The UN Technical Support Team (TST) has issued three briefs in preparation for the sixth session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The documents address the three topics on the agenda for OWG 6: means of implementation; the needs of countries in special situations; and science, technology and innovation (STI), knowledge sharing and capacity building.
October 2013: The UN Technical Support Team (TST) has issued three briefs in preparation for the sixth session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The documents address the three topics on the agenda for OWG 6: means of implementation, global partnership for achieving sustainable development; the needs of countries in special situations; and science, technology and innovation (STI), knowledge sharing and capacity building.
The issues brief on means of implementation emphasizes the central role for States, individually and collectively, in implementing the development agenda. At the global level, it says, the concept of partnership is crucial, such as the global partnership for development as specified in Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 8, and multi-stakeholder partnerships such as the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative. The brief takes stock of: sustainable development financing, noting the importance of official development assistance (ODA) and the insufficient investment of the private sector in sustainable development; technology transfers, which have fallen short of specified goals; and trade, noting differences in the extent to which developing countries have benefited from the multilateral trading system. It also highlights the need to build capacity for policy coherence and integrated approaches to sustainable development.The brief further provides an overview of proposals on various approaches to means of implementation. In looking forward, it highlights the importance of an integrated global partnership with effective means of implementation and accountability mechanisms to address, among other things, poverty eradication, food insecurity and malnutrition, gender inequality, and climate change. The brief suggests the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), could be central to reviewing progress on sustainable development commitments and objectives.The issues brief on ‘Needs of Countries in Special Situations – African Countries, Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, as well as the specific challenges facing Middle‐Income Countries,’ highlights the uneven progress among African countries toward the MDGs despite an overall increase in growth and business opportunities. It notes that African stakeholders have called for a post-2015 development agenda that reflects the priorities of the African Union’s (AU) New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), including: structural economic transformation and inclusive growth; innovation and technology transfer; human development; and financing and partnerships. On Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the brief says the gap between these States and the rest of the world is increasing, while noting that none of the LDCs have been able to meet all the MDGs. Putting LDCs’ development challenges at the center of the SDGs, the brief emphasizes the need to integrate key issues, including: productive capacity building; agriculture, food security and rural development; trade; social development; vulnerability; environmental degradation and climate change; mobilizing financial resources for development and capacity building; good governance; national leadership and ownership; and monitoring and data.While the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) have made progress since the Millennium Declaration in 2000, the brief emphasizes, much remains to be done. Priority areas that need to be integrated in the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda include: social development; transport and transit infrastructure; trade competitiveness and trade facilitation; structural transformation, enhanced productive capacities and resilience to shocks; regional integration; private sector development; climate change, desertification and land degradation; and means of implementation. On small island developing States (SIDS), the brief emphasizes that, considering their vulnerable position, SIDS strongly rely on the support of and partnerships with the international community to achieve their sustainable development objectives. SIDS have made less progress toward achieving the MDGs than other developing countries, and areas needing attention in the SDGs include: sustainable energy; oceans; non‐communicable diseases (NCDs); climate change and sea level rise; resilience; and means of implementation. On Middle‐Income Countries (MICs), the brief notes that their progress towards the MDGs has been remarkable yet uneven. It highlights specific challenges for MICs’, such as inequalities and social imbalances, and the need for policies and institutions supportive of equitable growth and poverty reduction.
The brief on STI, knowledge sharing and capacity building stresses that the development of national STI capacities is central to the social and economic transformations that enable sustainable economic growth, human development and poverty eradication. It discusses several existing challenges, such as: insufficient government commitment and resource base for STI; unequal access to STI and knowledge; lack of good quality national data; low participation of women in science; lack of equitable access to information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure; weak linkages between public research and development (R&D) and national economic development; and lack of life-cycle thinking and long‐term perspectives in STI frameworks and policies. On integrating STI in the SDGs framework, the brief suggests that goals, targets and indicators can be developed around, inter alia: investment in STI; integration of STI policies in national sustainable development policies; regional and international STI cooperation and multi‐stakeholder partnerships; and financing mechanisms.
[Publication: TST Issues Brief: Means of Implementation; Global Partnership for Achieving Sustainable Development] [Publication: TST Issues Brief: Needs of Countries in Special Situations – African Countries, Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, as well as the Specific Challenges Facing Middle‐Income Countries] [Publication: TST Issues Brief: Science, Technology and Innovation, Knowledge-sharing and Capacity-building] [OWG Website]