Contributions to the post-2015 development agenda
The UN system has contributed in a number of ways to the discussions around the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs. UN Women and other UN organizations organized multiple panel discussions, workshops and side events around specific priorities for the post-2015 agenda, while also producing reports and providing technical support to Member States during the intergovernmental negotiations, as well as serving on several dedicated task teams.
UN System Task Team and Open Working Group
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda in September 2011 to coordinate system-wide preparations for a post-2015 UN development agenda. Co-chaired by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Task Team today brings together more than 60 UN agencies, departments and other international organizations. UN Women was part of this Task Team. The Team’s 2012 Report proposed transformative change towards inclusive, people-centred, and sustainable development based on the core values of human rights, equality and sustainability.
The Rio outcome document called on the UN system to provide technical assistance to the Open Working Group (OWG). The Technical Support Team (established by the UN Task Team) produced substantive inputs and technical advice on the areas covered by the negotiations. The UN Task Team also established working groups on monitoring and target-setting, global partnership, and financing for sustainable development.
UNDG and public consultations
The UN Development Group (UNDG) through its MDG Taskforce has facilitated national dialogues in more than 80 countries and convened two sets of global thematic consultations on the following issues: inequalities; health; education; governance; conflict and fragility; growth and employment; environmental sustainability; hunger, nutrition and food security; population dynamics; energy; and water. They also addressed: localizing the post-2015 agenda; helping to strengthen capacities and institutions; participatory monitoring, existing and new forms of accountability; partnerships with civil society and other actors; partnerships with the private sector; and culture and development.
The outreach component of the UNDG project also involved different types of opportunities for citizens to engage in the consultations through online discussion, webinars and other interactive online tools (see The World We Want). On 10 September 2013, the UNDG launched the “A Million Voices: The World We Want” report, which summarized the findings of public consultations and surveys that engaged more than 1.3 million people in all 193 UN Member States.
The High-level Panel of Eminent Persons
In July 2012, the Secretary-General appointed a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda. The Panel was co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. The Panel presented their report to the Secretary-General in May 2013, which provided recommendations regarding their vision on the post-2015 development agenda, making a case for a stand-alone goal on gender equality and for mainstreaming a gender perspective in all other goals.
Intergovernmental Committee of Experts
The Rio+20 outcome document also called for the establishment of an Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on a Sustainable Development Financing Strategy, which submitted its report (A/69/315) on options for an effective sustainable development financing strategy to the 69th session of the General Assembly in September 2014.
Women’s organizations and networks have worked proactively with Member States in the process leading up to the 2030 Agenda. The process created many opportunities for direct exchanges between Member States and civil society both during formal sessions and in side events, mostly through “Major Groups”, a mechanism established by the 1992 Rio Conference. UN Women worked with its Civil Society Advisory Groups to coordinate and facilitate civil society participation, particularly at the regional and country level to develop common positions of advocacy in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the post-2015 development agenda.
In June 2013, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which harnesses scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society and the private sector, presented the UN Secretary-General with its report on the future development agenda. Also in 2013, Global Compact – the UN body working to encourage companies to embrace a set of universal business principles safeguarding human rights, labour rights and the environment – presented a parallel report. Both reports proposed goals or elements of goals on gender equality and empowering women. Collectively, the reports were a testament to the emerging consensus that achieving gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment really is a central element of efficient development.