Post-2015 Development Agenda and SDGs

As the 2015 target date for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, a wide range of activities are being undertaken by UN Member States, the UN system, civil society organizations, academia, research institutions and others on identifying the shape and priorities of a post-2015 development agenda.

The MDGs encapsulate eight globally agreed concrete goals, with time-bound targets and indicators for measuring progress in the areas of: poverty alleviation, education, gender equality and empowerment of women, child and maternal health, reducing HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases, environmental sustainability, and building a Global Partnership for Development.

At the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly to review progress towards the MDGs, Governments called not only for accelerated progress towards achieving the MDGs, but also for new thinking on ways to advance the UN development agenda beyond 2015.

This is the origin of the discussions now underway on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. There is wide consensus that the United Nations is the most inclusive and comprehensive platform for putting a global development agenda together and for bringing to the table the views of all Governments and a range of other stakeholders, from civil society, the private sector, academia and research institutes, to philanthropic foundations and international institutions.

In addition, the Rio+20 Conference established a 30-member Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The OWG, which is co-chaired by the Permanent Representatives of Hungary and Kenya, is currently in an information-gathering and stock-taking phase. In the spring of 2014, the OWG will start drafting a narrative and discuss proposals for the SDGs. The OWG is expected to submit a report to the UN General Assembly in September 2014.

The Rio outcome document also called for the establishment of an Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on a Sustainable Development Financing Strategy, which is to submit a report by September 2014 on options for an effective sustainable development financing strategy.

On 25 September 2013, a full-day special event towards achieving the MDGs took place. Member States adopted a short outcome document, which highlights priority measures towards achieving the MDGs and provides a road-map for the post-2015 development agenda. The UN Secretary-General also submitted his report on “Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.”

The role of the UN system

UN System Task Team: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda (also known as the UN System Task Team) 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, Secretariat departments and other international organizations. UN Women is part of this Task Team.

The Rio outcome document called on the UN system to provide technical assistance to the OWG. The Technical Support Team (established by the UN Task Team) produces issues briefs on the thematic areas covered by the OWG. The UN Task Team also established working groups on monitoring and target-setting, global partnership, and financing for sustainable development.

The UN Development Group (UNDG) through its MDG Taskforce has facilitated national dialogues in more than 80 countries and convened eleven multi-stakeholder 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.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.

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