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H.E. Amb Macharia Kamau Chairs Session of the Open Working Group

The development of the inter-governmental working group was one of the key outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference held June 2012 in Brazil. As a follow up of the decisions contained in the Rio +20 outcome document “the future we want”, the President of the General assembly appointed Ambassador Macharia Kamau and Ambassador Csaba Korosi Permanent Representatives to Kenya and Hungary to the United Nations as co-facilitators of the intergovernmental consultative process that developed the methods of work, the agenda of the Open Working Group and facilitated the convening of the inaugural meeting of the OWG on SDGs.

The first of the four sessions of the Open Working group was held on 14-15th March 2013 in New York and Kenya’s statement was read by Hon. Dr. Naomi Shaban, who emphasized the achievements of MDGs, the need for SDGs to build on its successes and be pragmatic enough to allow for the development of policy space in developing countries. The Open Working Group has a two year mandate linked to the evolution of the UN development agenda beyond 2015. The final report of the Open Working Group is expected to be discussed at the review of the Millennium Development Goals during the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly.

The process of developing the SDGs by the OWG Co-Chaired by Amb. Kamau should be viewed within the context of multilayered and multidimensional initiatives by the UN system and member states to define and design “the future we want”. These processes which are mainly inter-governmental although welcoming and embracing the participation of key stakeholders such as civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system in its work, in order to provide a diversity of perspectives and experience and include the following:-

  • High - level political forum (HLPF) - The HLPF is a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum an outcome of Rio+20 Conference. The forum is to follow up on the implementation of sustainable development and address reforms within the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The HLPF will build on the strengths, experiences, resources and inclusive participation modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development, and subsequently replace the Commission. The initiative is co-facilitated by Brazil and Italy under General Assembly, resolution 67/203, which called for the negotiation process of the forum to commence in January 2013 to May 2013 leading to the convening of the first high-level forum at the beginning of the sixty-eighth session.
  • Expert Committee on a Sustainable Development Financing Strategy - The President of the General Assembly by resolution A/67/437/Add.1 appointed the Permanent Representatives of Kazakhstan and Norway to facilitate an intergovernmental process comprising of 30 member states to establish an intergovernmental process with technical support from the United Nations system. The process will be carried out in open and broad consultation with relevant international and regional financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders to assess financing needs, consider the effectiveness, consistency and synergies of existing instruments and frameworks, and evaluate additional initiatives, with a view to preparing a report proposing options on an effective sustainable development financing strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources and their effective use in achieving sustainable development objectives.
  • General Assembly’s Special Event on MDGs – the President of the General Assembly appointed the Permanent Representatives of South Africa and Ireland as co-facilitators of the special event to be attended by Heads of State and Government on 25th September 2013. The Special event on will focus on “follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” linked to the evolution of the UN development agenda beyond 2015.
  • Secretary-General's High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda - In July 2012, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a High-level Panel of 27 members of involving civil society, the private sector, academia and member states from all regions, in addition to the UN system, to advise on the global development framework beyond 2015 the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The Panel was co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. Betty Maina, Chief executive Officer of Kenya Manufacturers Association represents the East and Southern African region. The work of the Panel reflects new development challenges while also drawing on experience gained in implementing the MDGs, both in terms of results achieved and areas for improvement. The High-Level Panel submitted its report containing recommendations to the Secretary-General on 30 May 2013.

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