“The business of the week” – the first informal meeting of the plenary on the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda – is to discuss ways to break with the past by crafting a Declaration focused on the future, said Co-Facilitator Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, in his opening remarks on Tuesday morning, 17 February 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.
Co-facilitator David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland, recalled that while the stocktaking session in January had reviewed the entire agenda for the negotiating process, this week’s session would enable more detailed exchanges on the content, tone, and ambition of the Declaration.
Kamau said “our hearts go out” to Denmark and Egypt following acts of violence in the past 72 hours, and noted other recent developments in the world that undermine the peace and security of nations. Acknowledging he was “setting the bar high,” he called for a visionary solution so these occurrences become a thing of the past.
Both co-facilitators stressed that the elements paper was intended to stimulate and guide debate, and was not intended as a definitive product.
In the course of the morning and afternoon sessions, approximately 60 delegations took the floor to welcome aspects of the elements paper, propose changes and additions, and articulate their visions for the post-2015 development agenda. Kamau observed at the end of the day that governments had voiced “a huge amount of divergent, as well as consensual, views.” He added that Wednesday morning will be spent completing the list of speakers responding to the Elements Paper, followed by a discussion on the way forward for the rest of the week.