14 March 2019
Countries to Resume Consultations on Aligning UNGA, ECOSOC with 2030 Agenda
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Co-facilitators from Timor-Leste and Czech Republic issued a preparatory note for intergovernmental consultations on enhancing coherence between the UNGA, ECOSOC and other UN bodies and forums, which will start on 18 March.

The note provides contextual information and guiding questions.

The consultation process follows discussions on alignment and coherence that started in 2016 during UNGA 70 and continued during subsequent UNGA sessions.

7 March 2019: UN Member States will hold their first consultations of the 73rd UNGA session on coherence among the agendas of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other UN bodies and forums in light of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, on 18 March 2019. The co-facilitators for these intergovernmental consultations have issued a preparatory note with guiding questions for discussion.

Discussions on alignment and coherence between UN organs started in 2016 during the 70th session of the UNGA, and continued during the subsequent UNGA sessions. In November 2018, UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés appointed Maria Helena Lopes de Jesus Pires, Permanent Representative of Timor-Leste, and Marie Chatardová, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, to facilitate intergovernmental consultations on the alignment process during the 73rd session of the UNGA. The consultations on 18 March are expected to cover governments’ views on the process, and consider anticipated results and outcome.

The note shared by the co-facilitators provides the background and context of the coherence process, including an annex summarizing conclusions from the 2016-2018 consultation sessions. It states that UN Member States have agreed that the work of UN intergovernmental bodies should be aligned with the 2030 Agenda, but there remains a need to agree upon a framework to identify and address overlaps in the agendas of UN bodies and gaps in their coverage of the 2030 Agenda.

Consultations are expected to discuss mechanisms and criteria to identify duplication in the agendas of UN bodies and the 2030 Agenda.

Based on consultations that took place during UNGA 72, the note outlines the need for: an in-depth analysis to inform the identification of overlaps in the agenda of UN bodies and in their coverage of the 2030 Agenda; looking at specific agenda items on a case-by-case basis; and agreeing on a framework to conduct such analysis. The note also mentions that there are different views on possible solutions and ways to move forward.

Per the note, the summit-level meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (also called the SDG Summit and the HLPF Summit) in September 2019 may offer momentum for a renewed focus on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation, and the alignment process to be discussed during UNGA 73 could ensure that UN intergovernmental bodies adequately cover the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs and targets.

The note also outlines possible questions for discussion during UNGA 73. Those questions consider issues such as: the “greatest potential synergies” between the agendas of the various UN bodies; mechanisms and criteria that could be used to determine if there is duplication; and outcome of the consultation process.

Also on coherence between the principal organs of the UN, UNGA President Espinosa and Inga Rhonda King, ECOSOC President, met in February with the co-facilitators of the political declaration of the summit-level HLPF, the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (FfD), and the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum). Participants discussed areas of collaboration and upcoming work. [Co-facilitators’ preparatory note for first 2019 consultation on coherence and alignment]

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