Sustainable Development

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 Janeiro, 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

2015 is the expiry date for the 8 Millennium Development Goals MDGs. The MDGs 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 build upon the MDGs and converge with the post 2015 development agenda. The SDGs address global environmental management, protect the oceans, improve food security, and promote a “green economy”. Climate change and anti-poverty are inextricably linked.

Engagement of non-state actors in the post 2015 process

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-statke 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.

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

Useful resources

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