UNEP’s role in the Post-2015 and SDGs process is to give voice to the environment. UNEP works at distilling knowledge to better inform member states and UN entities debates on a Post-2015 sustainable development agenda. The ‘integrated approach’, aiming at the comprehensive consideration of the most salient issues within the economic, social and environmental dimensions and their interlinkages, serves as the centerpiece for guiding UNEP’s engagement with the process. UNEP’s Discussion Paper no. 1 ‘Embedding the Environment in Sustainable Development Goals’ presents an integrated approach to the goals where they would embody all three dimensions.
The task of preparing a proposal on the SDGs and develop a set of measurable targets and indicators was delegated to the intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) of the UN General Assembly. The 30-member OWG was established in January 2013 and has since been working continuously to develop a proposal on the SDGs. On 19 July, 2014 the Outcome Document of the OWG on the SDGs was adopted by acclamation including 17 goals and 169 targets. The OWG is expected to submit a final report by September 2014 with their proposal on the Post-2015 Agenda and SDGs.
Member states and civil society alike are concerned that the SDGs and Post-2015 Agenda do not become an “unfunded” mandate. Therefore, another process underway is an expert-led group of member states discussing the architecture for financing sustainable development after 2015. The Inter-governmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance (ICESDF) is also expected to submit its report by September, after which the General Assembly 69 will start deliberations on finalizing the Post-2015 Agenda. The Post-2015 Agenda also needs new, innovative and transformative means of implementation, including: new partnerships, institutions that can work in an integrated manner, technology transfer, capacity building, information access, and monitoring and reporting for accountability.
On 23-27 June 2014, government representatives, UN agency representatives, major groups and stakeholders convened in Nairobi for the first session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP. The Post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the SDGs including SCP constituted one of two key themes in the High-level ministerial dialogue. On Friday evening, the Ministerial Outcome Document of UNEA of UNEP was adopted. An unedited summary of the Post-2015 discussions can be found here.