21 May 2019
Zero Draft of SDG Summit Outcome Sets Out 10 Commitments
UN Photo/Cia Pak
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The four-page zero draft is titled, ‘Gearing up for a Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development’.

It includes sections on ‘Our Commitment,' 'Our World Today, and 'A Call to Accelerated Action'.

UN Member States and stakeholders will consider the draft at an informal consultation on 22 May.

17 May 2019: The co-facilitators for the outcome document of the SDG Summit released a “zero draft” for Member States’ consideration ahead of an intergovernmental consultation on 22 May 2019. The draft text includes ten commitments to be made by Heads of State and Government attending the Summit, beginning with “leaving no one behind.”

The UNGA will convene a meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at the level of Heads of State and Government from 24-25 September 2019. The meeting is also known as the SDG Summit. The co-facilitators for negotiations on the outcome document – the Permanent Representatives of Bahamas (Sheila Carey) and Sweden (Olof Skoog) – held an initial exchange of views among Member States on 15 May, before releasing the zero draft on 17 May.

By the declaration, leaders would pledge to “make the coming decade one of action and delivery.”

The zero draft is titled, ‘Gearing up for a Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development.’ The four-page document begins with a section on ‘Our Commitment.’ By the text, leaders “stand firm in our determination to implement the 2030 Agenda as a plan of action for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.” The document also declares the launching of “a more ambitious and accelerated response to reach our common vision by 2030, and pledging to make the coming decade one of action and delivery.” It highlights the 2030 Agenda’s commitment to leave no one behind, its universality, and the integrated, indivisible nature of the SDGs.

The text stresses leaders’ particular determination to “rise to the climate challenge with urgent and enhanced ambition” and to reverse environmental degradation and halt irreversible biodiversity loss. This section also underlines the need to direct resources towards these goals, noting that international public finance has a critical role to play.

A section on ‘Our World Today’ recognizes may efforts and areas of progress since the 2030 Agenda and its SDG were adopted in 2015. Among these are: the incorporation of the SDGs into national budgets and development cooperation efforts; growing engagement of the private sector in sustainable investing; the repositioning of the UN development system; and the HLPF’s reviews of all 17 SDGs.

The draft declaration says progress is “slowing” in many areas, flagging vulnerabilities and entrenched deprivations, and the projected risk of missing SDG target 1.1 on eradicating extreme poverty, among other issues that are worsening. However, it says the Goals “remain within reach” if transformation is embraced and implementation accelerated.

The declaration would welcome the summary of the July 2019 meeting of the HLPF, which will be prepared by the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It also would welcome the 2019 editions of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) and the Secretary-General’s Progress Report on the SDGs.

The final section is ‘A Call to Accelerated Action.’ It sets out ten actions to which Heads of State and Government would commit in adopting the declaration:

  • Leaving no one behind, by focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable in policies and actions;
  • Mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing;
  • Enhancing national implementation;
  • Strengthening institutions to address interlinkages between the Goals and targets;
  • Bolstering local action;
  • Building resilience to disasters and economic and other shocks;
  • Solving challenges through international cooperation and renewing the commitment to multilateralism;
  • Harnessing science, technology and innovation, focusing on digital transformation for sustainable development, the use of scientific evidence, and addressing developing countries’ constrained access to technologies;
  • Investing in data for the SDGs and strengthening national statistical capacities; and
  • Strengthening the HLPF, including through an ambitious review during the UNGA’s 74th session, which would reinforce the peer learning character of the VNRs, among other objectives.

This section also recognizes other relevant high-level events convening during the same week as the SDG Summit. It would welcome the “concrete solutions” presented at the Climate Action Summit, the initiatives announced at the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, the partnerships launched at the high-level meeting for the mid-term review of the Samoa Pathway on small island developing States (SIDS), and the outcome document of the high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Finally, the declaration requests the UN Secretary-General to engage all actors in accelerating action on implementation in the lead-up to the UN’s 75th anniversary, as “we embark on a decisive decade” for the 2030 Agenda.

The next informal consultation on the political declaration will take place on 22 May. Consultations are then scheduled to shift to “informal-informal” mode, while remaining open to Major Groups and Other Stakeholders. The informal-informal meetings are scheduled for 7 and 12 June.

Stakeholders also can provide input through a virtual platform. [Zero draft]

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