Opening the third session of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda to a full room and gallery, Co-Facilitator Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, suggested that the process is attracting greater interest, and said “we have real traction” on creating the post-2015 development agenda.
23 March 2015: Opening the third session of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda to a full room and gallery, Co-Facilitator Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, suggested that the process is attracting greater interest, and said “we have real traction” on creating the post-2015 development agenda.
The third session, taking place from 23-27 March 2015, in New York, US, is dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets and indicators.
The opening morning included: a presentation by John Pullinger, UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) Chair; responses from statistical officials from India, Hungary, Botswana and Ecuador; announcements by the co-facilitators; and statements from Member States.
Pullinger presented a UNSC report on the preparation of the indicators framework for the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda, which was circulated to UN Member States on 18 March 2015. The report includes a list of provisional indicators and initial rating by national statistical offices (NSOs). Pullinger said the indicators and ratings have not been discussed, and do not prejudge the work of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG), which will hold its first meeting in May 2015. He stressed the technical nature of the process and that it takes time. The UNSC has agreed on endorsing the indicator framework at UNSC 47 in March 2016.
On the scope of the indicator framework, Pullinger said: it will identify indicators for all agreed goals and targets, including on means of implementation; indicators will only be identified for the targets and goals resulting from the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and the September summit; there will be a limited number of global, universal indicators for global monitoring, accompanied by additional indicators for regional, national and thematic monitoring; and a “core set” of indicators should be extracted for developing countries to work toward.
TCA Anant, India’s Chief Statistician and co-chair of the Group of Friends of the UNSC Chair (FOC), said the initial ratings highlight that many indicators are not feasible or only feasible “with very strong effort.” He called for national ownership over the method of measurement, said national statistical systems will need support, and called indicator development a continuous effort, not a one-off exercise. Gabriella Vukovich, President of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, called for a “relatively trim” number of indicators, and said even developed countries will need additional resources to produce the indicators.
Anna Majelantle, Statistician General from Botswana, said the SDGs should be mainstreamed into national and stakeholder priorities, and treated as part of their ongoing monitoring and evaluation systems. José Rosero, Executive Director of Ecuador’s National Statistics and Census Institute, speaking for the Latin American and Caribbean region, voiced the shared belief that the goals and targets “are closed.” He said a year-long process is the minimum to develop a list of high-quality indicators. Beyond drawing up the indicator framework, he said, producing the indicators will create a demand for strengthened information systems. His region will seek to break traditional paradigms of statistical measurement, and break the “statistical silence” on certain issues in the region, Rosero added.
Kamau then announced a document being made available on the revision of 19 targets, on advice from the UN Technical Support Team (TST). He said the revisions are based on: providing a numerical value for Xs and Ys contained in the Open Working Group outcome; making ambition levels consistent with existing agreements or international law; avoiding duplication; and tweaking language to ensure targets are specific, measurable and action-oriented. In some cases, the target’s date was changed from 2020 to 2030, so the overall set would have common attainment dates, he said.
Kamau stressed that this is not a “broad-based technical proofing exercise.”
Finally, the co-facilitators said they will circulate a proposal of themes for the interactive dialogues during the post-2015 summit, for discussion later in the week. [IISD RS Sources] [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [Webpage for Third Session] [IISD RS Story on UNSC Report] [Targets in the proposed SDGs framework]