Negotiations on HLPF Outcome Shift to Bilaterals
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Governments concluded their informal meetings on the joint ministerial declaration for adoption at the 2018 HLPF and ECOSOC High-level Segment.

The co-facilitators will continue consulting bilaterally with groups to achieve consensus on outstanding issues.

During a reading of the revised draft from 3-5 July 2018, the US noted the inclusion of “well-known hot button issues,” such as language on foreign occupation and sensitive trade language that are controversial.

6 July 2018: Governments concluded their informal meetings on the joint ministerial declaration for adoption at the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the High-level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The co-facilitators will continue consulting bilaterally with groups to achieve consensus on outstanding issues.

The HLPF convenes from 9-18 July 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. On 12 June the co-facilitators for negotiations on the ministerial declaration, the permanent representatives of Australia and Bangladesh, circulated the zero draft, followed by a meeting for preliminary comments on 14 June. Delegates then conducted a reading of the text from 21-22 June and a reading of the revised draft from 3-5 July 2018.

During the reading of the revised draft, the US expressed disappointment with the length of the text, explaining that myriad cross-cutting issues that are not up for debate, and are not part of 2018 HLPF discussions, are included “unnecessarily.” He referred in particular to the means of implementation (MOI) language, which he said cherry picks aspects of MOI. He said the amount of text on MOI “dwarfs” the SDGs under review, moving the text out of balance. He further noted the inclusion of “well-known hot button issues,” such as language on foreign occupation and sensitive trade language that is controversial.

Egypt, for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), proposed adding reference to ensuring that “no country” and no one is left behind in a paragraph on crosscutting issues, which was opposed by the EU, Canada also for Australia and New Zealand (CANZ), the US, Switzerland and Japan. The G-77/China requested adding reference to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR) in a paragraph on the guiding principles for the ministerial declaration, and the EU, the US and Japan opposed.

The G-77/China requested the addition of a paragraph on ending hunger and food security, which the US opposed, noting that issues that are not under the review of the 2018 HLPF should not be included in the document. The G-77/China observed that the document references human rights and gender equality, which are also not under the 2018 HLPF purview, and said there is a need for references to ending hunger and food security to ensure balance in the text.

Russia, supported by Mexico, proposed language on the role of the UN Regional Economic Commissions, which the EU opposed. In a paragraph noting that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security, and that peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development, the US, CANZ and Israel called for deleting references to removing the obstacles to the full realization of the right of self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation. Japan abstained with regard to these issues, cautioning that they led the ministerial declaration to be adopted through a vote in previous years. Russia opposed the EU’s proposal to add reference to the important role that women play in peace and security, as well as Republic of Korea’s proposal on the role of youth. Russia also opposed the US’s proposal to add “free from sexual exploitation and abuse” to a paragraph envisioning a world for young women and young men.

In a paragraph on recognizing the synergies between the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda, G-77/China, Turkey, the US and Russia requested the deletion of language that called on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Conference of the Parties to discuss the role of both energy and water in strengthening resilience.

Consensus could not be reached on the paragraph on MOI, with the G-77/China wanting detailed language on MOI, including on trade, while other countries including Japan, US and CANZ noted that re-opening issues decided in the financing for development (FfD) process would be unacceptable, and proposed simply attaching the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) instead. CANZ cautioned that the MOI paragraph is the paragraph that led to the adoption of the 2017 Ministerial Declaration through a vote. [HLPF 2018 website] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on first round of negotiations on ministerial declaration][SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of HLPF Process] [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]


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