OWG 11 Expands List of Goals and Targets

owg9 May 2014: Participants in the 11th session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) considered a list of 16 “focus areas” and approximately 150 potential targets, as contained in the working document for the session.

The eleventh session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place from 5-9 May 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York.

Following the discussion of focus areas related to the “unfinished business in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”—poverty eradication, food security, education, health, gender, and water—Co-Chair Kőrösi noted general agreement that these concepts should be included as goals in the new framework. The discussion on “newer” issues, such as climate change, ecosystems, oceans, sustainable consumption and production, energy, industrialization, infrastructure and economic growth and employment, human settlements, means of implementation, peaceful societies, and rule of law, revealed that delegates still have not settled whether these focus areas should be included in the framework and whether some of the areas should be combined or divided.

Delegates also discussed how the OWG should continue its work, including through four points of order that were raised on the first day. Some preferred to begin direct negotiations immediately and to hold intersessional negotiations. Others highlighted the number of participants attending from capitals and supported the Co-Chairs' guidance under the current process.

At the close of OWG-11, Co-Chair Kamau proposed that the next draft of the working document would include an additional focus area—equality—and would contain many more draft targets. He said informal-informals would convene the week before each of the two remaining OWG sessions, and delegates should be prepared to discuss the working document target by target. The next draft is expected to be available at the end of May, in advance of OWG-12 in June. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage]