Two key outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development ("Rio+20") - the OWG on SDG and the next round of consultations on the high-level political forum - will move forward in March.
Registered Major Groups are invited to provide comments on participation modalities with the OWG at the online Major Group Workspace launched by DSD/DESA.
The Open Working Group on SDGs will meet for the first time in March
The inter-governmental open working group (OWG) established on 22 January 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly and mandated to design a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) is expected to hold a first official meeting in mid-March open to the participation of civil society and other Major Groups. The exact date will be communicated soon by the two appointed co-facilitators of the OWG, Hungary and Kenya. The group still has to decide on its methods of work, including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community, and the United Nations system in its work.
Following one of the outcomes of Rio+20, the OWG consists of representatives of 30 Member States. The Member States have decided to use an innovative, constituency-based system of representation that is new to limited membership bodies of the General Assembly. This means that most of the seats in the OWG are shared by several countries. For more information about the work of the OWG, please click here.
Next round of consultations on the high-level political forum to be held 1 March
Another of the outcomes of Rio+20 foresees the establishment of a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum (HLPF) that will replace the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and will be mandated to follow up on the implementation of sustainable development. Two co-facilitators were appointed by the President of the General Assembly to chair the consultation process that will lead to the establishment of the HLPF, the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations (UN) of Brazil and of Italy. The co-facilitators had convened a first informal meeting with Member States on 30 January in New York to deliberate on the institutional format of the HLPF, its positioning within the UN system, and related procedures; the timing, periodicity and duration of the meetings; the modalities of UN agencies participation; the modalities of Major Groups participation; and the nature of the outcomes of the HLPF. A second round of informal consultations on these issues will take place on 1 March 2013 in UN Headquarters in New York. General Assembly 67/203 resolution established that the negotiation process of the HLPF will last from January until May 2013.
Civil society and other Major Groups had the opportunity to share some first views on the HLPF with Member States. The two co-facilitators of the HLPF process, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Brazil) and Cesare Maria Ragaglini (Italy), held an informal meeting with the Organising Partners of the Rio+20 Major Groups on 22 February. Major Group representatives used the occasion to share with the co-facilitators their views on the institutional format of the HLPF (see the Major Group position paper), on enhanced stakeholder engagement based on best practices within the UN system, and on lessons learned from Major Group engagement with the CSD.
UNDESA launches Major Group working space on Sustainable Development Goals and the high level political forum
The Division on Sustainable Development of the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DSD/DESA) has launched an online Major Group Workspace, with a section on the HLPF and a section on the SDGs. DSD/DESA invites interested civil society organisations and Major Groups to register and take part in the discussions related to the SDGs and the HLPF, as well as to share this information with interested groups and constituencies.
On this page, you can also find the Major Group position paper on the HLPF and the Major Grouprecommendations on stakeholder participation in the OWG on SDGs. To effectively engage with the OWG, Major Groups recommend the establishment of a multi-stakeholder advisory group (MAG).