United Nations Open Working Group: Focus Areas for SDGs

The debate on post-2015 agenda has been thoroughly underway as the Millennium Development Goals will expire in 2015. The United Nations Open Working Group (OWG) released a revised version of the Focus Areas document for the upcoming 11th Session which will be held on May 5th – 9th in New York. The Focus Area 16 includes the goal of “establishing inclusive, participatory decision-making, including at local governments” by 2030.

The Rio+20 provided the agreement to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A 30-member The Open Working Group (OWG) of the General Assembly is tasked with preparing a proposal on the SDGs. The OWG has held regular thematic sessions since March 2013, and from March 2014, sessions focus on discussing the draft report including goals and targets.


The document states the following Focus Areas:

  1. Poverty eradication, building shared prosperity and promoting equality
  2. Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition
  3. Health and population dynamics
  4. Education and life – long learning
  5. Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  6. Water and sanitation
  7. Energy
  8. Economic growth, employment and infrastructure
  9. Industrialization and promoting equality among nations
  10. Sustainable cities and human Settlements
  11. Sustainable Consumption and Production
  12. Climate change
  13. Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas
  14. Ecosystems and biodiversity
  15. Means of implementation/Global partnership for sustainable development
  16. Peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions

The Focus Area 5 includes the goal,

  • “f) ensure equal participation and leadership of women in decision-making in public and private institutions”

Moreover, under the Focus Area 16, the following goals are included:

“Creating peaceful and inclusive societies

  • b) by 2030 eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices, empower marginalized groups, in the social, political and economic fields
  • c) by 2030 establish inclusive, participatory decision-making, including at local governments, taking into consideration the interests of future generations

Rule of law, capable institutions

  • a) by 2030 develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • c) by 2020 provide public services for all, including legal identity
  • d) improve access to information on public finance management, public procurement and on the implementation of national development plans
  • e) by 2030 decrease by x% corruption in all its forms and illicit financial flows
  • f) remove unnecessary restrictions of freedom of media, association and speech”

It is expected to submit a report by September 2014, which will contain proposed SDGs for consideration and eventual adoption by Member States in 2015.

You can download the document here

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