UN Secretary-General releases Synthesis Report on Post-2015 Agenda
On 4 December, the United Nations Secretariat release an advanced unedited version of "The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet", Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Agenda, advance unedited version, 4 December 2014. New York: United Nations. The report can be downloaded at: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5527SR_advance%2…
The IEF is preparing comments on the report for submission to the UN. Any IEF members who would like to contribute to this process should send their comments as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among other things, the Secretary-General calls for the proposals of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, see below) to be the main basis for the post-2015 intergovernmental process. The report identifies six essential elements for delivering on the SDGs:
• Dignity: to end poverty and fight inequalities
• People: to ensure healthy lives, knowledge, and the inclusion of women and children
• Prosperity: to grow a strong, inclusive, and transformative economy
• Planet: to protect our ecosystems for all societies and our children
• Justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies, and strong institutions
• Partnership: to catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development
Integration is a constant theme throughout the report. "Sustainable development must be an integrated agenda for economic, environmental, and social solutions. Its strength lies in the interweaving of its dimensions. This integration provides the basis for economic models that benefit people and the environment; for environmental solutions that contribute to progress; for social approaches that add to economic dynamism and allow for the preservation and sustainable use of the environmental common; and for reinforcing human rights, equality, and sustainability. Responding to all goals as a cohesive and integrated whole will be critical to ensuring the transformations needed at scale" (para. 82).
From the perspective of the International Environment Forum, the UN Post-2015 process, while essential, is not complete. It is almost entirely a top-down process, with an agreement on global aspirational goals intended to guide national policies and to trickle down to the larger groups of stakeholders in local government, the private sector and civil society. What is missing is the mobilization of community efforts and local innovation to achieve these goals from the bottom up. This is an issue that the IEF should explore in the months and years ahead.