Mainstreaming Sustainable Development Goals into National Development Strategies
Capacity Building Workshop and Expert Group Meeting - New York, 9-11 October 2013
The overall goal of the Workshop and Expert Group Meeting (EGM) are to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders, including Government officials and civil society, to effectively integrate sustainable development into national development planning and implementation. Towards this end, the Workshop and EGM will assess progress made, identify existing obstacles and challenges, and exchange experiences and share good practices amongst participants on ways for overcoming these.
The participants of this Workshop and EGM include approximately 30 Government officials from key Ministries, mostly from leastdeveloped countries. In addition, 10 participants from Major Groups, civil society stakeholders and national and international experts would be invited. A select group of United Nations Country Team members would also be invited. ACORD is one of the key civil society speakers and our Executive Director, Ousainou Ngum, made the following presentation.
The Outcome Document of Rio+20, The Future We Want acknowledges the need to ‘mainstream sustainable development at all levels, integrating economic, social and environmental aspects and recognizing their inter-linkages, so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions (paragraph 3)'.The Rio+20 Outcome Document constantly emphasises the need for enhanced capacity building for sustainable development, including the provision of technical assistance which involves strengthening institutional capacity (paragraph 277).
It also asks for enhanced evidence-based decision-making and in this context request contribution to strengthen ongoing capacity-building efforts for data collection and analysis in developing countries (paragraph 85).
It is against this backdrop the capacity development workshop and Expert Group Meeting for integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development into national institutions and national planning and programming is being organized. The Workshop and EGM will build on one of Division for Sustainable Development's (DSD) core functions of building capacity in developing countries to promote and advance the implementation of the sustainable development agenda in the follow up to the Rio+20 conference.
The Report of the UN Secretary-General notes that there is a movement towards integrating priorities and objectives at country level that should aid in furthering sustainable development.
One of the main challenges that countries continue to face is that of integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development in planning and implementation. This is recognized in the above-mentioned SG's report, which states that in Government Ministries, institutional arrangements are shaped along sectoral lines. There is thus a need to change sectoral thinking and pursue integrated practices.
Five priorities for capacity building were identified from the national reports for advancing sustainable development. These will form the major building blocks for the workshop because each of them is critical to the mainstreaming process and integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development into national development planning and implementation. The priorities include:
- Strengthening institutions and governance systems and building capacities for collaboration and coordination
- Unpacking, clarifying and operationalizing green economy
- Highlighting the link between the sustainable development agenda and the MDGs
- Meaningfully engaging stakeholders, including civil society, in the development process
- Measuring development progress in a way that looks across the three pillars of sustainable development
A resolution was recently adopted at the General Assembly1 on format and organizational aspects of the high-level political forum on sustainable development. It stipulates that the forum will conduct regular reviews, starting in 2016, on the follow-up and implementation of sustainable development commitments and objectives, including those related to the means of implementation, within the context of the post-2015 development agenda. It will be important to assess how capacities can be built in order to incorporate this request and how best these countries can report to the forum.
Objective and Expected Accomplishments
The overall goal of the Workshop and EGM are to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders, including Government officials and civil society, to effectively integrate sustainable development into national development planning and implementation. Towards this end, the Workshop and EGMwill assess progress made, identify existing obstacles and challenges, and exchange experiences and share good practices amongst participants on ways for overcoming these.
The expected accomplishments at the end of the Workshop and EGM include:
· Improved knowledge about the processes, institutions and structures required to put in place initiatives relating to sustainable development;
· Improved knowledge of capacity development and technical assistance needed to achieve integrated sustainable development programmes;
· Enhanced awareness of integrated approaches for the development and implementation of national development strategies through the development of a community of practice and the establishment of a network of practitioners.