NEW YORK (IDN) - An independent team of 12 advisors headed by two former senior UN officials has been tasked with making the United Nations development system fit for supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that took effect on January 1.
The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Bureau – headed by Oh Joon, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea – announced on February 12 the establishment of the team to support the second phase of the ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UN development system in the context of the 2030 Agenda.
The first phase of the ECOSOC dialogue took place from December 2014 to May 2015 and was composed of formal sessions, informal workshops, a civil society briefing, and a high-level retreat.
The independent team has selected as its Co-Chairs former ILO Director-General Juan Somavia of Chile and Klaus Töpfer of Germany, who served as the Executive Secretary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
The 12 advisors include: Armida S. Alisjahbana (Indonesia); Chen Dongxiao (China); Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe (Lebanon); Paulo Luiz Moreaux Lavigne Esteves (Brazil); Hanaa El Hilaly (Egypt); Jennifer Jones (Jamaica); Maria Isaltina Lucas (Mozambique); Ibrahim Mayaki (Niger); Sara Pantuliano (Italy);
Sanjay Reddy (India); Edward Sambili (Kenya); and Vaira Vike-Freiberga (Latvia).
Sarah Cliffe, Director at the Center on International Cooperation, New York University, has been appointed as Special Advisor on the ECOSOC Dialogue. She will provide strategic analysis of the issues under consideration.
According to a press release, the independent team of advisors will support Member States through the ECOSOC Bureau during the Dialogue by providing recommendations based on strategic analysis regarding the changing role of the UN development system in light of the 2030 Agenda.
In particular, the proposals of the independent team of advisors are expected to promote “coherent inter-linkages between functions, funding, governance, organizational arrangements, capacity and impact, and partnership approaches of the UN development system”.
The advisors will engage in a consultative process to ensure inclusion of the considerations and perspectives of all stakeholders. This will include discussions with Member States, United Nations entities, bureaus of governing bodies, Chairs of UN coordination mechanisms as well as civil society, the private sector, and other non-governmental stakeholders. Members will also engage with national officials and seek regional and sub-regional perspectives.
The independent team will contribute ideas, proposals and options to the formal and informal discussions of the ECOSOC Dialogue and related events with Member States and other stakeholders.
The work of the independent team of advisors will culminate in June 2016 with the conclusion of the ECOSOC Dialogue, setting the stage for the General Assembly deliberations during the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of United Nations Operational Activities for Development.
The establishment of the independent team of advisors by the ECOSOC Bureau follows within weeks of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointing a group of eminent persons to assist in the campaign to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the world leaders unanimously adopted in September 2015.
They include a queen, a crown princess, a president, a prime minister, a Chinese e-commerce pioneer, and a player often ranked as the world’s best footballer.
With a mandate to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030, the newly named SDG Advocates will add powerful voices to spur action on the visionary and transformational sustainable development agenda. The 17 SDGs aim to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while leaving no one behind.
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people,” said Ban while making the announcement on January 19. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success,” he said.
The SDG Advocates will have the task of promoting the universal sustainable development agenda, raising awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and fostering the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of the SDGs. [IDN-InDepthNews – 14 February 2016]
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Photo: Wide view of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) | Credit: UN Photo - Loey Felipe