Post 2015 UN Development Agenda

Setting the scene - Preparing for the Post 2015 UN Development Agenda - Engaging civil society and stakeholders - Post Rio +20 consultations - Post 2015 UNDP country and thematic consultations - UNEP’s regional consultations - Setting up of the UN System Task Team - High Level Panel of Eminent Persons - High Level Political Forum - Post 2015 Intergovernmental Panel - SD Finance Process Intergovernmental Panel - Online platform for the World We Want - Sustainable Development Solutions Network - nrg4SD engagement - Resources

1. Setting the scene - from post Rio +20 to Post 2015

What is Rio +20?

In June 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio +20 took place in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. This Conference gathered world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, in order to shape how to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want. Themes of the Conference included (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development. The Conference concluded with an outcome document entitled 'The Future We Want'.

What is the post 2015 UN Development Agenda and why act now?

2015 is the expiry date for the 8 Millennium Development Goals MDGs. We must act now if we are to achieve reaching these goals. The MDGs range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education. This is the blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanised unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. In the outcome document of the 2010 MDG Summit, UN Member States requested the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to initiate annual reporting on the activities, consultations and analytical work that needs to take place to inform the inter-governmental debate on the post-2015 UN development agenda.

Among several ground breaking decisions at Rio +20, Member States decided to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the MDGs and converge with the post 2015 development agenda. These goals will address global environmental management, protect the oceans, improve food security, and promote a "Green Economy". Climate change and anti-poverty are inextricably linked. An Open Working Group on the SDGs is being established following Rio +20 so there are parallel tracks on a post-2015 development agenda alongside the MDGs.

The years between Rio +20 and 2015 are vital for establishing key actions and steps to achieving sustainable development and the ultimate aim of achiving the MDGs. All sectors of society, government, private sector and academia must be involved in this process.

2. Preparing for the Post 2015 UN Development Agenda

United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)

During the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, the international community made the decision to strengthen and upgrade the role of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), according to paragraph 88 of the Rio+20 outcome document. From that point, UNEP’s Governing Council gained universal membership and it was renamed by member states as the United Nations Environment Assembly - UNEA at its first meeting it, which was set to meet biennially in Nairobi, starting in 2014. From 23 to 27 of June, 2014, UNEA’s first session convened with the overarching theme “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including sustainable consumption and production”. This unprecedented forum provided the opportunity for a high-level discussion on the many relevant environmental topics of global concern, including making decisions on resolutions and actions to tackle the main challenges to protect the world’s environment.

Check here for the complete list of resolutions adopted during UNEA.

Setting up of the UN System Task Team 

Following the 2010 MDG Summit, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon established a UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. This team is led jointly by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs UN DESA and the UN Development Programme UNDP with support from all UN agencies and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. As the Secretary-General indicated in his first annual report on this subject, work on the post-2015 agenda should be grounded in a critical evaluation of how the MDGs have worked as a framework, identifying what has worked well and areas for improvement, especially in response to current development challenges. In this context, the UN System Task Team is evaluating the experience with the MDG framework, in terms of both contents and processes; reviewing recent development trends; and drawing out the implications for the formulation of a post-2015 UN development agenda. The work of the Task Team will inform that of a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons that the Secretary-General intends to appoint to advise him on the post-2015 UN development agenda.

High Level Panel of Eminent Persons 

In May 2012, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon named UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, of Indonesia, as co-chairs of the High-level Panel to advise him on post 2015 development agenda. After the conclusion of Rio +20, Ban Ki-Moon announced in July, the 27 members of the Panel to advise on the global development framework beyond 2015 and whos work will reflect new development challenges while also drawing on experience gained in implementing the MDGs, both in terms of results achieved and areas for improvement. The Panel's work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design the SDGs. The reports of both groups will be submitted to Member States for their further deliberations and the Panel will submit a report containing recommendations to the Secretary-General in May 2013. The first meeting of the High Level Panel took place on 25 September and the second meeting took place from 31 October to 2 November.

3. Engagement of civil society and stakeholders in the post 2015 process

Civil society and all stakeholders are vital players if we want to achieve sustainable development around the world. A look at the rich partnerships and initiatives led by civil society and stakeholder (CS & S) organisations at Rio +20 show that they are shaping and implementing the paradigm for change that sustainable development requires in our societies. Agenda 21, the outcome of the the first Rio conference in 1992 (also known as UNCED) established the concept of nine Major Groups to represent the voices of non-stake actors. Agenda 21 defines these Major Groups as: Women, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, NGOs, Trade Unions, Local Authorities, Science and Technology, Business and Industry. The participation of civil society in the Rio+20 Conference was guided by the major groups participation process of the Commission on Sustainable Development also established in Rio, 20 years ago. 



nrg4SD engagement towards the Post 2015 development agenda

nrg4SD participated in Rio +20 as one of the Organising Partner (OP) of the Local Authorities Major Group (LAMG) alongside ICLEI Local Cities for Sustainability and UCLG United Cities and Local Governments. nrg4SD continues it work as an OP towards the Post 2015 Development Agenda.


nrg4SD resources


Key dates 2012 - 2015

January 2012:  UN Task Force (UNTT) on Post-2015 Development Agenda set up

January 2012- September 2015: “The Global Conversation Campaign” - A series of online conversations by the UN Millennium Campaign bring people together from across the globe to focus the world’s attention on the issues that matter to our generation: poverty and its root causes. The conversations are broadcast live

May 2012- January 2013:  UN Development Group 50 Country Consultations

May 2012- February 2013: UN Development Group global meetings on Inequalities; Health; Education;Growth and employment; Environmental sustainability; Food security and nutrition; Governance at all levels; Conflict and fragility; and Population dynamics

June 2012: UN Rio +20 Conference

September 2012: Open working group established to begin work on the SDGs comprising of 30 representatives (nominated by Member States through UN regional groups to achieve equitable geographical representation)

June 2012- December 2014: Process to develop SDGs and integrate with the MDGs. The SDG process must be concluded by 2014 with a report to the UN General Assembly.

July 2012-December 2015: High Level Panel of Eminent Persons meets to advise the UNSG on the post-2015 agenda. The Panel will produce a report that will form a basis of the intergovernmental negotiations on the framework due in February 2013.

July 2012: UNTT delivered its report to the UN Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Agenda: ‘Realizing the Future We Want for All’. It will revisit its ToR to perhaps develop a new mandate to continue its work. Download the report here >

2 July 2012: Launch of the UN Millennium Development Goals Report

31 July 2012: UN Secretary General appoints members of High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda

9 August 2012: UN Secretary General announces the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network SDSN

September 2012: Open working group established to begin work on the SDGs

18 September 2012, New York, USA: 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, USA

25 September 2012, New York, USA:First meeting of High Level Panel of Eminent Persons for the Post 2015 Development Agenda

20 – 21 October 2012, New York, USA: Post Rio to Post 2015: Planning International Stakeholder Engagement, co-organised by Stakeholder Forum, Green Coalition, UNEP and UN DESA - nrg4SD participating sponsored by UNEP

21 October 2012, New York, USA: Major Group faciliting committee meeting – nrg4SD participates as LAMG OP

22 - 24 October 2012, New York, USA: Post Rio to Post 2015 discussions -  nrg4SD participates as LAMG OP

24 October 2012, New York, USA: nrg4SD meeting with Friends of the Cities

24 October 2012, New York, USA: Meeting of UN DESA Major Group OPs – nrg4SD participates as LAMG OP

24 October 2012, New York, USA: Informal post Rio +20 and post 2015 session with UNDP – nrg4SD participates as LAMG OP

31 October - 2 November 2012, New York, USA: Second meeting of High Level Panel of Eminent Persons for Post 2015 Development Agenda

November 2012: UN DESA Major Group prepare for the Opening Working Group on SDGs – nrg4SD participates at LAMG OP

November 2012: nrg4SD reflections on the High Level Political Forum for the post 2015 UN Development Agenda

January 2013: Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals SDGs starts it work

January 2013: UN Development Group ends 50 Country Consultations on Post 2015 UN Development Agenda

April 2013: Third meeting of High Level Panel of Eminent Persons towards the post 2015 UN Development Agenda (date tbc)

6 - 17 May 2013: 19th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development CSD

September 2013: UN General Assembly (UNGA) MDG Review Summit

September 2013: A report from the open working group to decide on SDG’s method of work and modalities to ensure full involvement of all relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, UN and scientists will be submitted to the 68th Session on UNGA (2013) containing a proposal for SDGs for consideration and appropriate action

January 2015-December 2015: Intergovernmental negotiations process in UN General Assembly on post-2015

July/September 2015, New York, USA: UN General Assembly Post-MDG Review Summit


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