Member States Respond to Indicators Proposal
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UN Member States provided feedback to the proposal of global indicators contained in the Report of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), during a briefing organized by UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Mogens Lykketoft.

Lykketoft said that the proposal, once agreed by the 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) in March 2016, will be submitted to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The chairs of the UNSC and IAEG-SDGs updated Member States on the next steps in the indicators' development and implementation.

unstats28 January 2016: UN Member States provided feedback to the proposal of global indicators contained in the Report of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), during a briefing organized by UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Mogens Lykketoft. Lykketoft said that the proposal, once agreed by the 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) in March 2016, will be submitted to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The chairs of the UNSC and IAEG-SDGs updated Member States on the next steps in the indicators’ development and implementation.

The briefing took place on 28 January 2016, in New York, US.

John Pullinger, UNSC Chair, said the IAEG has produced a solid, technical proposal. He noted challenges with regard to the measurement of issues for which a methodology does not yet exist. Challenges also will be faced by the national statistics offices (NSOs) in implementing the proposed indicators, since they will require an unprecedented amount of data and compilation. In particular, Goal 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development) contains new aspects for statisticians to capture. Pullinger added that the statistical capacity of many developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) needs to be expanded significantly and all countries need to be supported so that “no country or region is left behind.”

Enrique Ordaz, IAEG-SDGs Co-Chair (Mexico), said the Group’s expert members received inputs from 600 observers and stakeholders on the 149 completed (“green”) indicators, and inputs from over 400 observers and stakeholders on the 80 indicators that are still being reviewed by the IEAG-SDGs (“grey”). Ordaz said an update on the 80 grey indicators will be submitted to the UNSC in mid-February 2016. Pullinger urged delegations to give the impetus to the UNSC to “adopt something” in March, even one containing only a partial proposal of indicators, so that the statistical community has a base for further work.

Pullinger also highlighted the High Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for post 2015 monitoring (HLG), which focuses on strategy for statistical capacity-building, to enable Member States to implement the indicators. He said the HLG met most recently in early January in New York, and agreed to establish a Global Action Plan on Data for the SDGs. He said the HLG will protect national ownership and promote partnerships by reaching out to the private sector and civil society organizations, among others, to help with data collection and aggregation. The purpose of the HLG, he said, is to ensure that good partnerships, coordination, and capacity building are in place. Pullinger said the first World Forum for Sustainable Data will ‘”hopefully” take place later in 2016.

On the annual SDG Progress Report which is mandated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Pullinger said the global indicators on the SDGs will comprise the base of the Report. Ordaz said the data will be produced by the NSOs and aggregated at sub-regional, regional, and global levels.

It was also announced that the next meetings of the IAEG-SDGs will take place in Mexico City, Mexico, in late March 2016.

Among Member States who responded to the briefing, the US stressed the need to create baselines and track what has been left behind. With regard to SDG 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels), she said the proposal is insufficient in key areas, and stronger indicators will be needed to meet the ambition of the targets.

India said the IAEG-SDGs’ proposal is overly focused on national action, while the 2030 Agenda is international. He added that the indicators for SDG 17 are weak and must match the ambition of the agreed targets. He further called for clearly highlighting that the proposed indicators “are not written in stone.”

Zambia, for the landlocked countries (LLDCs), said it is important to track and report on issues relevant for the most vulnerable groups, including the LLDCs, for all indicators, not only those where they are mentioned. She called for integrating the indicators for the Vienna Programme of Action with the SDG indicators.

Morocco requested additional detail on how capacity building will be implemented, and for a flexible monitoring architecture. Ecuador expressed interest in a briefing from the HLG. [IISD RS Sources] [Briefing Documents] [IISD RS Story on IAEG-SDGs Report to UNSC] [UNGA President’s Remarks]


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