The fourth session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressed seven thematic issues that sustainable development "revolves around," in the words of Co-Chair Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya.
OWG 4 took place from 17-19 June 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.
19 June 2013: The fourth session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressed seven thematic issues that sustainable development “revolves around,” in the words of Co-Chair Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya. OWG 4 took place from 17-19 June 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.
On the first five issues – employment and decent work for all, social protection, youth, education and culture – delegates examined the interlinkages between the issues and how they can be incorporated into the SDGs. On the sixth issue, health, there was general consensus that the health goals under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) must be expanded under the SDGs. Possible areas for expansion, as suggested by delegates, include non-communicable diseases, access to quality basic health services and access to sexual and reproductive health education and services. On the seventh issue, population dynamics, delegates noted the need to address aging populations, youth populations, urbanization and migration, and sexual and reproductive rights, among others.
The session also included a presentation from the lead author for the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP).
After sharing the Co-Chairs’ draft summary at the closing session, Kamau said the OWG is making “amazing progress.” He reiterated his question from the close of OWG 3, that for each proposed goal and target, we must ask how to mobilize the resources to achieve it. He also stressed the need to identify issues that are not only “goal-able” but also “globe-able,” which everyone can respond to. Finally, Kamau highlighted the calls for an inter-generational partnership and the inclusion of voices of both youth and those over 65 years old.
The OWG has now reached its half-way point, and will not meet again until November 2013. Kamau and his co-chair, Csaba Körösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary, will produce a short progress report to be delivered to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) by the end of August 2013. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage]