The UN Secretariat issued an advance unedited compilation of discussion papers from Major Groups and other stakeholders on the theme of the 2015 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): ‘Strengthening integration, implementation and review - the HLPF after 2015.'
June 2015: The UN Secretariat issued an advance unedited compilation of discussion papers from Major Groups and other stakeholders on the theme of the 2015 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): ‘Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015.’
According to several of the papers, the HLPF should: be linked to a strong accountability mechanism that monitors the post-2015 and other sustainable development commitments; include accountability obligations for the private sector; be inspired by existing global mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council for its follow-up and review; and be sufficiently supported in terms of resources and staff.
The Women’s Major Group proposes that the HLPF consider modalities for enhanced participation that recognizes Major Groups and “other civil society constituencies,” rather than Major Groups and “other stakeholders,” and thus calls for the establishment of an institutionalized mechanism for civil society participation that defines parameters for the engagement of new and diverse constituencies. It also recommends that the HLPF: ensure policy coherence with international financial and trade institutions; highlight key development challenges that affect women’s rights such as debt sustainability and tax cooperation; and review financing for women’s rights organizations as well as financing and implementation of national gender equality plans and strategies.
Children and Youth say the HLPF should follow-up on the implementation of voluntary commitments, and that governments, partnerships and corporations should report on their ecological footprint through a natural capital accountability system.
Indigenous peoples and NGOs note that no UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution has ever given Major Groups and other stakeholders “such wide-ranging access and participation rights” at the UN as Resolution 67/290 on the format and organizational aspects of the HLPF. They highlight the need to establish a bureau of Member States with appropriate participation of Major Groups and other stakeholders to provide guidance and political support to the HLPF, and call for the promotion of small scale partnerships “where SMEs, Indigenous Peoples and local communities NGOs, as well as other citizen-led initiatives can be up-scaled to a higher level.”
Beyond 2015 suggests that the HLPF assess the overall review and accountability mechanisms for the post-2015 agenda ahead of its four-yearly meetings under the auspices of the UNGA, to verify whether they are working adequately and to consider how they might be improved. It also calls for the HLPF to create “spaces” to review the implementation of paragraphs 14, 15 and 16 of Resolution 67/290 on participation of Major Groups and other stakeholders.
The Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) Network states that the review of the post-2015 development agenda should include: the institutionalization of in-person participation at all levels; remote participation through meeting webcasts and public and accessible reports; reporting based on an official summary incorporating written inputs provided by NGOs and other non-state actors; and capacity building for data collection and monitoring.
The Human Rights Stakeholder Constituency proposes that the global-level review examine transnational consequences of States’ policies and practices, such as in financing, tax, trade and the environment, which it says greatly affect “other States’ abilities to develop sustainably and realize human rights.” It also calls for a “review of every State” three times between 2016 and 2030, so that each government can report on post-2015 implementation and receive recommendations every four or five years.
Local Authorities note that urbanization in the context of the post-2015 development agenda should be considered as a cross-cutting issue that addresses, for example, the rural-urban and local-regional nexus, and calls for indicators that are readily collected at regional and local levels.
Business and Industry outline principles for the “successful and substantive involvement” of business in the HLPF, including: giving business equal opportunities for participation as other non-state actors; engaging the full spectrum of the business sector and involving companies of all sizes from developed and developing countries; engaging business in all stages of policy development and implementation, including agenda setting, and policy formulation; and ensuring that business engagement reflects good governance for decision-making.
The Scientific and Technological Community notes that the existing alliance composed of the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), Future Earth and other partners including the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) are ideally placed to work together in supporting the “new science-policy-practice interface needed for the post-2015 agenda.” It adds that these should be recognized as “the agencies to engage with” the HLPF, and should coordinate input from the scientific community so as “to ensure an informed and objective perspective on progress against the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
Persons with disabilities call for: global thematic consultations around cross-cutting issues, such as the rights of persons with disabilities; and the establishment of a national coordination mechanism for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda, and of a thematic working group on the mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda “that would offer policy and technical advice to the Forum.”
Volunteer groups call for a universal commitment to monitor progress, and ask development actors to publish timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on their activities in a common, open format, based on existing open data standards.
The Stakeholder Group on Ageing calls on the HLPF to take a leadership role in requiring disaggregated data by age for its review functions, assess the extent to which each goal and target is being achieved for all social groups, and support and reinforce efforts to strengthen inter-linkages with other processes.
Finally, the Asia-Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM) calls for the HLPF to establish independent special rapporteurs to assess progress, identify systemic and specific barriers, violations and obstacles and provide recommendations to advance rights to sustainable development [Publication: Note by the Secretariat: Discussion Papers on the Theme of the HLPF, submitted by Major Groups and other stakeholders (Advance Unedited)] [IISD RS Coverage of HLPF 2015]