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Summary report, 22–25 June 2015

6th Session of the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations

The sixth session of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda took place from 22-25 June 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. The session enabled delegations to provide their reactions to the “Zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” which was distributed earlier in the month by Co-Facilitators David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland, and Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya.

During the session, participants commented and provided amendments on each of the sections of the draft, which included sections titled: Preamble, Declaration, Sustainable Development Goals and targets, Means of implementation and the Global Partnership, and Follow-up and review. On Wednesday morning, Major Groups and other stakeholders presented their priorities and suggested amendments to the text. Governments commended the Co-Facilitators for their work on the zero draft, which they said provided an excellent basis for negotiations.

In concluding the session, the Co-Facilitators noted that they would distill what they heard and produce a final zero draft within a couple of weeks, ahead of the last, two-week leg of the negotiation process, which will begin on 20 July 2015. They expressed confidence that “we will achieve our goal” of concluding negotiations on the outcome document for the UN Summit on schedule by 31 July.


The intergovernmental negotiation process on the post-2015 development agenda was first mandated by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September 2013, which also decided that a Global Summit should be held in September 2015 to adopt a new UN development agenda.

UNCSD: The international community gathered at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, agreed to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Rio+20 outcome called for establishing an Open Working Group (OWG) that would submit a report to the 68th session of the General Assembly, containing a proposal for SDGs. The UNGA endorsed the outcome document, titled The Future We Want, in resolution 66/288 on 27 July 2012.

UNGA SPECIAL EVENT TO FOLLOW-UP EFFORTS TOWARDS ACHIEVING THE MDGS: This Special Event took place on 25 September 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York. The Outcome Document called for, inter alia: a single framework and set of goals that are universal in nature and applicable to all countries, and that promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights for all; intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 agenda; the Secretary-General to release, by the end of 2014, a synthesis report on all post-2015 development agenda inputs; and adopting the new agenda at a summit in September 2015.

OWG: The OWG on SDGs held its first eight meetings, also referred to as the “input” or “stocktaking” phase, between March 2013 and February 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York. In February 2014, the Co-Chairs, Macharia Kamau (Kenya) and Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), released a “stocktaking” document, reviewing the discussions to date, and a “focus areas” document, outlining 19 focus areas as the basis for further discussion. Prior to each of the subsequent five sessions, the Co-Chairs released revised documents for OWG delegates’ consideration. A document considered the “zero draft” of the goals and targets was issued on 2 June 2014, containing 17 proposed goals and 212 targets. On 19 July 2014, at the conclusion of the 13th session of the OWG and following two sessions held primarily in informal consultations, the Group adopted by acclamation a report containing 17 proposed SDGs and 169 targets, and agreed to submit the proposal to the UNGA for consideration and action at its 68th session.

SYNTHESIS REPORT OF THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: The UNGA called on the UN Secretary-General, in resolution 68/6 of September 2013, to synthesize inputs on the post-2015 development agenda in a report before the end of 2014, as an input to the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released an advance version of “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet” on 6 December 2014 and formally presented it to UN Member States on 8 January 2015. The report proposes an integrated set of six essential elements: dignity, people, prosperity, planet, justice, and partnership.

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: A number of UNGA resolutions have established and set parameters for the post-2015 development agenda negotiations and related processes. On 30 June 2014, the UNGA adopted resolution 68/279, titled “Modalities for the third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3),” by which it decided to hold FfD3 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 13-16 July 2015, and, inter alia, emphasized the need for effective coordination with the preparations for the Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda.

On 10 September 2014, the UNGA adopted resolution 68/309, by which it: acknowledged the conclusion of the work of the OWG; welcomed its report; and decided that the proposal of the OWG contained in its report shall be the main basis for integrating the SDGs into the post-2015 development agenda, while recognizing that other inputs will also be considered in the intergovernmental negotiating process in 2015.

On 29 December 2014, the UNGA adopted resolution 69/244 on the organization of the UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, which will take place on 25-27 September 2015, in New York, with the 70th session of the UN General Debate beginning on 28 September. The Summit will be convened as a High-level Plenary meeting of the UNGA and include plenary meetings concurrent with interactive dialogues. The rules of procedure and established practices of the UNGA will apply, unless otherwise decided.

On 16 January 2015, the UNGA adopted draft decision A/69/L.46 on modalities for the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The decision states, inter alia:

  • the proposal of the OWG on SDGs will be the main basis for integrating the SDGs into the post-2015 development agenda, while other inputs will also be taken into consideration;
  • “every effort shall be made” to ensure effective coordination between the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and the preparatory process for FfD3, and other relevant UN intergovernmental processes;
  • the outcome document for adoption at the Summit “may include” as main components: a declaration; the SDGs and targets; means of implementation and Global Partnership for sustainable development; and follow-up and review; and
  • the initial draft of the outcome document shall be prepared by the Co-Facilitators “on the basis of views provided by Member States,” as well as “taking into account substantive discussions in the process of intergovernmental negotiations,” and issued by May 2015.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: The first session convened from 19-21 January 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York, and conducted a “stocktaking” of governments’ views on the agenda. This was the first of eight scheduled sessions to prepare the outcome of the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September 2015. On the basis of this session, the Co-Facilitators prepared an Elements Paper for discussion at the second session.

The second session convened from 17-20 February 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. This session focused on the declaration component of the Summit outcome document. The session also included an interactive dialogue with Major Groups and other stakeholders and a briefing with the Director of the UN Statistics Division.

The third session convened from 23-27 March 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. This meeting focused on: a proposed timeline and roadmap for the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) to create an indicator framework for the SDGs; country experiences in implementing sustainable development; and arrangements for a joint meeting with the FfD3 preparatory process during their April session. The session also included an interactive dialogue with Major Groups and other stakeholders.

The fourth session convened as a joint meeting with the FfD3 process from 21-24 April 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates focused on: the deliberations during the second FfD3 preparatory meeting, which had convened the previous week; a discussion with representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; proposals for the creation of a technology facilitation mechanism and other science, technology and innovation issues; the relationship between the FfD3 and post-2015 processes; follow-up and review on FfD3 and means of implementation (MOI); and coherence between the outcome documents from the two processes, outstanding issues and the way forward. An interactive dialogue with Major Groups and other stakeholders also took place.

The fifth session took place from 18-22 May 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. During the course of the week, delegates discussed: follow-up and review of the post-2015 development agenda; goals, targets and indicators; themes for the interactive dialogues during the Post-2015 Summit in September; and the way forward. An interactive dialogue with Major Groups and other stakeholders took place on Wednesday, 20 May. Delegates also adopted the six themes for the interactive dialogues, which will be transmitted to the President of the General Assembly. At the end of the week, the Co-Facilitators announced that the zero draft of the outcome document would be circulated in early June.


On Monday, 22 June 2015, Co-Facilitator Kamau welcomed participants to the meeting, noting that they had fewer than three weeks remaining until the end of the scheduled negotiation process. He noted the progress made in the intergovernmental negotiations related to the Third Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), which had met the week prior to the sixth session of post-2015 negotiations, adding his expectation that the FfD3 outcome would be completed in time to be incorporated into this process. Introducing the zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, he said “we are off to a good start,” as positive comments and support had been expressed by Member States, Major Groups, business and at some regional meetings including the recent African Union Summit in South Africa. He congratulated delegates for the work done in the past months, and observed that newspapers such as the Financial Times are speaking about the SDGs, stressing the widespread interest in the new agenda. He called on delegations to ensure that the remaining work is high quality.

He then presented the zero draft, and outlined that:

  • the synopsis is intended to be easily communicated in a manner that can be managed by the public and the media;
  • the declaration is meant to be short to reach out to all groups and highlight issues without turning into “a laundry list”;
  • the section on SDGs and targets reflects the request of delegations to replicate the entire set of goals and targets agreed in the OWG process;
  • the means of implementation (MOI) and the Global Partnership section includes some indicative language and serves as a placeholder for the outcome of the FfD process.

Co-Facilitator Kamau asked delegates to: avoid “jam-packing” the declaration and replicating the content of the OWG “aspect by aspect”; and assess how the MOI and Global Partnership are addressed in the FfD3 outcome document and get clarity on how to address those elements in the post-2015 outcome document. He specified that: some SDG targets might be revisited based on revisions proposed in Annex 1 of the post-2015 zero draft, but if an agreement is not possible, “we will revert” to the original targets included in the OWG proposal. He also said the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is starting on Friday, 26 June, and suggested that delegates wait to see what the Forum proposes before deciding on how to align the post-2015 and FfD3 process with the HLPF.

Co-Facilitator Donoghue expressed optimism that the post-2015 negotiations could be completed by 31 July 2015 as planned. He said the declaration section of the zero draft reflects comments made on this topic during the second session of the post-2015 negotiations and called on participants to respect the overall importance of maintaining a short, concise and readable text.


On Monday and Tuesday, delegates offered general comments on the post-2015 zero draft and provided more specific comments on the preamble and the declaration. In their statements, all Member States said the zero draft provides a good basis for the negotiations. There was general consensus that ending extreme poverty is the priority of the post-2015 agenda. Many noted that the declaration should be shortened or streamlined.

Several developing countries, including South Africa for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), Rwanda for the African Group, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, called for deleting the preamble, while others, such as the UK, Iceland, Germany, Spain, Finland, the Russian Federation and Australia, favored its retention.

Canada, Israel, the US, the Republic of Korea, Finland and Spain, among others, expressed support for retaining the 5 “Ps” in the declaration—people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership—as a tool to communicate the agenda.

On the MOI section of the zero draft, developing countries, including Rwanda on behalf of the African Group, the Maldives for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, noted that the FfD3 outcome will be complementary to post-2015 MOI but will not replace it. Cuba observed that the outcome of FfD3 is a MOI but not the only one, and Brazil said the chapter on MOI should not be a placeholder for the FfD3 outcome. Developed countries, such as the EU and the Republic of Korea, called for endorsing the FfD3 outcome document as the MOI pillar of the agenda. Switzerland welcomed keeping the MOI and the Global Partnership section as a placeholder until the FfD3 negotiations conclude in Addis Ababa.

Benin for the least developed countries (LDCs), Algeria for the Arab Group, Bolivia and Pakistan welcomed the mention of poverty eradication as the priority of the post-2015 development agenda. Some countries, including Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru, stressed the need to make reference to the multidimensional aspect of poverty, while others, including the UK, the US and Norway, said the declaration should reflect the objective of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 or in this generation.

Thailand, Colombia and Viet Nam, among others, called for the declaration to address the role of the UN in supporting the implementation of the agenda. Sweden highlighted the need to strengthen and position the UN development system to contribute to the implementation of the agenda. Finland called for a clear message to the UN system to adapt to the post-2015 agenda.

Some, including Mexico, Viet Nam, Maldives for AOSIS, Bangladesh, France, Norway, Germany and Liechtenstein also asked for a better balance of the three dimensions of sustainable development. Tonga for the Pacific small island developing states (SIDS), Switzerland, Sweden and Germany called for strengthening the reference to the environmental dimension in the declaration and throughout the document.

Monaco, supported by China, Italy, Japan, Serbia, Tunisia and others, welcomed the reference to the contribution of sport to sustainable development in the declaration and proposed language on recognizing “the growing contribution of sports to the development and peace agendas.”

South Africa for the G-77/China, Algeria for the Arab Group, Venezuela, Lebanon, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Timor Leste and Bolivia, among others, called for a more positive reference to migration. Armenia noted that migration should not be included in paragraph 12 of the declaration as it does not equate with other challenges described in this paragraph, such as violence and extremism.

There was a lengthy discussion on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) throughout the week. Many developed countries, including the European Union (EU), Japan, Canada, the US, the UK, Germany and Iceland, asked to remove reference to the principle of CBDR. Most developing countries, including South Africa for G-77/China, the Maldives for AOSIS, Algeria for the Arab Group, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iraq, India, Uganda, Ecuador, Bolivia, Sri Lanka and Tanzania, called for retaining or strengthening the zero draft’s language on CBDR.

The US stated that its objections to incorporating CBDR were because CBDR is “a historical conceit steeped in the North-South divide” that does not apply to a universal development agenda, universally applied.

India, in identifying six “myths” on CBDR, said universality does not mean uniformity. The myths he presented were: it opposes the principle of universality; it is a historic “relic” and no longer relevant; it is only applicable to the environmental dimension; it is only a political principle, with no technical relevance; the North-South divide has vanished; and it implies inaction by some countries. He said CBDR is a call for action, ambition and equity, with equity being a fundamental principle that underpins the UN Charter and the Millennium Declaration.

Japan agreed with India that universality does not mean uniformity. He said the fundamental problem is based on assumptions such as the divide between North and South, or that developed countries should shoulder the responsibility and developing countries do not need to do so. He noted that there is great economic diversity among members of the G-77/China and that some of its member countries have higher per capita incomes than some members of the EU. He added that a transformative agenda should not be bound by CBDR based on the classical North-South divide.

Indonesia cited the “evident socio-economic disparities” between developed and developing countries, and said inequalities and gaps in consumption and production still exist and have even worsened in recent years. Therefore, the claim that CBDR is out of date is misleading, she said, and it has central importance as the basis of the future development agenda. She added that universality does not constitute uniformity.

Iran added that there is no real understanding of the message of CBDR and this has to be resolved, said CBDR is a call for action and equity, and is a fundamental principle and cannot be left behind. He added that the reference to shared responsibility contradicts the CBDR principle.

China reminded delegates that this principle has been part of the post-2015 process since the 2013 outcome document from the special event on the MDGs, which laid out the roadmap for post-2015 and reaffirmed that CBDR will be the fundamental principle.

Brazil noted that many international agreements, including trade-related ones, embody differentiation, even if CBDR is not spelled out.

In other comments, South Africa, for the G-77/China, stressed the importance of referencing policy space and condemnation of foreign occupation in the declaration, and added that the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report cannot serve as a basis for negotiation of the new agenda. He also called for: recognition of regional cooperation and interconnectivity; and developed countries to take the lead on sustainable consumption and production.

Rwanda, for the African Group, said the declaration should be “incisive” but is currently weighed down by repetition and explanations of the whole agenda and specific aspects of the SDGs. He also noted a disproportionate emphasis on human rights. He called for including the OWG report in its entirety and opposed the technical proofing of targets. He said follow-up and review should take into account different national development realities and respect national priorities. He added that national governments should conduct their own reviews, and he opposed a global or regional blueprint for follow-up and review at the national level.

The EU called for consistency between the preamble and the various parts of the agenda. He said the declaration should better set out the purpose of the agenda and its balance, integration and transformative nature. He noted that universality is essential and comes with shared responsibility as already enshrined in the Millennium Declaration. He stressed the importance of referencing human rights, especially for women and girls. He said MOI should be mobilized by all countries and all stakeholders at all levels. He added that the right to development is not on an equal footing with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

On the title, Maldives, for AOSIS, requested adding a reference to the post-2015 development agenda. On the declaration, she called for: avoiding re-organizing or prioritizing the OWG goals and targets; better reflecting natural disasters, water, sanitation, oceans and seas; highlighting resilience; and strengthening the paragraphs on climate change. On the goals and targets, she said the entire OWG outcome needs to be integrated, including the chapeau and the reservations. She stressed that the section on follow-up is too prescriptive and hinders national policy space, and underscored the need for “adequate” linkages with the follow-up processes of other UN conferences on sustainable development, such as those on SIDS and LDCs.

Benin, for the LDCs, welcomed the integration of all the SDGs and targets in the text. On the declaration, he highlighted the need to include references to: specific challenges of the LDCs; more economic measures; crisis mitigation and resilience building; and special and preferential treatment for the LDCs. He called for bringing paragraph 8 on the MDGs up front, and said the LDCs remained the most off-track in achieving the MDGs. On goals and targets, he noted that the proposed revision of the target on scholarships for LDCs reduces the level of ambition. He described the section on MOI as “significantly weak” and called for strengthening it. On follow-up and review, he expressed support for a horizontal review involving both developed and developing countries.

Algeria, for the Arab Group, underlined that the OWG proposal constitutes an integrated balance and cautioned against selectively mentioning particular targets in the preamble. On the declaration, he welcomed the references to the right to development. He called for including references to: the right to self-determination of peoples; the importance of industrialization for achieving development; and the provision of water as critical for sustainable development. He stressed the need to condemn unilateral economic sanctions and mentioned that technology transfer should be for all three pillars of sustainable development, not only the environmental one.

Belize, for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), outlined the need to: remove redundancies, especially on the issue of climate change; include a reference to the SAMOA Pathway; and limit the zero draft to principles for follow-up and review.

Tonga, for Pacific SIDS, called for: strengthening reference to the challenges presented by climate change and oceans; not reducing environmental challenges to climate change; avoiding cherry-picking some goals in the preamble but preserving the integrity of the OWG report; and addressing MOI rather than waiting for the FfD3 outcome.

Zambia, for the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), stressed the need to: express support, in the declaration, for the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs (VPoA) and address the challenges of the LLDCs in a holistic manner; reflect, in the zero draft, the six LLDC priority areas outlined in the VPoA; not renegotiate the SDGs; and mention strengthening international support, including official development assistance (ODA).

Thailand said the section on follow-up and review is too prescriptive and risks overburdening governments, and the SDG targets should not be revised.

Costa Rica called for a clear declaration based on, inter alia, the UDHR, the Declaration on the Right to Development and the Rio Declaration. She called for: improving references to the rule of law and just and democratic societies; maintaining the reference to middle income countries (MICs); not reopening the SDGs or targets; separate follow-up and review processes for the FfD3 and post-2015 processes; and the participation of civil society, the private sector, parliaments, the UN system and the regional economic commissions in follow-up and review.

Colombia called for a new title for the document and stressed: reference to inequality between and within countries; strengthening the science-policy interface and the reference to the transfer of all technology on favorable and concessional terms; highlighting the catalytic role of infrastructure for development; and national ownership and the regional dimension of the implementation of the new agenda.

China said the concept of CBDR has been “diluted” by putting forward the concept of shared responsibility, and called for clearly mentioning in the section on the Global Partnership that North-South remains the main channel for cooperation. On the declaration, he stressed the need to include references to: fair and equitable global economic governance; an open, multilateral trade system; respect for the policy space of countries to choose their own development paths; harmoniously integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development; and the role of innovation. On the goals and targets, he called for incorporating the preamble of the OWG. He said the MOI section needs to be strengthened and improved based on the FfD3 outcome, and stressed the need for supervising the implementation of ODA and technology transfer commitments in the follow-up and review section.

The Republic of Korea expressed support for using the nine “visionary” objectives as proposed by the Co-Facilitators as tools to communicate the agenda. On the declaration, he suggested including references to dignity and justice and strengthening the role of education, as well as the needs of the most marginalized and vulnerable groups. He added that the follow-up and review should be done in an integrated and coherent manner with the FfD3 process.

Mexico stressed the need to: emphasize social inclusion as the base for achieving equitable development; and reference other international agreements on non-discrimination, human rights, gender equality and environment.

Switzerland highlighted the importance of reflecting “sustainable development” in the title of the zero draft. On the declaration, he called for: moving the section on “a call for action to change our world” to the beginning of the text; strengthening the language on gender; and making an explicit reference to policy coherence. He expressed support for the mandate of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) to develop an indicator framework by March 2016, and welcomed the reference to follow-up at the national, regional and global levels, with a central role for the HLPF.

The Holy See said the declaration should be idealistic, compelling, and designed to unite not to divide. He also called for: placing the human person “at the center”; including the SDGs as mentioned in the OWG report, as well as reservations; and a strong section on MOI.

The UK mentioned the need to strengthen the declaration, in particular to: use stronger language on climate change and the need to limit global temperature rise to 2°C; and put a strong emphasis on protection of human rights and women and girls.

Nigeria called for the outcome document to: reinforce integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development; address the challenges of climate change; and recognize that MOI are more than finance. He added that: FfD3 should complement, not compete with, the post-2015 development agenda; and follow-up and review was the responsibility of governments, with assistance from non-state and non-traditional actors, especially in data collection.

Indonesia looked forward to further consultations on the “Food for thought paper on a possible Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM).” He noted that the notion of differentiation between developed and developing countries is not clear, and the sub-section of the declaration on implementation needs to highlight the contributions of governments and all stakeholders.

Paraguay called for strengthening references to the VPoA.

Iraq stressed the importance of: linking peace and development; investing in infrastructure; the FfD3 negotiations; funding for post-2015 development; and leaving no one behind.

India said, inter alia: the chapeau of the OWG proposal, which is currently annexed to the zero draft, should be fully integrated in the text; and the follow-up and review section should be less detailed and prescriptive, and take into account regional particularities.

Japan remarked that the zero draft was too long, noting that the same content was repeated in the preamble and each chapter in a slightly different way. On the declaration he suggested: consolidating paragraph 3 on poverty eradication as the greatest global challenge, with paragraph 7 on a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity; refer to natural disasters in paragraph 12 on sustainable development challenges; include freedom from age discrimination in the list included in paragraph 17 on fundamental rights and freedoms; emphasize resilience and disaster preparedness; and wait for the FfD3 negotiations to conclude before including text on MOI. 

Israel: called for strengthening language on gender equality and human rights as cross-cutting issues; cautioned against including “politically divisive” language in the declaration; and proposed simplifying the title and crowdsourcing it to find a better solution.

Venezuela said CBDR is diluted by other terms such as “shared responsibility” and stressed the need for: emphasizing that every state has full sovereignty over its resources; integrating the OWG outcome with its chapeau and reservations; and clearly differentiating between the FfD3 and post-2015 outcomes.

The Dominican Republic called for representing the priorities of SIDS, particularly with regard to resilience as a critical element. He urged delegations not to lose sight of the close relationship between poverty and the socio-economic aspects of inequality.

The Philippines called to reflect gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the text.

Panama said the declaration should strongly emphasize the importance of childhood and youth, and said the primacy of the common good over the individual good should be a guiding principle of our collective and individual endeavors.

Viet Nam welcomed the declaration, noting it is visionary, concise, well-structured and readable, and includes elements that are “tweetable.” He noted the need to put a stronger emphasis on building resilience, and better highlight the role of national parliaments.

Brazil mentioned the need to: ensure coherence and complementarity between the post-2015 and FfD3 processes on MOI and follow-up and review; replace “growing migration” with “forced migration” in the paragraph on sustainable development challenges; recognize that peace cannot be realized without sustainable development; and address the need to reform the governance of peace and security at the UN. He expressed encouragement regarding discussions on the TFM in the FfD negotiations. He welcomed the central role of the HLPF on the follow-up and review process, and noted the usefulness of inviting the FfD3 Co-Facilitators to share their views on how follow-up and review in FfD3 could contribute to the post-2015 development agenda.

Bhutan suggested rephrasing the second part of the title of the outcome document as: new global development agenda for shared prosperity and happiness. She called for strengthening the language on youth, and welcomed the reference to parliaments in the declaration.

Lebanon: opposed singling out nine objectives as proposed by the Co-Facilitators in the preamble, which was supported by Sri Lanka; welcomed the references to people living in areas affected by conflict and to the right of self-determination of people living under foreign occupation; and expressed concern that the reference to CBDR is weakened by the reference to “shared responsibility.” He called for separate mechanisms for follow-up and review of the FfD3 and post-2015 outcomes and, supported by Sri Lanka, welcomed the annexing of the “Food for thought” paper on the TFM.

Sri Lanka stressed the need to include the chapeau of the OWG outcome, and cautioned against any technical proofing of targets.

Canada stressed the need to prioritize the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, and move the concluding language of the declaration up front to make clear that it is a people-centered agenda. He called for removing the references to foreign occupation from the text. On goals and targets, he expressed support for the changes proposed for 21 targets, and highlighted the need to strengthen the language on indicators. On follow-up and review, he called for building on existing mechanisms and processes, and cautioned against increasing the reporting burden.

Nicaragua noted that the principle of CBDR is distorted by the mention of the historic responsibility of all states for climate change. He said Pope Francis’s encyclical reflects the paragraph calling for more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

Latvia cautioned against scaling down language on environmental and climate challenges. He called for: more emphasis on the national level and the role of national parliaments; strengthened language on inequality, gender inequality, human rights, justice and the rule of law; and reference to a better and fit-for-purpose UN system to help countries respond to development challenges.

Timor-Leste suggested careful consideration to capture an overview of the new agenda without highlighting some parts at the expense of others, and expressed concern with the nine elements in the preamble. He also said it was not clear how this agenda would be applied universally and move away from the entrenched development paradigm.

Sudan said follow-up and review at the global level should allow for sharing experiences, addressing challenges and measuring progress achieved at national, regional and international levels.

Peru proposed strengthening the declaration along the areas of: sustainable agriculture; good jobs for all; innovation; and inclusive accountable institutions at all levels. He said the agenda should make it clear from the first paragraphs of the declaration that it focuses on the “human person” and the development of human beings.

Palau expressed the necessity to: include stronger linkages between the post-2015 and other international texts and conventions, including on human rights; address the human right to water and sanitation in the text; revise the declaration to increase the sense of urgency; and consider monitoring progress and implementation of SDG 14 on oceans.

Pakistan: expressed concern that “shared responsibility” weakens CBDR; called for retaining the reference to the right to development; and opposed language on any reform of the UN system. On the goals and targets, he called for integrating the chapeau of the OWG outcome, and opposed any “tweaking” of the targets.

The US stressed the need to strengthen the links between the MDGs and SDGs in the declaration. He called for: a clear commitment to universality and shared responsibility; emphasizing country ownership; focusing on the poorest and most marginalized; and strengthening the language on women as agents of change, transparency and participation of external stakeholders. He called for deleting the references to foreign occupation and the right to development, and opposed including the OWG chapeau.

Iceland welcomed the reference to eradicating extreme poverty and the language on women’s empowerment. She called for including or strengthening references to civil society participation, non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, neurological disorders and energy.

Sweden said the agenda must be communicable to a broad and diverse audience. She called for: merging the poverty eradication and sustainability agendas; strengthening the human rights and youth perspectives; clearly stating the concept of universality in conjunction with shared responsibility; adding reference to age discrimination; and mentioning anti-microbial resistance. Sweden also said the declaration should reflect elements critical to gender equality and women’s empowerment, including participation at all levels of decision making and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Niger called for greater attention to issues that hinder development as listed in the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPOA). He said all chapters on improving people’s living conditions should mention combating desertification since land degradation impacts major pillars of economic development, including agriculture and animal husbandry.

Italy called for ensuring that the outcome document reflects a vision of development patterns that are truly sustainable. He said that peace, human rights, access to justice, rule of law and transparent institutions are fundamental components of the framework.

Turkey said the elements included in the preamble and the declaration on people, planet, prosperity, peace, partnership and no one left behind are a good basis for framing the goals and targets. On the declaration, she asked to: include reference to human-centered development; outline how to reach the goals by 2030; and strengthen language on science, technology and innovation in the implementation section.

Uruguay stressed the importance of the declaration, adding that it will “set the tone” for sustainable development for the next 15 years. He highlighted the importance for the declaration to: be well-balanced and ambitious; include gender equality and empowerment of women, among other issues; and recognize the need to change unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.

France said: the title would better capture the agenda’s ambition by referring to an inclusive and sustainable world; climate change is a central challenge; MOI should be in line with the tasks required by the agenda; the declaration should better reflect gender equality and empowerment of women; and universality should be strengthened.

Belgium said the declaration should be accessible and highlight the transformative nature of the agenda. He stressed the need to respect the balance and integrated approach of the OWG report, and to avoid burdening the text with unnecessary elements.

Germany welcomed the language on the post-2015 agenda’s paradigm shift. He remarked that key messages should be action oriented, and the “loose ends” related to the technical proofing of targets should be concluded.

Palestine underscored the importance of the universality and inclusiveness of the agenda. He said: people under foreign occupation are part of those left behind and should therefore be included in the agenda; and language on people under foreign occupation should be included in the paragraph on specific challenges faced by each country.

Spain said the declaration needs to reaffirm that we cannot continue to have business as usual if we want this to be a paradigm shift. She noted that the nine elements in the preamble can be reduced and instead focus on structural aspects, and leave sectoral aspects to the SDGs. She added that the priorities should be the fight against poverty, decreasing inequalities, and transformation of lives with a human rights approach.

Australia called for: emphasizing eradication of poverty and gender equality in the preamble; combining paragraph 15 with paragraphs 3 and 7 for a single vision; streamlining and shortening the section on “The new Agenda;” deleting reference to foreign occupation in paragraph 28; and noting the critical role that science will play in implementing the agenda.

Tunisia stressed the importance of referencing: the principles of the UN Charter; the principles of international law and human rights; the rights of people under occupation; and the right to development, noting that there cannot be sustainable development without peace. He called for referencing the recovery of plundered assets and the revitalization of the Global Partnership in MDG 8.

Uganda said the declaration should stress: policy coherence for sustainable development as an enabler; the principle of “leaving no one behind” in relation to the poor countries that “have already been left behind by the MDGs;” and peace and security as a priority. On MOI, he underlined the need for a TFM and specific deliverables. He said the Global Partnership should focus on trade, finance, technology transfer and medicines. On follow-up and review, he noted the role the private sector could play as an “ally of the government” in implementation.

Ecuador called for including the special needs of the MICs and called for criteria other than gross domestic product (GDP) for allocating ODA.

Belarus, for the Group of Friends of the Family, said the declaration should include family as an important contributor and indispensable agent for sustainable development and promote family-oriented policies. In his national capacity, Belarus stressed the need for: addressing trafficking of human beings and especially sex trafficking; a stronger emphasis on energy; and mentioning the TFM in the declaration.

Maldives, for AOSIS, said the declaration should: reflect issues such as energy, water and sanitation, oceans and seas, and resilience and natural disasters; be consistent with the language of the OWG proposal; and provide specific reference to countries in special situations. He added that the text on climate change needs to be strengthened with a call for concrete action. On SDGs and targets, he noted that the OWG report should be considered in its entirety and the targets should not be revised.

Chile expressed difficulties with the preamble and asked to focus on the declaration instead. He called on delegations to consider questions that are “central” such as tackling climate change challenges, migration, regional responsibility, South-South cooperation, the role of the private sector, and civil society engagement.

Armenia outlined the need to ensure the compatibility of terminology between the zero draft and other intergovernmental texts, including the OWG proposal and the FfD outcome document, and to include reference to desertification, land degradation and drought.

Cuba emphasized that: the declaration should include commitments to carry out the UDHR; the follow-up and review chapter should not duplicate existing mechanisms; and guidelines related to follow-up and review should be proposed by governments, not the Secretariat.

Bangladesh called for the title of the document to read “New Sustainable Development Agenda for Global Action.” He requested a focus on LDCs, and a reference to the importance of national parliaments.

Kazakhstan provided language for a new paragraph on the important role of parliaments in implementing the post-2015 development agenda.

Egypt did not support the reference to “peace in larger freedom” in paragraph 7 and said the declaration does not clearly define the North-South divide. He noted the need to avoid introducing new language with regard to SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies, mentioning that there are reservations on this goal.

Montenegro called for strong references to the rule of law, promotion and protection of human rights, gender rights, non-discrimination and sustainable use of natural resources in the declaration. She welcomed the proposed technical proofing of targets and called for recommitting to the full realization of the off-track MDGs. On follow-up and review, she stressed the need for transparency and a participatory monitoring and accountability framework.

Morocco called for: strengthening the reference to inclusive and sustained economic growth; including a reference to infrastructure as cross-cutting MOI in the declaration; making a clear distinction between the Global Partnership and partnerships; and a participatory approach that involves all stakeholders.

Syria welcomed the reference to the right of self-determination of peoples living under foreign occupation. He called for: the right to development and the respect for national priorities; eliminating all coercive unilateral measures, whether financial, commercial or economic; and adding terrorism and natural disasters under the factors causing migration and population displacement.

Norway said the declaration should not paraphrase what goals and targets are about and should refer to the 2°C target for climate change. She noted the need to focus on drafting a short and crisp declaration first before working on the preamble.

Bolivia expressed concern about the preamble, noting it competes with the OWG proposal. He emphasized SDG 7 on affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and the right to development. He added that living in harmony with nature should be a cross-cutting element in the text.

The Russian Federation noted that the reference to the UN Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report in paragraph 10 should not place it at the same level as the outcomes from intergovernmental processes.

Saudi Arabia said: the right to development is important; people under occupation should not be left behind; the culture and religion of each country should be respected; the preamble of the OWG report should be part of the agenda; and the SDGs and targets should not be reopened.

Ghana said the declaration could address: what has been agreed upon; what global challenges we encounter; what is our vision; and the nature and scope of the agenda. He added, inter alia, that: in paragraph 3 the objective should be to eradicate poverty in all its forms; the major challenges to sustainable development should be mentioned in paragraph 12; paragraph 15 needs to reinforce food security; paragraphs 22-28 should capture the commitment to address all of the goals, not a few selective ones; and paragraph 32 omits Africa’s Agenda 2063.

Croatia supported the objective of communicating the agenda in a concise and clear manner that is understood by the general public and young generations. She supported a clear message as a call for action for all stakeholders.

Finland underlined as fundamental issues: universality and shared responsibility; gender equality and women’s empowerment; SRHR; and non-discrimination. She expressed support for the technical proofing of targets; welcomed the level of detail in the follow-up section; and expressed hope that the Co-Facilitators will “hold the pen tightly in their hands.”

Singapore said the post-2015 follow-up and review should be voluntary and country-led, without adding a reporting burden. He noted that the chapter on follow-up and review needs to be less prescriptive and respect governments’ policy space. He called for a reference to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the declaration.

Argentina called for: eliminating reference to the North-South divide in paragraph 14 of the zero draft on universal goals, which transcend the traditional North-South divide; noting that changes in production and consumption should be led by developed countries in paragraph 25; deletion of reference to global citizenship in paragraph 29 on the intrinsic value of diversity, culture and sport for sustainable development; and caution about imposing peer reviews.

Liberia said: peace, security and transparency are prerequisites of development; there should be a commitment from developed countries to ensure fair and equitable trade policies; and there should be concrete commitments to access clean energy and to adequately invest in education and agriculture to reduce poverty.

The Netherlands said the declaration should not read like an annotated agenda and should be concise, noting that for any addition proposed, something will have to be taken out. He highlighted the importance of: communicating the rule of law, justice, human rights, universal access to SRHR, and leaving no one behind; gender equality and women’s empowerment; and the role of policy coherence, partnership and participation.

Serbia called for a multi-stakeholder, participatory approach, and said the declaration should place more emphasis on: the prevalence of natural disasters due to climate change; decent work; human rights; peace and gender equality; sport and culture as enablers of sustainable development; and the role of parliaments.

Tanzania called for stressing in both the preamble and in the declaration: industrialization, infrastructure, employment, energy, innovation and technology.

Colombia said the paragraph on the challenges to sustainable development is unbalanced as it fails to capture the economic ones. She said the declaration should include references to: the infrastructure needs in developing countries; the need for developed countries to take the lead on SCP; technology transfer on concessional terms; MICs in the paragraph on ODA; and respect for national ownership of implementation.

The Republic of Korea expressed support for paragraph 4, which says sustainable development requires everyone’s participation and nobody will be left behind, but called for a stronger message on how it will be realized. Paragraph 21 on vulnerable populations should be better highlighted, he added. He called for more human rights-oriented content, and more comprehensive references to UN conferences and summits. In paragraph 12, he stressed the need to recognize MDG progress over the past 15 years, before referencing the challenges we are facing. In paragraph 22, on education, he called for language more consistent with SDG 4 and the outcome of the World Education Forum 2015.

Liechtenstein said the declaration should be no longer than three pages. He called for: more explicit reference to the issue of accountability and rule of law; a more general reference to international conventions; and not mentioning the UDHR and the right to development at the same level.

Benin, on behalf of LDCs, suggested several additions to the declaration including on: additional, concessional and preferential treatment for LDCs; approaches to bring structural transformations in LDCs; adequate infrastructure, research and agricultural services; productive capacity building; global value chains; and resilience building.

Reacting to statements made by Palestine and the Arab Group, Israel said the debate should not focus on exclusion of some Member States such as Palestine from the post-2015 process. He said Israel has been accused of excluding the Palestinians from the post-2015 development agenda, but “there is nothing further from the truth.” He called for leaving the post-2015 agenda “free of politicization.”

El Salvador said the title of the zero draft should include “development” and the political declaration should: focus on the human being; include freedom from age discrimination in paragraphs 17 (fundamental rights and freedoms) and 22 (quality education); highlight support to developing countries on capacity building and dissemination of technology; and include MICs.

Costa Rica called for: a rights-based approach that includes the right to development; referencing the “human rights to water and sanitation;” including people of African descent among the vulnerable segments of the population; including a reference to MICs in the paragraph on ODA; and adding a paragraph on disarmament and development.

Palestine, taking the floor for a second time, remarked that the first paragraph of the declaration should note that the signatories will be the Heads of State and Government who will gather in New York, which will include the State of Palestine. He also called for using language from the Rio Declaration, the Declaration on the Right to Development and the Millennium Declaration to reference states and people living under the burden of foreign occupation.

Concluding the discussion on the declaration, Co-Facilitator Donoghue expressed his gratitude for the suggestions received, which he said made visible the few key issues where further work is required.

Noting the large amount of information and textual suggestions received on the declaration, Co-Facilitator Kamau stressed that the dynamic of the post-2015 process is different from that of other processes, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The post-2015 development agenda is not a legally binding instrument, he explained, but a declaration of Member States’ intentions, and thus they are not “legally bound to every word and comma.” He underscored the need to keep a “light and crisp” mood and manage the process in a similar way with the OWG, without falling into a line-by-line drafting exercise. He recognized that CBDR needs to be debated so that Member States could develop a common understanding of the principle but advanced a plea to prevent that debate from bogging down the drafting exercise.


On Tuesday afternoon and evening, delegations addressed the section of the zero draft on the goals and targets. Many developing countries, including South Africa for the G-77/China, Algeria for the Arab States, Peru, Ecuador, Egypt, Argentina, and Timor-Leste, said that the chapeau of the OWG report should not be delinked from the SDGs and the reservations should also be referenced in the outcome document. The G-77/China, Brazil, Timor-Leste, Uruguay and the Russian Federation stated that the targets should not be reopened or revised, which South Africa, for the G-77/China, said would jeopardize the integrity of the “delicate” compromise and unravel the entire package.

The EU, Cyprus, Greece, Sweden and New Zealand supported the introduction to this section of the zero draft as proposed by the Co-Facilitators. Canada, Australia and Switzerland said they could not accept reservations in the outcome document and, along with Japan, said the declaration should not include the chapeau of the OWG proposal.

The EU, Latvia, Canada, Cyprus, Australia, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Greece, the US and the Republic of Korea supported the proposed technical revision of 21 of the 169 targets. The EU added that Heads of State cannot agree to an unfinished text that is not aligned with international conventions and the Rio+20 outcome document. The UK said unclear targets will not maximize the changes we want to see and supported the “technical tweaks.” He added that the revision process is not about reopening the OWG proposal, but setting targets that represent the state of art in sustainable development.

The US said the proposed revisions of the 21 targets could improve the technical quality without upsetting the balance of the OWG’s report, and suggested integrating these proposals and improvements in the next draft. Regarding the revisions to targets 1-11 in the annex, the US noted these are technical improvements and offer clarity. He also appreciated aligning the proposed revisions for targets 12-21 with international standards.

South Africa, for the G-77/China, suggested that the UNSC’s proposal for SDG indicators should be presented to the appropriate intergovernmental bodies for consideration.

The EU said clear and consistent communication about the SDGs is a priority. In particular, he called for a clear and concise introductory text to the SDGs and targets, a brief recapping of the process of the OWG and its outcome, some key principles coming from Rio+20 (e.g. the goals are global in nature, universally applicable, take into account different levels of development and national priorities). He welcomed a clear paragraph on the development of SDG indicators, noting the road map and process ahead.

Peru remarked that all SDGs and targets should be implemented in line with international law, and called for the IAEG-SDGs to consider the views of all countries, including developing countries that do not have a lot of capacity, and to provide periodic updates on progress.

Mexico stressed that much work needs to be done on the 21 targets proposed for revision to preserve the political balance achieved in the OWG. He expressed reservations about using the term “substantially” in these revisions as it does not convey a clear idea about how to move forward on some of the SDGs.

The Russian Federation called for adding a reference to the second International Conference on Nutrition held in Rome in November 2014 in paragraph 4 of the introductory text.

Japan said: target revisions should be accurate and precise, and on replacing the Xs, “substantially increase” should be kept and should not be replaced by “doubling” or by specific figures.

Switzerland said: the next version of the draft should reflect the mandate of the IAEG-SDGs to develop an indicator framework and a list of indicators; and the target proofing should not reopen the agreement on the substance of the agenda. He expressed his preference to stick to the 2020 timeline on target 6.6 related to the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems.

Colombia said the proposed revision on target 14.c on UNCLOS is a “red line” for her country, and any intent to revise the OWG proposal will alter its delicate balance.

Greece supported the proposed revision made to target 14.c on UNCLOS.

Brazil stressed the need to clarify which body will provide political oversight of the work on the indicators after September, and called for a briefing from the IAEG-SDGs at the next session of the intergovernmental negotiations.

Turkey supported tweaking some of the SDG targets. She agreed with the revisions for targets 1.5 and 11.5 on complex humanitarian emergencies and the revisions to targets 4.5 and 4.b on education. On the revisions to target 14.c (oceans), she said not all UN Member States are parties to UNCLOS and she supported the original target. She welcomed the revisions to target 17.2 on ODA commitments.

Norway said the OWG’s proposed goals and targets are not perfect but “we must not make perfect the enemy of good.”

The Philippines noted, inter alia, the need for capacity building to strengthen data capabilities.

Iceland supported the proposed revisions to the 21 targets, noting these are necessary for a credible outcome.

The Republic of Korea expressed reservations about mentioning that the work on indicators will be done by March 2016 or including references to other ongoing international processes in the introductory text of the SDGs and targets.

South Africa called for retaining the OWG’s chapeau, stating that it contextualizes the SDGs. On target 1.5, he expressed caution about the proposed language on complex humanitarian emergencies. On target 4.4, he said it is unrealistic to ensure that all youth and adults have skills. On target 4.b, to increase support for scholarships, he said it may not be possible to measure a “substantial increase” since no baseline may be available.

India said the proposed revisions could remain in the annex until there is agreement to revise them and the SDGs will not override any future agreements.

Slovakia, speaking on Wednesday afternoon, supported technical proofing of the targets, which she said should not be seen as a reopening of the goals and targets.


Co-Facilitator Donoghue opened the debate on follow-up and review arrangements on Wednesday afternoon.

Most delegates welcomed the three-tier approach to follow-up and review―national, regional and global―and the HLPF’s role as the “apex.” However, a number of countries, including the G-77/China, CARICOM, Viet Nam, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Australia, the US and Egypt, said this area of the zero draft is too prescriptive by seeking to tell governments how to conduct follow-up and review without due regard for differing national circumstances.

The EU and Slovakia called for an integrated monitoring and follow-up of the FfD3 and post-2015 outcomes, whereas the Pacific SIDS called for two separate follow-up mechanisms. Colombia and Egypt said the follow-up and review mechanism for FfD3 will feed into the overall post-2015 follow-up and review mechanism.

Many, including the EU, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Brazil, Italy, the US and Spain, called for active stakeholder involvement in follow-up and review. However, the Russian Federation stressed the need to take into account the moral and cultural traditions of countries and, along with Egypt and Pakistan, called for adding “in accordance to national legislation” to the sentence on creating an enabling environment for the participation of all people and stakeholders.

France, Senegal, Niger, Colombia, the Philippines, Ecuador and Zambia for LLDCs called for strengthening the capacities of national statistical offices to ensure reliable, quality sources of data for the follow-up process.

In other comments, South Africa, for the G-77/China: said governments should assess national implementation on a voluntary basis and in light of national realities; called for linkages to follow-up and review of relevant conferences, including on LDCs, SIDS, LLDCs and countries in special situations, in order to reduce reporting burdens and duplication of efforts; and said the follow-up and review process should emphasize MOI at the global level, especially ODA commitments, technology transfer and capacity building.

The EU welcomed the zero draft’s basis for a multi-level framework “with national ownership at the core,” as well as its emphasis on accountability to citizens, and building on existing systems. He called for stronger references to: shared responsibility and mutual accountability; the central role of monitoring; and the benefits of follow-up and review. He said the national-level framework should include a clear commitment to periodic public reports in a standardized format, and four years is “the absolute maximum” periodicity. He called for the regional level to address transboundary issues and shared targets. He said the HLPF must be the apex of the global level review, with links to other bodies, and drawing on national and regional reviews and existing reports from UN agencies and other relevant institutions and civil society. He said the HLPF’s added value would include integrating thematic assessments, securing support and ambition for the agenda, and achieving concrete results. He further proposed that the follow-up and review area of the zero draft: better develop the role of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR); better reflect the need to make the UN more fit-for-purpose; encourage all countries to commit to multi-stakeholder processes; and address the importance of data, indicators and statistics.

Algeria, for the Arab Group, said follow-up measures must be transparent and global. He cited the need for full respect for national sovereignty and moral, religious and social values of states, while reaffirming the need to “cling to good governance and respect for human rights.” He said the process must be voluntary and up to states to take the necessary follow-up and review measures.

Belize, for CARICOM, said the follow-up and review process should have two objectives: tracking progress on SDGs and other commitments; and tracking progress on their MOI. She called for: highlighting the prerogative of governments to develop national indicators; emphasizing the principles of universality, comprehensiveness and a balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development; replacing “gender” with “sex” in the criteria for disaggregating data; including SIDS among the listed groups of countries; integrating multi-state reporting where appropriate; and avoiding being burdensome.

Tonga, for Pacific SIDS, said the significant capacity constraints of SIDS need to be reflected in paragraph 3 of the follow-up and review section and in the declaration. He proposed making use of existing mechanisms wherever possible and including peer review mechanisms.

Mexico stressed the need for a coherent and renewed UN system to respond to the follow-up and review challenges of the post-2015 process. He stressed the need for reliable data, and expressed hope for a dedicated follow-up framework that will be decided in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) through its subsidiary bodies, noting that the ECOSOC system is in a position to provide coherence.

Viet Nam said, at the global level, the approach is unbalanced, only looking at outputs not inputs—the destination, not how we got there or failed to get there. She called for high-quality global indicators that capture the essence of the goals and targets and the need to assure the UNGA’s role in the process of developing indicators.

Germany said the review exercise should enable states to showcase best practices, lessons learned and implementation challenges. He called for civil society and the UN system to submit reports directly to the HLPF. At the regional level, he welcomed the flexibility to choose the appropriate regional forum most suitable for mutual learning while not being too prescriptive. The annual GSDR should have a thematic focus, while the annual SDG progress report should assess where we stand globally on all goals, he added.

Switzerland called for the annual HLPF meetings under ECOSOC to conduct thematic and national reviews based on national reports. In the first four-year cycle, governments could communicate how they translated the SDGs at the national level, he recommended, and in the second four-year cycle, governments could share progress towards implementation. He wanted the post-2015 outcome document to stress that the UN system needs a system-wide strategy to guide effective implementation of the SDGs.

Slovakia said: the text should make clear references to shared responsibility and mutual accountability; the monitoring and accountability framework should be based on effective and meaningful participation and transparency; and the UN regional commissions should play a facilitating role.

The Republic of Korea said this section needs a clear reference to shared responsibility of all countries and actors. He also: supported the call for HLPF to have sufficient time to review MOI; highlighted the principles of effective development cooperation; favored asking the UN Secretary-General to prepare guidelines for national reports and review processes; said the global level should include a discussion of national implementation; and called for exploring incentives for national participation in the global review.

France underlined the need to provide the means to ensure effective implementation, supported the request for guidelines from the UN Secretary-General on supporting national capacities in follow-up and review, said data collection and analysis must be strengthened, noted the link with the FfD3 process must be as rational as possible, and called on the UN system to take measures to adapt to the new era in development.

Sweden called for strengthening references to national ownership and transparency, participation, inclusiveness, and evidence-based reporting. She expressed strong support for the way the draft links follow-up with implementation and accountability to citizens. She stressed the need for: ensuring strong linkages between the national, regional, and global levels; having an in-depth conversation about the expectations on HLPF; and setting the mandate for the HLPF. She welcomed the reference to the ECOSOC Dialogue on Longer-term Positioning of the UN Development System.

Liechtenstein called for building on existing processes and mechanisms and suggested that any outstanding questions on follow-up and review that cannot be answered in this document could be resolved by the HLPF in 2016.

Argentina expressed concern about the request for the Secretary-General to prepare guidelines for national reports, explaining that these should be left for the national level.

Brazil supported: the national level as the primary place for follow-up and review; sharing best practices; ensuring disaggregation of data; and regional and subregional initiatives. He recalled that Rio+20 called for the GSDR to strengthen the science-policy interface, and said follow-up and review should not be based on a scientific report, but on a policy dialogue by governments. He said the paragraph on the IAEG-SDGs reinterprets its mandate, and the Group is not supposed to elaborate an annual SDG report.

Italy supported the importance of data and statistics in the follow-up process and said the ECOSOC Dialogue should include a rethinking of the new framework of sustainable development.

Australia said the IAEG-SDGs needs to take forward its work in a technical, not negotiated, process to allow high-level trend reporting; the chapter on follow-up and review should only lay out broad principles; and we must make use of the mechanisms we already have, such as the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report and the IMF’s World Economic Outlook.

Japan said the expected agreement within the FfD3 process is to meet for up to five days to discuss FfD3 outcomes as well as the MOI of the post-2015 development agenda, and to provide inputs to the HLPF. He noted that as a policy framework, FfD3 covers more than MOI, and called to avoid duplication. Japan also said national reporting is the basis for the review system, and called for flexibility, rather than requesting guidelines from the UN Secretary-General. He added that the GSDR process should avoid duplication with the reporting for FfD3, which will include MOI.

Norway said the review framework should build on existing platforms and processes, evolve over time, and minimize the reporting burden. She supported convening the next meeting of the HLPF under UNGA auspices in 2019 to allow for a meaningful picture of progress on the new agenda. She added that the post-2015 outcome document should only refer to basic principles and elements for follow-up and review, allowing the HLPF to elaborate details in 2016.

The UK called to strengthen this section in terms of: accountability to citizens and mutual accountability among states; the HLPF’s role; linkages with FfD3 commitments; data capacity; and the participatory nature of the mechanism. He supported calling on the UN System to undertake reforms as needed to provide effective and efficient support to the post-2015 development agenda. Finally, he emphasized universality as a common principle, saying the “whole point of the paradigm shift of the SDGs is that we are in it together.”

Guatemala, supported by Peru, said follow-up and review of the post-2015 process at the national level should be conducted at the national level, and called for strengthening the role of regional commissions in reporting. Peru added that any recommendations for national reviews should always be flexible and stressed the need for comparative aggregated regional data and for including trans-border issues.

South Africa said development-oriented regional organizations and other organizations such as UNDP or the World Bank should also report on their work on the post-2015 agenda.

Turkey called for capacity building for an effective review and follow-up process. She supported the proposals for voluntary national-level review. At the global level, she questioned who is responsible for deciding on the scope and methodology of the GSDR. She said existing mechanisms should be improved rather than creating new organizational mechanisms.

Senegal said follow-up and review could be inspired by the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) could serve as a model for regional review.

The Philippines said the process should: be inclusive, voluntary and transparent; use existing mechanisms to avoid duplication and ensure efficiency in the use of resources; and use reliable, timely and disaggregated data. She added that this is a follow-up and review framework, not an “accountability” framework.

Colombia welcomed the references to the ECOSOC Dialogue and the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), and further discussion on the role of the UN Secretary-General in preparing guidelines for national reports.

Palau said the follow-up process should be “people-centered,” and address progress in implementing the universality of goals and targets in all countries. He said the existing platforms and processes should include international human rights mechanisms. Palau also proposed that a thematic review in the HLPF focus on progress for the poorest, most vulnerable and most marginalized groups.

The US cited the success of the Child Survival Call to Action as an example of “course corrections” made possible by data and analysis provided through a follow-up and review framework. He supported disaggregating data by “many factors, including sex, age and disability status.” On the GSDR, he said it needs “the technical rigor and analytic quality to allow the HLPF to succeed,” and suggested a Member State discussion on the substance, process and leadership for developing the GSDR.

Spain said regional data should come from UN Regional Commissions as well as other sources.

Timor-Leste welcomed the voluntary nature of engagement described in the zero draft, adding that the national review processes: are the primary instrument for tracking progress; need to be bottom-up, led by Member States; must not be onerous; should highlight lessons in peer learning; and cannot be a one-size-fits-all “report card” approach. He added that universality cannot work without clear differentiation.

Ecuador said it is important to insist on universality in follow-up and review, which means that developed and developing countries should actively participate and it should cover all proposed SDGs—including Goal 17 on MOI—and all 169 targets in an inclusive, comprehensive way.

Egypt called for addressing the working methods of the HLPF, including its need to receive and issue reports, take decisions and have a separate secretariat. Egypt also called for: focusing on “follow-up and review,” not “accountability”; respecting national policy space and taking into account national realities; regional peer learning instead of peer review; and thematic reviews at the global level.

IUCN said the mechanism’s thematic reporting function must not end up creating silos for each of the three dimensions of sustainable development.

Maldives, for AOSIS, said peer reviews go against the voluntary nature of reporting, adding that review must not aim to compare countries against each other but discuss how the international community can advance the sustainable development agenda. She called for strengthening data collection and monitoring capacity in SIDS and other countries in special situations. She reminded delegates that the SAMOA Pathway asked for the HLPF to have adequate time to discuss sustainable development challenges faced by SIDS.

Canada supported the five principles in the text, but thought that the voluntary nature of reporting and transparency should also be added. She stressed the importance of “utilizing” rather than “building on” existing processes. She supported the three-tier approach, but suggested clarifying the link between the national, regional and global levels. She supported the reference to the ECOSOC Dialogue, and coherence with the QCPR cycle.

The Russian Federation stressed the voluntary nature of the follow-up and review process and the need to correct overly binding language, including on conducting periodic national reviews and guidelines for them, explaining that “states should reign” on those.

Ghana called for a flexible and robust, country-led, data-driven and multi-stakeholder follow-up and review process, which should aim at mobilizing both financial and technical resources to strengthen the capacity of the national statistical systems. She noted that countries already have their own internal monitoring systems to ensure accountability to their citizenry, adding that, at the regional level, countries could agree to conduct bilateral or multilateral reviews. She said thematic reviews should not be undertaken in silos.

On goals and targets, Israel welcomed the introduction of the SDGs and targets and the technical proofing exercise, calling for stronger language on the independent and expert-led nature of the UNSC’s work on indicators. On follow-up and review, Israel expressed support for an open and inclusive process, building on existing mechanisms and processes, and for including a reference to the development effectiveness principles. She welcomed the proposal for graphic visualization of the follow-up and review process at the 2016 session of the HLPF.

Indonesiasaid the immediate, national-level priority for governments is to make the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs, and integrate the SDGs into their policy frameworks. The zero draft should focus on supporting governments in this transition and ensuring national ownership for the post-2015 development agenda. She suggested supporting the UN Regional Commissions to help Member States with their challenges at the national and sub-national levels, and to promote an exchange of experiences on SDG implementation. Regarding the global level, Indonesia said the zero draft should flesh out an inclusive global strategy for follow-up and review, and should not focus on specific modalities. She said the state-led review at the HLPF is given adequate guidance in UNGA resolution 67/290.

Indiaobjected to the “accountability” reference in this section, saying national governments, having primary responsibility for their own development, are only accountable to their own people. He highlighted that: the follow-up and review process should enable the sharing of knowledge, best practices and lessons learned; governments must have the policy flexibility to set their own national targets, which would then be subject to national-level review; and the reference to participation should refer to an “open and inclusive review process, supported by participation of all people and stakeholders.” India said national-level reviews should be government-led and complemented by reviews from other stakeholders. On the regional level, he noted the diversity of regional models, cautioned that a regional-level review would add to reporting burdens, and instead supported the idea of a regional dialogue as a contribution to the HLPF review. For the global level, India said the IAEG-SDGs has a mandate to prepare indicators, but not to provide an annual report on the SDGs. He also cited the UNSC’s March 2015 decision that strategic leadership for SDG implementation would be the purview of a separate high-level group, which is still being constituted.

Pakistan cited the important role of national parliaments, and said the UN Secretary-General should propose a common reporting format to be considered by the HLPF in 2016.

Iran supported policy space, CBDR, and the focus on poverty. He called for paragraph 12, which reflects some of the challenges we are facing, to also include land degradation and desertification. He supported the links between peace and sustainable development and supported Palestine’s statement.

Mongolia said follow-up and review should be owned by countries in accordance with national circumstances, called for a participatory and voluntary process, expressed support for UN Regional Commissions and other existing mechanisms as platforms for regional-level sharing of experiences to serve as inputs to the global review; and suggested making the text on the vulnerability and needs of LLDCs more coherent.

On Thursday morning, Zambia, on behalf of LLDCs, requested that reference to the subregional level be added to the existing three tiers of follow-up and review.


On Thursday morning, Co-Facilitator Kamau said the Co-Facilitators had hoped that the negotiations on the FfD3 outcome document would have been completed by now, but “this has not yet transpired and we are not in a position to determine precisely what the parameters of this debate will be moving forward. We hope that the FfD3 debate will be finalized and we will proceed as we had hoped to.” He asked delegates to clarify how they think the MOI targets and SDG 17 should be handled in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, and how the FfD3 outcome should be incorporated into the text.

Algeria for the Arab States, Benin for the LDCs, Maldives for AOSIS, Cuba, Pakistan, China, Colombia and Indonesia said the FfD3 outcome must complement the post-2015 MOI and not substitute for them.

Japan, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Canada and New Zealand said the post-2015 text needs to endorse the FfD3 outcome document in its entirety and not reopen it. Japan and the UK said the MOI targets should not be duplicated in both the list of SDGs and targets and the MOI section of the outcome document.

South Africa, for the G-77/China, said Member States cannot afford to reverse the gains represented in SDG 17, and the language in the text should be about the revitalization of partnership to deepen international development cooperation. On the TFM, the Group appreciated the “Food for thought” paper, which he said had served as a relevant input for TFM negotiations that took place in the FfD3 process. He added that such a development was possible because of a “gentleman’s agreement” that the TFM could be negotiated in the FfD3 process if it could be reproduced verbatim in post-2015 agenda.

 The EU stressed that the FfD3 outcome represents the overarching MOI pillar of the post-2015 agenda, welcomed the zero draft language as placeholder text, and said the EU will not engage on the text at present so as not to duplicate the discussions in FfD3. He added that the EU and its Member States are committed to discussing the issues in depth in Addis, but see no point in opening them within the post-2015 track.

Algeria, for the Arab States, stressed the role of ODA for developing countries, especially the LDCs.

Benin, for the LDCs, called for: global consensus on specific measures, such as allocating 0.25% of gross national income (GNI) to ODA, the 0.15% of ODA allocated to LDCs to be used in a catalytic way, debt cancellation for the LDCs, duty-free quota free markets for LDCs’ products, 1% of ODA to be allocated to the Technology Bank for the LDCs, and 50% of Aid for Trade to be allocated to the LDCs; launching mechanisms to leverage different types of MOI, such as the operationalization of the Technology Bank for the LDCs by 2017; and institutional building and systemic reforms, such as using uniform categories of countries by all global and regional organizations and providing a voice for LDCs in global economic governance.

Zambia, for the LLDCs, stressed the importance of successfully implementing the VPoA and the SDGs and called for reflecting the VPoA in the post-2015 agenda. She stressed the importance of domestic resources, ODA, trade, the private sector, South-South and triangular cooperation, technology transfer and capacity building. She noted the need for multilateral and development banks to provide dedicated trust funds and windows for LLDCs. She called for a larger share of aid for trade to be directed to LLDCs, since this assists with capacity building and trade-related infrastructure.

Cuba said the FfD3 outcome text does not adequately provide the MOI for each target in the post-2015 agenda. He said such MOI must be proportionate to the commitments, quantifiable and concrete, and the FfD3 and SDG 17 references both consist largely of political declarations that have been repeated for years without being realized.

Palau proposed that the MOI section of the declaration include, as a sustainable development need, support for domestic resource mobilization, and said it should call for high-quality, disaggregated data.

Pakistan noted the importance of an ambitious FfD3 outcome to achieving the post-2015 agenda and goals, but said the two processes are mutually exclusive. He also highlighted that climate finance must be new and additional, and separate from ODA. Finally, he said CBDR is essential for ensuring sustained economic growth and development in developing countries.

Japan said the text in this chapter is a placeholder for the outcome of FfD3, which will support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. He called for just a “simple” chapeau that will endorse the FfD3 outcome and reference the TFM, based on the FfD3 decision.

Argentina stressed the importance of recognizing equality, non-discrimination and gender equality in the MOI; called for the deletion of paragraph 4 on mobilizing resources from a variety of sources; and suggested emphasizing ODA.

China observed that, although the title of this chapter mentions the Global Partnership, there is no language in the text that speaks to it. She said the Global Partnership should be based on MDG 8 with North-South cooperation as the basis, complemented by South-South and private sector cooperation. She said follow-up and review of MOI is essential and called for language to that effect.

Australia saw no purpose in opening issues that will be decided by world leaders in Addis in three weeks, and called for a new Global Partnership based on shared responsibility, multi-stakeholder participation, and mutual accountability.

On the annexed “Food for thought” paper, the UK said the precise scope of a TFM will be finalized in the FfD3 outcome.

Sweden reaffirmed the commitment to 1% of GNI to ODA. She stressed: the need for policy coherence; the importance of gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting and implementing the targets on gender equality; and the need for a multi-stakeholder Global Partnership.

Switzerland affirmed that the SDGs can only be achieved if matched with MOI. She said the MOI chapter of the post-2015 agenda should be defined by the FfD3 outcome and reflect the main overarching principles without renegotiating the outcome.

The Republic of Korea said the MOI chapter seemed better balanced than the MOI references in the declaration, with regard to the primary responsibility of each country for its own economic and social development. He also emphasized the importance of resource mobilization and a sound policy framework, and said a revitalized Global Partnership must be based on shared responsibility, among other principles.

The Netherlands said the monitoring and accountability framework can be strengthened, welcomed the multi-stakeholder approach, and stressed the need for transparency, disaggregated data, and the use of existing monitoring mechanisms, including the functional commissions of ECOSOC, the human rights system and the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC). He also highlighted private sector accountability and the possibility of linking the OECD guidelines on multinational enterprises to the SDGs.

Brazil said: the FfD3 outcome should be included in the post-2015 outcome document in its entirety; SDG 17 and MOI specific targets should be monitored on the basis of indicators to be developed by the IAEG-SDGs; and post-2015 follow-up and review should integrate the FfD3 follow-up and review.

The US stressed the need for adequate resources to succeed in the new agenda, which must mobilize and galvanize action from all possible sources. He called for coherence but no duplication between FfD3 and MOI, and suggested discussing this chapter in July after the Addis conference.

Canada said the reference to the Global Partnership should be further emphasized.

 Colombia stressed the importance of addressing systemic issues, and proposed a reference to international cooperation on fiscal terms.

Peru: noted that this section should be strengthened in accord with the FfD3 outcome; stressed the need to refer to the challenges of MICs; and said private resources need to be an additional source to ODA. Peru and Mexico both welcomed the reference to a TFM.

India welcomed the inclusion of all MOI targets from the SDGs in this section, saying they belong here “not merely as a placeholder.” He added that the section should also be supplemented by the FfD3 outcome and include the decision on the TFM. In order to integrate the FfD outcome into the document, he suggested a single, forward-looking paragraph that speaks to interlinkages with the post-2015 MOI, and suggested annexing the full FfD3 outcome to the post-2015 outcome to preserve “the interlinked but independent status” of the documents. Finally, India cautioned against making drastic changes to the zero draft, noting there are only two weeks left for negotiations.

Indonesia called for a solid reference to the Global Partnership based on MDG 8, and welcomed the inclusion of goal-specific MOI in the chapter.

Iran said we have unfinished business of the MDGs today, and in 15 years we will have unfinished business of the SDGs, but the FFD3 process will continue, making two different tracks necessary.


Co-Facilitator Kamau opened the meeting with Major Groups and other stakeholders on Wednesday morning. He urged representatives of Major Groups and other stakeholders to build a constituency among Member States to ensure their priorities “see the light of day” in the declaration. He highlighted the long-term work of implementing, following up on and reviewing the agenda, noting that “this is just the beginning.”

Co-Facilitator Donoghue said that, while the post-2015 development agenda process is Member-State-driven, the cumulative effect of stakeholders’ contributions has been very important.

Christina Båge-Friborg, Sandvik, said over 50% of Sweden’s GDP is represented in the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency-facilitated network, Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development. She welcomed the language on corruption, bribery and accountable institutions in proposed SDG 16, and noted exponential growth in the number of companies committed to annual, public reporting on their contributions to sustainable development.

Meera Karunananthan, Blue Planet Project, said the declaration should make an explicit commitment to human rights, rather than taking a charity- or market-based approach, and commit to the human right to water and sanitation. On implementation, she called for ensuring universal access to essential services by “ring-fencing” water and sanitation from privatization, noting that as part of the global commons they are central to states’ human rights obligations.

Wael Hmaidan, Climate Action Network International, said climate change must been seen as a development issue not just an environmental issue. He called for a better vision on climate change in the declaration and emphasized the importance of referring to resilience. He added that the rhetoric of climate change around the world has changed from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to phasing out these emissions, and this should be in the declaration.

Bibhash Chakraborty, Saferworld, called for: peace alongside justice and equality in the declaration; women’s participation in all stages of the peacebuilding process; addressing inequalities while contributing to peace; and affirming the role of third parties in follow-up and review.

Helen Dennis, Christian Aid and ACT Alliance, drew attention to Pope Francis’ encyclical as a call for action. She stressed the need for the agenda to: fulfil the human rights of all groups; end gender-based violence; state that access to clean water is a human right; promote renewable energy; address climate change; and include faith groups and organizations as key stakeholders.

Vishaish Uppal, WWF India, suggested language for the declaration about the importance of tackling poverty eradication and sustainable development together and proposed including language on the role of the natural resource base in sustainable development. She added that each country must work towards the achievement of all targets and the SDGs should not be a pick-and-choose menu.

Sachini Perera, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), said the text must include calls to end discrimination “of any kind,” as well as SRHR and sexual education as critical parts of rights and access to education. She called for “non-exhaustive” references to disaggregated data, to allow for characteristics relevant to national contexts.

Marianne Haslegrave, Common Wealth Medical Trust (COMMAT), welcomed the recognition of the importance of achieving universal health coverage, but said it would be strengthened by including “financial risk protection” and “first reaching those furthest behind” in SDG 3 and target 3.8.

Hendrica Okondo, Civil Society Platform for SRHR/World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Africa Branch, called for addressing meaningful participation of adolescents and youth, whose skills, energy, passion and technological savvy would be of benefit to the new agenda.

Christina Ude, Reading Hamlets, suggested better reflecting equality for girls and women and the importance of life-long learning and adult education. The reference to basic education, for example, should call for “free, equitable and quality” education, “without discrimination on any grounds, especially gender.” She said the follow-up and review section should refer to human-rights-based indicators and include all forms of partnerships.

 Amb. Hiroshi Minami, Japan, said a big challenge is communicating the post-2015 agenda to ordinary citizens. He added that the post-2015 development agenda is seen as a successor to the MDGs, but this is not entirely true since the MDGs were about developing countries, while the new agenda is universal. He agreed that there should be a better vision on climate change in the declaration as it is not just an environmental issue but also an intergenerational issue.

Nicole Cardinal, Save the Children, noted that the MDGs left many people, including children, behind. She called for strengthening language on: achieving greater gender equality; meeting goals and targets for all social groupings; human rights and fundamental freedoms for all; and encouraging Member States to set mid-term targets across all goals to ensure they are achieved by 2030.

Marisa Viana, RESURJ, said that: gender equality and human rights of women and girls should be cross-cutting; human rights agreements and the principle of non-discrimination should be reaffirmed; diverse sexual orientations and gender identities should be recognized; and the root cause of the environmental crisis is unsustainable consumption and production. She called for putting people and the planet before profit.

Antonia Wulff, Education International, expressed concern that “decent work” needs to be included in the text, noting that employment and decent work are not the same. She called for referencing: threats to democracy and fundamental human rights, and shrinking space for civil society; the need for free primary and secondary education, especially for women and girls; and the obligation of states to guarantee the human right to water and sanitation.

Corann Okorodudu, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, called for reaffirming the UDHR and human rights conventions, including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. She called for references to: removing all structural impediments to fulfilling the SDGs; quality, disaggregated data for all groups; achieving a holistic view of health; and the importance of resilience.

Micah Grzywnowicz, Swedish Foundation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL), said a “closed list” of prohibitive grounds for discrimination undermines the integrity of the OWG proposal, noting the need to prohibit all forms of discrimination. Grzywnowicz expressed concern about “unconditional respect” for national policies and priorities as incompatible with the universal and global nature of the agenda, and said indicators must measure the existence of discriminatory laws and policies.

Deelip Mhaske, Foundation for Human Horizon, highlighted caste-based exclusion, segregation and violence. He said Dalits, if gathered in one place, would comprise the sixth-largest nation in the world, and highlighted their exclusion at all levels of education. He said target 17.18 on MOI should include data disaggregation by caste.

Bob van Dillen, Migration and Development Civil Society Network (MADE), said the declaration currently frames migration as a threat to development, alongside violence, conflict and humanitarian crisis, but said forced migration and displacement are in fact the result of such structural issues. He called on the new agenda to note migrants’ contributions to trade and technology transfer, as well as to commit to reducing remittance costs to below 3% by 2020, not 2030.

Roberto Borrero, Indigenous Peoples Major Group, said indigenous peoples’ territories encompass up to 22% of the world’s land surface and areas that hold up to 80% of the planet’s biodiversity, and indigenous peoples need to be acknowledged as active agents of change and rights-holders.

Addulrahman Jawahery, International Fertilizer Industry, urged Member States to acknowledge the issue of land degradation and nutrient depletion in soils, which traps many in poverty. He stressed the role of business in providing disaggregated data and expertise to the UN specialized agencies.

Jiten Yumnam, People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty, called for: reference to sustainable food production in the declaration; an accountability mechanism for industry; a call to stop land grabbing; ending poverty and hunger, and eliminating malnutrition. He also called for the post-2015 agenda to include in land tenure rights for women, men and marginalized communities.

Patrick Paul Walsh, University College Dublin and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), called for incorporating a science-policy interface into the follow-up and review section, as well as an online knowledge and information-sharing platform at the national level. He stressed the need for greater participation and an enabling environment to do so.

Quirine Lengkeek, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, called for: a commitment to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of children and youth; including freedom from age discrimination in paragraph 17 on fundamental rights and freedoms “without discrimination on grounds of;” replacing “affordable drinking water” with the “human right to water” in paragraph 15; and adding “free education in conflict and post-conflict settings” in paragraph 22.

Roberto Dondisch Glowinski, Director General for Global Affairs, Mexico, spoke about “development integrity” and the need to achieve quality development for all. He called for putting social and economic inclusion at the center of the declaration.

Amb. Jean-Francis Régis Zinsou, Benin, stressed the need to pay attention to the “human person” and take strong actions on inequality. He said civil society needs to be mobilized as a key resource to achieve the SDGs, and highlighted that climate change is “the elephant in the room,” with all economies needing to be built on resilience and mitigation.

Mwangi Waituru, VSO International, said the post-2015 agenda must go beyond being an agenda “for” the people to be an agenda “with” the people as agents of change, not only beneficiaries. He called for clearly stating in the declaration how Member States will promote and safeguard an enabling environment for a participatory follow-up and review mechanism.

Paul Divakar, Rural Development Centre, and Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) Network, said accountability must be regularly occurring, results-oriented, and human rights and equality-based. In addition, the framing of follow-up processes should include specific commitments on how governments will engage with stakeholders. He called for a focus on progress for social and economic groups that are furthest behind.

Fabio Palacio, ATD Fourth World, said follow-up and review processes should be “open, inclusive, responsive, participatory and transparent, supported by an enabling environment for the meaningful participation of all people and stakeholders.” He said the HLPF should be provided sufficient resources to fulfil its mandate, and called for including data from non-governmental sources as well as qualitative and perception-based indicators.

Bogdan Dumitrescu, BJD Reinsurance, said the agenda will require business and civil society alike to take on new challenges and roles, in concert with governments. While governments are the insurer of last resort, he said, the “triggers must be pushed up further” to help others to measure risk, reduce exposure, close financial gaps, and reduce the burden on public budgets, and support countries in absorbing the financial consequences of catastrophes.

Alessandro Attolico, Province of Potenza, Italy, stressed the relevance of cities in dealing with sustainable development and said there should be reference in the text to the local and subnational level in addition to global, regional and national levels.

Jahan Taganova, SOS Children’s Villages, said today’s children and youth need to learn about the SDGs and how these goals relate to their lives. She called for involving children and youth in follow-up and review and said children should be active agents of change not just beneficiaries, if the agenda is to be achieved.

Amb. Michael Gerber, Special Envoy for Global Sustainable Development, Switzerland, said follow-up and review at all levels should be transparent and participatory to ensure broad engagement by civil society and the private sector. He welcomed the reference to national progress reports and encouraged all countries to submit these reports and called for expanding the space for participation in follow-up and review.

During the general discussion, civil society representatives called for: stronger language on access to information; increasing the emphasis on climate change in the declaration; including “planetary health;” explicitly listing the “human right to water and sanitation;” stronger language on gender equality and maternal health; SRHR; integrating internationally agreed targets on child mortality reduction; referencing redistributive policies to tackle inequality; including “structural and psychosocial” resilience; reintegration of the richest into responsible citizenship; language on the protection of whistleblowers; integrating the MOI discussion in the post-2015 process and the FfD3 process; and mutual accountability.

Co-Facilitator Donoghue noted that it was good to be challenged on issues that inadvertently or by design were left out of the text. He said the Co-Facilitators had to weigh concepts to see if they would achieve consensus. He said the Co-Facilitators would do the best they can, “without promising the world,” to integrate and absorb what speakers suggested. He concluded that there is a limit of what one can expect from this process, especially regarding human rights, where action under other frameworks may need to be pursued, noting “the post-2015 basket is an important basket but it isn’t the only basket.”

In conclusion, Co-Facilitator Kamau cautioned the Major Groups and other stakeholders that they will likely not have the same level of access during the negotiation sessions in July, since the intergovernmental process “becomes very closed at the end.” He urged them to find Member States to echo their concerns and work with them to have their views reflected.


In concluding the meeting on Thursday, Co-Facilitator Donoghue thanked everyone for their feedback on the declaration, goals and targets, follow-up and review, and MOI, and noted the value of the session with Major Groups and other stakeholders. He noted that the Co-Facilitators will distill what they have heard and where “we think we should be heading in our future work.” The Co-Facilitators will produce a final zero draft within the next couple of weeks, ahead of the last negotiating session, which begins on 20 July. Despite the difficulty of the work ahead, he added, the Co-Facilitators are determined and confident that “we will achieve our goal” by 31 July.

Co-Facilitator Kamau noted that the negotiation week had finished early and he hoped it was a good sign about finishing early in concluding negotiations in July. He said it was doable “if we don’t overcomplicate the process.” He acknowledged that there was not great consensus in the room, but said the differences are not unsurmountable and “we can see the path through which we can walk to get ourselves out the other end. We will get there and in good time.” The meeting adjourned at 12:55 pm.


 “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.”

– Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

The post-2015 negotiations have entered into their final phase. With the process nearing its end, the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations gave delegations the opportunity to comment on the zero draft of the outcome document and set the stage for the last, two-week session in July. Is there time for everyone to get what they want in the UN’s development agenda for the next 15 years?

While at times during the four-day meeting it appeared as though battle lines were being drawn and that the outcome may result in winners and losers, as Co-Facilitator Macharia Kamau commented in closing the meeting, the differences may not be insurmountable, “if we don’t overcomplicate the process.” In fact, the overall mood in the room suggested that negotiators may want to avoid a zero-sum game and instead aspire to a “win-win” outcome―a situation where each player benefits, and not necessarily through someone else’s loss. Such an outcome could best capture the vision of the “paradigm shift” aimed for in the post-2015 development agenda, which is sought as a transformation from a competition over limited resources―financial, human and planetary―to a collaboration to ensure that everyone in every country can live “well enough,” both now and in future generations.

This brief analysis will examine the current state of the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and the possible path to a win-win scenario.


In the context of the June negotiating session, as governments presented their positions on the zero draft, several North-South fault lines emerged that could set the stage for an outcome with winners and losers. Many of these issues are well-known sticking points in sustainable development negotiations, while some are unique to the post-2015 development agenda negotiation process. Delegates’ and the Co-Facilitators’ ability to navigate the discussions on the following issues and to manage the trade-offs will contribute to whether the final session will follow a problem solving or competitive process.

Common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR): Throughout the process of developing the SDGs and crafting the elements of the post-2015 agenda, developing countries have called for explicit references to the CBDR principle, while developed countries have argued that this principle should not be singled out from the other Rio Principles, and some have insisted that CBDR is an environmental concept with no place in a holistic development agenda.

However, during the June session, a more intellectual debate on CBDR took place, led by India, who explained in detail that the principle of differentiation does not contradict the notion of a universal agenda, and that it does not imply inaction by some. Developing countries also stressed that the economic divide persists, despite the emergence of large economies in the developing world, which means differentiation of responsibilities remains relevant. Japan and others continued to note that some developing countries now have higher per capita incomes than some developed countries, and some countries that were “developing” 20 years ago are now developed. They cite the expected continuation of this trend as a further reason to move away from differentiation of responsibilities and toward “shared responsibility” as a principle for implementing the new agenda.

People under foreign occupation: The State of Palestine, supported by the Arab Group and other developing countries, argued that if this agenda seeks to leave no one behind, people and states under foreign occupation cannot be left behind and, therefore, warrant an explicit mention in the outcome document. Israel, however, argued that they have no intention of excluding any Member State, such as Palestine, from the post-2015 process and called to put an end to the politicization of the process, which “occupies so much of our time.”

 Status of the preamble: While this fault line is not as deep as the previous two, developing countries uniformly called for deletion of the zero draft’s preamble. They argued that, by identifying nine achievements sought for through the post-2015 development agenda, the preamble would highlight some goals over others and undermine the indivisibility of the agenda. Developed countries, on the other hand, argued that the preamble is important to be able to communicate the post-2015 development agenda to the general public. At the heart of this debate is the concern of some developing countries about reducing the perceived scope of the agenda in the part of the text that will effectively reach the public and national governments, which could reduce attention and support for the rest of the goal set. This debate is similar to the OWG’s discussion about the ideal number of SDGs, and whether the goals should be comprehensive and reflect the full complexity of a sustainable development agenda with poverty eradication at its core, or whether the goals should be prioritized to achieve a more digestible number.

The OWG outcome document: In the zero draft, the Co-Facilitators included the SDGs and targets from the OWG’s report, but placed the 18-paragraph introduction, or chapeau, in an annex and did not include the reservations that were stated during the closing OWG plenary in July 2014 and are contained in the OWG’s report (A/68/970). Developing countries felt very strongly that the OWG’s report needs to be placed in the post-2015 outcome in its entirety, including the chapeau and reservations, suggesting that these two sections capture important views. Developed countries preferred to leave these two sections of the OWG’s report out of the outcome, arguing that the declaration will cover the need for the OWG chapeau, while Heads of State or Government cannot adopt or sign off on other states’ reservations.

Technical Revision of the Targets: Another divide emerged over the technical “tweaking” to the targets. In May, the Co-Facilitators proposed amendments to 21 of the 169 targets, in order to remove the “Xs” that had been left in the OWG report and ensure that the targets were aligned with existing international agreements. Many developed countries welcomed the technical amendments and supported their incorporation in the text. A number of developing countries, however, warned that opening the targets to amendment would risk unravelling the entire goal and target set, since it had been adopted as a package. To complicate matters, some countries supported some of the technical amendments and not others (such complex humanitarian emergencies in targets 1.5 and 11.5, and UNCLOS in 14.c) so this was not completely an “all-or-nothing” debate.

Means of Implementation: Given that the FfD3 outcome document had not yet been adopted when the session concluded on 25 June, there was still not much clarity on the MOI chapter of the zero draft. Developed countries thought that the FfD3 outcome should serve as the MOI for the post-2015 agenda. But developing countries argued that it was not sufficient for that purpose, and would only serve as a complement to the post-2015 MOI, which must still be discussed. There was also some disagreement on follow-up and review of the MOI. Whereas the EU and other developed countries such as Switzerland or Japan called for an integrated monitoring and follow-up of the FfD3 and post-2015 outcomes, some developing countries called for two separate follow-up mechanisms, or suggested that the FfD3 follow-up and review mechanism should feed into the overall post-2015 follow-up and review mechanism.

Many of these fault lines could end up becoming fodder for trade-offs in the last stage of the negotiating process. The Co-Facilitators have as much as implied that avoiding a zero-sum game on some of these entrenched North-South fault lines may still be possible, with creative solutions and a shared interest in a win-win outcome. It remains to be seen, however, how delegates will be able to work together to adopt a transformative agenda in July. 


One could argue that the optimal outcome in any negotiating process is an agreement that everyone can support, or at least “live with.” In fact, this is one of the underlying principles of consensus-based decision making. The post-2015 negotiations, like the OWG negotiations before them, can be visualized as a collaborative game where all players try to carry a huge “earth ball” several meters in diameter over their heads while negotiating an obstacle course. In a game such as this everyone either loses (drops the ball because they do not work together) or wins by achieving their collective goal. In this game, all players are involved, no one is left behind and the game works on many levels by improving communication, cooperation, and capacity building.

One technique for consensus-based decision making is for parties to ask each other “why” they have certain needs, because in identifying the needs underlying positions, alternative ways to meet those needs may be found. By encouraging delegations to engage in a substantive discussion of the zero-draft, rather than a line-by-line wordsmithing, the Co-Facilitators wanted to create a space for just this kind of dialogue. In fact, the extensive conversation on CBDR during this session may have been productive for just this reason, by potentially lessening the emphasis on previously stated positions, and moving toward a shared understanding of the meaning of the principle.

Another technique for building consensus is to ensure everyone’s views are heard. Over the past six months, the post-2015 process has spent ample time on general conversations and statements. The dialogues with Major Groups and other stakeholders have also served to build a widespread sense of support for and investment in the post-2015 development agenda, even while the Co-Facilitators emphasized the intergovernmental nature of the process. A shared belief that everyone has played a part in crafting the outcome can generate a groundswell of support for the final outcome, even if all of their demands have not been met.

Both leadership and process are important factors that could ensure that no one drops the ball and the post-2015 negotiations reach a successful conclusion by 31 July. Leaders who understand the importance of timing, when to propose compromises and when to resort to innovative working methodologies are often able to build the necessary trust that can lead to a win-win, consensus outcome. Co-Facilitators Kamau and Donoghue have been trying to build the necessary trust to do just that.

With regard to process, as the Co-Facilitators noted, the dynamic of the post-2015 process is different from that of other processes, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The post-2015 agenda is not a legally binding instrument, they explained, but an expression of Member States’ intentions. Co-Facilitator Kamau underscored the need to manage the process in a similar way to the OWG, without falling into the potential trap of line-by-line wordsmithing. Avoiding line-by-line negotiations, and ensuring that the Co-Facilitators “hold onto the pen” as was the case in the OWG, may be conducive to reaching an agreement within the given timeframe.

To achieve a win-win outcome in the post-2015 development agenda, which will be adopted by Heads of State or Government in September and shape the sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years, Member States may have to reach a draw on the most divisive issues and take the battles to other fora. But some areas may allow for creative compromises that will be innovative and perhaps even groundbreaking in their implications.

What is clear is that only with good leadership, trust and a spirit of collaboration will the negotiations reach a successful conclusion on 31 July. Even though countries might not get everything they “want,” collectively it may be possible for this agenda to commit to more of what everyone needs.


Third Meeting of the HLPF: The third meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which will take place under the auspices of ECOSOC, will focus on the theme, “Strengthening integration,  implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015.” dates: 26 June - 8 July 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (DESA)  tel: +1-212- 963-8415  fax: +1-212-963-1712 www:

High-Level Event on Climate Change: The President of the UN General Assembly will convene a High-Level Event on climate change, which intends to provide impetus and political momentum for an ambitious climate agreement, at the mid-point between UNFCCC COP20 in Lima and COP21 in Paris. It aims also to provide space for showcasing climate action and concrete initiatives, through multi-stakeholder approaches to address climate change. date: 29 June 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: Office of the President of the General Assembly  www:

Annual Ministerial Review: ECOSOC will hold the 2015 Annual Ministerial Review, on the theme of “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals (SDGs): What it will take.” dates: 9-10 July 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (DESA) tel: +1-212-963-8415  fax: +1-212-963-1712  www:

Third International Conference on Financing for Development: The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will be held at the “highest possible political level.” It is expected to include Heads of State and Government, ministers for finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation, and other special representatives. dates: 13-16 July 2015  location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  contact: UN Financing for Development Office  phone: +1-212-963-4598  email: www

Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda – Seventh and Eighth Sessions: The seventh and eighth sessions of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda will focus on negotiating the outcome document. dates: 20-31 July 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development  phone: +1-212-963-8102  fax: +1-212-963-4260  email: www:

UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The Summit is expected to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, including: a declaration; a set of Sustainable Development Goals, targets, and indicators; their means of implementation and a new Global Partnership for Development; and a framework for follow-up and review. dates: 25-27 September 2015  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development  fax: +1-212-963-4260 www:

For additional meetings, see

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