meaningful participation, transparency and mutual accountability, including an element of peer review. It should benefit from the necessary support from an efficient and effective UN system as well as from other relevant institutions, and involve all partners and stakeholders including civil society, the scientific community, media and the private sector. An effective monitoring and accountability framework should be developed within the upcoming intergovernmental processes, including a key oversight role for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in the follow-up and review of progress of the post-2015 agenda at global level. Existing mechanisms and processes should be used in a coordinated manner wherever possible to avoid duplication and limit administrative burden. The EU remains committed to transparency and accountability, and in this context, the Council welcomes the 2014 EU Accountability Report on Financing for Development.

34. Robust and measurable indicators, with a focus on results, will be essential for reporting and should if not yet available be developed taking account of experience, best practice and expert knowledge as well as citizen voices for accountability. It will be crucial to strengthen the use of existing data and ensure that higher quality data is collected in a coordinated manner, and to capitalise on new information technologies. In this regard the Friends of the Chair group on broader measures of progress and the Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for sustainable development have made a useful contribution. As emphasised in the OWG proposal, disaggregation of data by income, gender, age, and other factors will be essential to ensure that targets are met by all relevant groups and that no one is left behind. We must recognise the need to look beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to broader measures of progress, including social, human and natural capital, to address a more comprehensive idea of sustainable livelihoods and well-being. We recognise the importance of developing statistical capacities, especially in developing countries, to enable effective accountability. We also note that Eurostat and Member State statistical offices will have a significant role to play in supporting the evolving process of sustainable development monitoring.

5 Council conclusions of 12 December 2013 on Financing poverty eradication and sustainable development beyond 2015 (doc. 17553/13).

35. The most essential element for a truly transformative post-2015 agenda is its effective implementation which mostly takes place at the country level. National ownership and leadership will be of key importance. National efforts need to be reinforced by cooperation and partnership on regional and global levels, including multi-stakeholder cooperation and partnerships. Ongoing work to make the UN development system more "fit for purpose" at headquarters as well as at country level is important for achieving the agenda. The EU and
its Member States recognise that advancing sustainable development also depends on our own domestic action and on developing our own set of implementation measures.

36. The Council invites the Commission to propose a concrete way forward on the global partnership, including the various elements addressed above, based on continued consultative work including with Member States.

Next steps

37. The EU and its Member States will continue to play an active and constructive role in all ongoing processes and support their convergence in order to achieve a single overarching post-2015 agenda. For this purpose, the EU and its Member States will continue to develop and update common positions in order to effectively engage in a unified manner in the upcoming intergovernmental negotiations.

38. The EU and its Member States will continue to work constructively and inclusively with all partners and with stakeholders, including civil society, parliaments, scientific and academic institutions, local authorities, the private sector, philanthropic and social partners throughout the preparation of the post-2015 agenda as well as during its implementation.

39. The EU and its Member States will continue to engage in regular dialogue and outreach on these issues. In particular, we will build on joint initiatives and declarations and continue to work with regional partners. The EU and its Member States are committed to playing an active role in building the necessary consensus to establish and implement an ambitious, transformative and inclusive post-2015 agenda."