Second Committee Concludes Work on Resolutions, Invites High-level Events
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Resolutions approved in the UNGA’s Second Committee would call for preparatory meetings for a review of the SAMOA Pathway, and high-level meetings during UNGA 73 on climate protection in the context of the 2030 Agenda, and on combatting illicit financial flows.

Briefing stakeholders, DESA officials also noted upcoming consultations on ECOSOC reform, HLPF 2018 thematic EGMs, and the second report of the Secretary-General on UNDS reforms.

12 December 2017: UN officials provided an update on the adoption of draft resolutions considered by the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Second Committee (Economic and Financial). In a briefing for Major Groups and Other Stakeholders, the representatives from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) also highlighted upcoming steps towards the review of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) reforms and key events to be held in the UNGA in 2018.

The Second Committee’s work during the 72nd session was chaired by Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia, and concluded on 30 November 2017. On sustainable development, following informal consultations in October and November, the Second Committee adopted 14 draft resolutions by consensus and five draft resolutions by vote. Member States are expected to consider the approved drafts in the UNGA plenary in December.

The texts refer to several future events, as follows:

  • On small island developing States (SIDS), a resolution on the follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy would reaffirm governments’ decision to convene a one-day high-level review of progress. The review would be convened at UN Headquarters in September 2019, preceded by SIDS regional preparatory meetings and interregional meeting to review progress at the national and regional levels.
  • By a draft resolution on ‘Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind,’ the UNGA President would be invited to convene a high-level meeting during UNGA 73 on the issue of the protection of the global climate for present and future generations of humankind in the context of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • By a draft resolution on ‘Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development,’ the Assembly would request the UNGA President to convene briefings by the co-chairs on the Annual Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) no later than February 2018. The briefings would focus on recommendations contained in the Co-Chairs’ summary of the 2017 Forum with regard to next steps for the Forum. The Third STI Forum is scheduled from 5-6 June 2018.
  • A draft resolution on ‘Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows in order to foster sustainable development’ would invite the UNGA President to convene, during the 73rd session, a high-level meeting on international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development.
  • A resolution on ‘Strengthening the links between all modes of transport to achieve the sustainable development goals’ would invite the UN Secretary-General to consider convening another Global Sustainable Transport Conference, for ensuring the implementation of the objectives of the first Conference. The first Global Sustainable Transport Conference took place in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, from 26-27 November 2016.

On other Second Committee decisions, a DESA representative said UN Member States adopted a resolution related to ‘Ensuring Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All.’ A Global Preparatory Meeting in support of the Review of SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) at the 2018 session of the HLPF will convene from 21-23 February 2018, in Bangkok, Thailand.

The officials noted that the annual resolution on the ‘Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development’ was adopted by a vote instead of consensus, with many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries voting against it. The resolution requests the UN Secretary-General to report on and analyze the “unfinished business” of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Governments opposed to the annual resolution said it is out of date, suggesting a focus instead on the 2030 Agenda.

On SDG 2, it was noted that UN Member States are “making progress” at recognizing linkages among the SDGs, as demonstrated in the resolution on Agriculture development, food security and nutrition.

In other upcoming developments:

  • Consultations on the ECOSOC review mandated by UNGA resolution 68/1 on the strengthening of ECOSOC should start in early 2018. UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak has appointed Einar Gunnarsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland, and Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar, as co-facilitators to lead intergovernmental consultations related to this review process.
  • As part of the reform of the UN development system (UNDS), a second report from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres should be issued “in the next few weeks.” The report is expected to build on the first report, which was released in July 2017, and include more concrete guidance.
  • In preparation for HLPF 2018 in July, thematic expert group meetings are being prepared on the SDGs under review.

Representatives of DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC) and Financing for Development Office (FFDO) provided the briefing, which took place via webinar on 12 December 2017. [Draft Resolutions in UNGA Second Committee] [UN Meeting Coverage on Second Committee Concluding Session] [Repositioning the UN Development System to Deliver on the 2030 Agenda: Ensuring a Better Future for All: Report of the Secretary-General] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Co-Facilitators Appointment for UN ECOSOC Review Process] [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources]


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