Strategic Alignment Group Maps UNGA Agenda with SDG Targets
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A group of five Permanent Representatives has issued a "mapping assessment" for reducing overlap between the UN General Assembly (UNGA) agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and enhancing their synergy and coherence.

Their report, submitted to UNGA President Mogens Lykketoft, assesses how the targets of each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) are substantively addressed by the UNGA's agenda, the agendas of the UNGA Committees, and the agendas of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its Commissions.

UNGA 2nd Committee - Economic and Financial21 July 2016: A group of five Permanent Representatives has issued a “mapping assessment” for reducing overlap between the UN General Assembly (UNGA) agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and enhancing their synergy and coherence. Their report, submitted to UNGA President Mogens Lykketoft, assesses how the targets of each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) are substantively addressed by the UNGA’s agenda, the agendas of the UNGA Committees, and the agendas of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its Commissions.

In March 2016, Lykketoft appointed Maria Emma Mejia Velez, Permanent Representative of Colombia, to facilitate the “Strategical Alignment” process with support from four members of the General Committee, the Permanent Representatives of Morocco, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the Republic of Korea. In the group’s mapping assessment, it analyzes whether each SDG target is “covered, partially covered or not covered.” It suggests options to address each situation, for further discussion.

The assessment finds, first, that the majority of SDGs contain targets that are either covered in the existing UNGA and/or ECOSOC agendas, or can be covered by making use of existing Agenda items. Second, SDGs whose targets are “largely uncovered under the GA and ECOSOC agendas” are SDG 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns). The targets of other SDGs are found to have “limited coverage” under the UNGA and ECOSOC agendas: SDG 9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation), SDG 10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries), and SDG 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels). Finally, SDGs that are covered “elsewhere in the UN system” are SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts) and SDG 15 (Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss).

On the specific targets for each SDG’s means of implementation, the group notes that they are addressed through UNGA agenda item 19 (Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development) and in the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FFD Forum). The report calls to assess, “in some time,” how meaningfully the MOI targets are being covered through these mechanisms.

The report also outlines “considerations on overlap” and “considerations on enhancing synergy and coherence.” The mapping assessment is included as an annex to the report, with a suggestion to treat all agenda items “with a universal dimension and thus applied to all countries, not only developing countries.”

The group recommends that Lykketoft forward the report to the president-elect of the 71st UNGA, Peter Thomson, for a decision on further steps. [Letter from UNGA President with Report of Group] [IISD RS Story on Strategic Alignment Process]

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