The final draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda has just been released by the Co-Facilitators of the Intergovernmental Negotiations.
Local and regional governments have long called for a single, universal global sustainable development agenda, so we welcome the references to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as to the upcoming third Conference on Financing for Development and the COP21 Climate Summit.
UCLG is also pleased to see that the preamble reaffirms the principles of the Rio+20 Declaration and that it recommits to “the full realization of the off-track MDGs” (particularly those on maternal, newborn and child health). It contains strong references to human rights and combatting inequalities “in and between countries”.
We also commend the emphasis on the indivisibility and cross-cutting nature of the goals and targets, which we hope will help to prevent a sectorial approach and to ensure coherence in implementation, particularly at local level.
We also welcome references to “cultural values” and “inter-cultural understanding”, though we would have liked to have seen stronger language in this regard.
In relation to Goal 11, paragraph 9 of the preamble commits Member States to “work with local authorities and communities to renew and plan our cities and human settlements so as to foster community cohesion and personal security and to stimulate innovation and employment.”
The language on the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development remains quite weak in terms of participation mechanisms and does not explicitly recognize a special status for local and regional authorities. This will be crucial for the successful implementation of the Agenda.
Finally, while the text acknowledges that “quality disaggregated data will be needed to help with the measurement of progress beyond GDP and to ensure that no one is left behind”, no specific mention is made of geographic disaggregation, local data, or the need to measure progress in both urban and rural areas. The ongoing work of the Interagency and Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goals will be crucial to making progress in this regard before the finalization of the indicators by the UN Statistical Commission in March 2016.
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