15 November 2011
Post-2015 Development Agenda Under Discussion
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In preparation for its formal consideration of the Secretary-General's report on the post-2015 development framework, States met for a briefing with Sha Zukang, who provided an overview of the report and received feedback.

Sha noted that Secretary-General Ban has appointed a task force to initiate work on the future agenda, in consultation with stakeholders, and its first round of meetings already has taken place.

10 November 2011: The President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, has circulated a summary of the 4 November informal briefing for States on the post-2015 UN development agenda. At the briefing Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, presented the UN Secretary-General’s report on the topic and received feedback from States. The briefing was held in preparation for the UNGA’s official consideration of the Report on 22 November 2011.

The report of the Secretary-General (A/66/126), “Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals: options for sustained and inclusive growth and issues for advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015: Annual Report of the Secretary-General,” was issued in July 2011. In response to a request from the UNGA at a high-level event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September 2010, this year’s report reflected steps taken to address arrangements once the MDGs “expire” in 2015, President Al-Nasser said.

Sha provided an overview of the report’s three major sections: a summary of progress toward the MDG targets, which concludes that their achievement requires stable and inclusive growth; specific elements for MDG achievement, including a development-oriented macro-economic framework, the sustainable use of natural resources, and inclusive social policies; and recommendations, including that sustainable development must be at the center of any post-2015 UN development agenda, and that deliberations on such a framework should begin.

He noted that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed a task force to initiate work on the future agenda, in consultation with stakeholders. The task force is led by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), as conveners of the UN Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs (ECESA) and the UN Development Group (UNDG), respectively. The first round of meetings by the task force already has taken place.

Sha highlighted two events that would allow States to build consensus on a post-2015 plan: the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and a special event during the 68th UNGA which has been called for by States. The possible adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a proposal being discussed in the preparations for the UNCSD, would need to build on the MDGs, he said. He suggested that the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its subsidiary bodies also could provide fora for intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder discussion on the issue, including through the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) and Annual Ministerial Reviews (AMRs).

During the interactive discussion, States emphasized: the importance of a transparent, inclusive dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders in formulating a post-MDG framework; the need for the Report of the Secretary-General to note the 20-year review of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), in 2014, as a major international meeting in the lead-up to 2015; the relevance of the 2012 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR); the need to retain a focus on achieving the MDGs by 2015, and a desire for a post-2015 framework to retain the MDGs’ strengths, including their clarity and focus; and the importance of means of implementation and skill training for developing countries. It also was noted that the UN’s post-2015 development agenda should reflect the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for least developed countries (LDCs).

The UNGA will formally consider the Report of the Secretary-General on 22 November 2011, under Agenda item 117, Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit. [Briefing invitation from UNGA President, including Event Programme] [Publication: Report of Secretary-General (A/66/126)] [UNGA President’s Summary of Briefing] [IISD RS Sources]

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