Paper 2.6 Ensuring a coherent place for the HLPF within the UN development system

Paper 6

Ensuring a coherent place for the HLPF within the UN development system

Sara Luna

Rio+20 Conference set the stage to rethink the global discussion on sustainable development. The outcome of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a major step towards the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. The post-2015 development agenda should now consolidate and foster the integrated, universal and inclusive vision achieved in the OWG.

The follow-up of the new agenda and its SDG will require a solid, attractive and coherent institutional framework. We have a unique opportunity to build a coherent and integrated follow-up mechanism within the new institutional arrangements agreed since Rio+20 through the strengthen Economic and Social Council and the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development.

The institutional framework for the follow-up and review of the new agenda should be built on the existing system: the structure of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), its institutional machinery and resources (UN funds, programs, commissions and experts committees), and the General Assembly with a renewed Second Committee whose program of work is adapted to the structure of the development agenda beyond 2015.

The HLPF cycle should be the vehicle to create synergies between the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. It can ensure the continuous, dynamic and coherent follow-up of the post 2015 development agenda and its goals, through its meetings under the Council every year at the Ministerial level, and under the General Assembly, every four years, at a heads of state and government level, both with specific outcomes in the form of high-level declarations.

It also should:

  • Be the entryway for all relevant actors to the institutional follow-up of the post-2015 development agenda, its goals, and targets.
  • Promote the integrated discussion on development in all its dimensions. This will require that in the focus of its program, all perspectives and all voices within and outside the Organization are included.
  • Be the place in which leaders provide a clear political guidance, which will be disseminated throughout the UN system through the Economic and Social Council and the Second Committee of the General Assembly.

Taking those characteristics into account, the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC should become the space in which annual reviews on national and regional progress and on the international cooperation in the implementation of the ODS are conducted.

The system of ECOSOC especially the outcomes of its segments and the functional Commissions should bring relevant inputs the reviews, in order to ensure its continued support to the national efforts.

In order to achieve a truly coherent, integrated and attractive follow-up, the President of ECOSOC as convener of the HLPF at the Ministerial level during the High Level Segment of the Council, should be provided with a permanent support office alongside with a single integrated secretariat for the support of the ECOSOC and the HLPF work, in order to ensure coherent planning of all the activities of the Council and during the HLPF, including the review of the SDGs.

The intergovernmental process for the definition of the post-2015 development agenda offers the best opportunity to put in place an effective United Nations system that will help us to move from commitments to actions by implementing a universal agenda that addresses the social, economic and environmental dimensions in a comprehensive and balanced manner.

Through the General Assembly, the ECOSOC and especially through the HLPF, the UN system should foster global actions and national policies that are aimed to address the structural causes of poverty, inequality, exclusion and discrimination as the main in order to eradicate them in the twenty-first century.

Sara Luna is a member of the Foreign Service of Mexico since 2006. Luna is currently posted at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations in charge of the post-2015 development agenda negotiation. She also covers economic and development issues at the Economic and Social Council and the Second Committee of the General Assembly. She has served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Undersecretary’s Office for Asia-Pacific and at the Embassy of Mexico in Japan, where her portfolio included academic affairs, science and technology, and cooperation for development. Before joining the Foreign Service, she worked as an adviser at a law firm in Mexico specialized in international law. Luna graduated from the International Relations School at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, as well as from the Matías Romero Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has a Certificate on Global Affairs from NYU.



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