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[Title] Progress report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals (A/67/941)

[Date] July 23, 2013
[Source] General Assembly (United Nations)
[Notes] 13-40526
[Full text]


Distr. : General

23 July 2013

Original: English

Sixty-seventh session

Agenda item 20 (a)

Sustainable development:implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Letter dated 19 July 2013 from the Co-Chairs of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals addressed to the President of the General Assembly

In our capacity as Co-Chairs of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals, and with reference to paragraph 249 of General Assembly resolution 66/288 and paragraph 6 of resolution 67/203, we have the honour to transmit herewith a progress report on the work of the Working Group at its first four sessions.

We would be grateful if the report could be issued as a document of the General Assembly.

(Signed) Macharia Kamau

Csaba Kőrösi


Progress report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals

I. Introduction

1. In its resolution 66/288, the General Assembly endorsed the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled "The future we want", annexed to the resolution. Paragraph 248 of the said outcome document read as follows:

"248. We resolve to establish an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process on sustainable development goals that is open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly. An open working group shall be constituted no later than at the opening of the sixty-seventh session of the Assembly and shall comprise 30 representatives, nominated by Member States from the five United Nations regional groups, with the aim of achieving fair, equitable and balanced geographical representation. At the outset, this open working group will decide on its methods of work, including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system in its work, in order to provide a diversity of perspectives and experience. It will submit a report, to the Assembly at its sixty-eighth session, containing a proposal for sustainable development goals for consideration and appropriate action. "

2. By its resolution 67/203, the General Assembly recalled paragraphs 245 to 251 of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, and reiterated that the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals would submit its report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session and that reports on the progress of work of the Open Working Group would be made regularly to the Assembly, taking into account the convening of the first high-level political forum, without prejudice to the format and organizational aspects of the forum, and the special event in 2013 to follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

3. By its decision 67/555, the General Assembly welcomed the membership of the Open Working Group as designated by the five United Nations regional groups and as listed in the annex to the decision.

4. The present report on the progress of work of the Open Working Group is made pursuant to those provisions.

II. Organizational matters

A. Organization of work

5. Sessions were held as follows: first session (14-15 March 2013, four formal meetings); second session (17-19 April 2013, six formal meetings); third session (22-24 May 2013, six formal meetings); and fourth session (17-19 June 2013, six formal meetings).

B. Opening

6. On 14 March, the President of the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly opened the first session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. Statements were made by him and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

C. Election of officers

7. At its 1st meeting of the first session, on 14 March, the Open Working Group elected Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary) and Macharia Kamau (Kenya) as its Co-Chairs by acclamation.

D. Agenda

8. At the same meeting, the Open Working Group adopted the provisional agenda (A/AC. 280/2013/1), which read:

    1. Election of officers.

    2. Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

    3. Follow-up to the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, relating to a proposal for sustainable development goals.

    4. Other matters.

    5. Adoption of the report.

E. Methods of work

9. At the same meeting, the Open Working Group adopted its methods of work.

F. Proceedings of the Open Working Group

10. In its first session, on 14 and 15 March 2013, the Open Working Group heard the introduction by the Secretariat of the initial input of the Secretary-General to the Open Working Group (A/67/634) and conducted a general discussion and an interactive discussion on the sustainable development goals.

11. In its second to fourth sessions, the Open Working Group, through keynote addresses, introductions of issues notes by the United Nations Technical Support Team, panel discussions and interactive exchanges of views, and national statements, considered the following subjects:

  (a) Second session (17-19 April 2013):

    (i) Conceptualizing the sustainable development goals;

    (ii) Poverty eradication.

  (b) Third session (22-24 May 2013):

    (i) Food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation and drought;

    (ii) Water and sanitation.

  (c) Fourth session (17-19 June 2013):

    (i) Employment and decent work for all, social protection, youth, education and culture;

    (ii) Health, population dynamics.

III. Substantive highlights of the work of the Open Working Group to date

12. The Group's work has been organized into two main phases. The first phase focuses on stocktaking, collecting views of experts, Member States and other stakeholders, from its first meeting in March this year through February 2014, when members of the Group are deliberating on the main themes, including those identified in the Framework for Action of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, and how they might be reflected in a set of sustainable development goals. In the second phase, from February through September 2014, the Group will prepare a report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session, mandated by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and containing a strategic outlook and a proposal for sustainable development goals.

13. Work on sustainable development goals is an integral part of the ongoing discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. There is wide support for a single post-2015 United Nations development framework containing a single set of goals -- goals that are universally applicable to all countries but adaptable to different national realities and priorities.

Morning meetings with major groups and stakeholders

14. Beginning with the third session, the Co-Chairs instituted the practice of daily, hour-long morning meetings with representatives of major groups and other stakeholders, prior to the start of the official business of the Open Working Group. The meetings provided a platform for major groups and stakeholders to express their views and share their experiences. Members of the Group were encouraged to attend the morning meetings. The messages of the major groups were channelled into the discussions of the Member States.

15. The Co-Chairs invited the participants to consider the means of implementation as a cross-cutting issue throughout the deliberations, as those were needed to realize the various proposals being advanced. In turn, Major Group and civil society participants proposed options such as the reallocation of fossil fuel subsidies and military expenditure, tackling tax evasion and tax havens, and creation of international transaction and green taxes.

Conceptualizing the sustainable development goals

16. It is widely agreed that the Group's proposal on sustainable development goals should be accompanied by a vision and narrative that frames and motivates the selection of the proposed goals. A narrative is emerging which centres on the transformative change needed to realize our shared vision of poverty eradication and universal human development in the context of sustainable development, respecting human dignity, protecting our planet, and living in harmony with nature for the well-being and happiness of present and future generations.

17. Many reiterated the principles that should inform the proposal on sustainable development goals, notably all the Rio Principles, in accordance with paragraph 246 of "The future we want" (resolution 66/288, annex).

18. It is recognized that the sustainable development goals should reinforce and build upon existing international commitments in the economic, social and environmental fields.

19. Poverty eradication remains the overarching objective of the international community and needs to be central to a proposal on sustainable development goals and the post-2015 United Nations development agenda.

20. There is widespread recognition that poverty eradication can only be made irreversible if the sustainable development goals advance sustainable development in a holistic manner, that is, if they address and incorporate in a balanced manner all three dimensions of sustainable development and their interlinkages.

21. That is because dynamic and resilient economies and a healthy and resilient environment underpin poverty eradication as well as sustained and sustainable social and economic progress.

22. Thus, the advancement and completion of the most off-track Millennium Development Goals is the starting point, the sine qua non, of the sustainable development goals. But the latter will need to be more comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and transformative, also addressing the challenges ahead.

23. The need for a few aspirational goals that are easy to communicate was emphasized. Therefore global priorities will need to emerge from a common agreement on where national commitments and international cooperation are most critical to bring about greater positive impact and secure our common future.

24. There was general recognition that, while the balance of the three dimensions could be achieved in many ways, the goals and associated targets and indicators should, in the aggregate, represent a pathway to sustainable development and the future we want. The targets need to be differentiated for countries, taking into account the different levels of development.

25. Many felt that the sustainable development goals and associated targets should focus not merely on desirable outcomes but also on key drivers of sustainable development. There were frequent references to the cross-cutting nature of many of the issues under discussion, and the importance of achieving synergies wherever possible by systematically addressing their interlinkages.

26. There are several enablers and drivers, strategies and approaches for sustainable development that may be difficult to enumerate as goals, among others human rights, rights-based approaches, governance, rule of law and wider participation in decision-making. The interdependence and interrelated nature of the goals should be captured in the narrative.

27. The sustainable development challenges the international community faces are not amenable to solution unless all countries, developed and developing alike, cooperate and commit to action.

28. The prospects for permanent eradication of poverty and sustainable human development depend critically on the state of our planet. It is imperative, therefore, that sustainable consumption and production patterns take hold in all countries, with the developed countries taking the lead.

29. A substantially strengthened global partnership will be critical to advancing sustainable development. Some of the direst problems we face do not lend themselves to solely national or local solutions.

30. Progress on sustainable development goals will require resources and concerted actions, and for this reason many stressed that a proposal on sustainable development goals would need to include provision for means of implementation such as financing, technology and capacity-building.

31. Governments, acting in concert, will need to lead, but a truly effective global partnership will have to enlist as active partners all of society, including the business sector, which is the main driver of global economic growth and job creation, and also a major source of the technologies needed to address global problems.

32. On partnerships, it was noted that targeted multi-stakeholder partnerships have met with some success in mobilizing international efforts and resources behind specific Millennium Development Goals, and that similar goal-oriented partnerships could be effective in progressing towards the sustainable development goals.

33. To ensure that progress is measurable and measured, it will be important to have quantified targets and to ensure that countries have the necessary data collection and statistical capacities to support robust indicators of progress.

Poverty eradication

34. Eradicating extreme poverty in a generation is an ambitious but feasible goal.

35. The progress in reducing poverty over the past generation has been impressive in some regions. However, more rapid and sustained progress is needed, particularly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

36. Income poverty remains the principal target, but poverty is multidimensional and other dimensions need to be addressed in the sustainable development goals, as they were to a degree in the Millennium Development Goals. That includes universal access to adequate and nutritious food as well as to basic services like water and sanitation, primary health care and education, and modern energy services.

37. Setting universal coverage targets with respect to those essentials of human well-being would ipso facto address inequalities, as meeting the targets would require that even the poorest and most vulnerable be covered.

38. Still, to measure progress, it would be important to collect disaggregated data, to ensure that no income group or other social group is left behind.

39. In that way, poverty eradication would be addressed not only as a stand-alone goal but also as a cross-cutting objective in other goals.

40. The poor suffer not only from lack of access to basic services but also very often from the poor quality of the services provided. That applies with particular force to education and health care. Thus, both access and quality of services available to the poor need to be addressed going forward.

41. With respect to provision of universal access, many stressed the importance of strengthening institutional capacities at all levels to deliver better targeted and higher quality services. That was frequently formulated in terms of the need to address weaknesses in governance.

Food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation and drought

42. The fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger was stressed. In this regard, it is critically important to secure access for all to safe, sufficient and nutritious food. Affordability of food is a crucial concern for the poor.

43. An end to hunger and malnutrition is achievable in a generation or less, and it was broadly agreed we should work towards that goal.

44. Adequate nutrition during the critical 1,000 days from the beginning of pregnancy through a child's second birthday merits a particular focus.

45. Beyond adequate calorie intake, proper nutrition has other dimensions that deserve attention, including micronutrient availability and healthy diets. Unhealthy diets and lifestyles are closely linked to the growing incidence of non communicable diseases in both developed and developing countries.

46. Globally, poverty remains most widespread in rural areas, and many small-scale farmers as well as landless agricultural labourers and their households are numbered among the poor and the hungry.

47. Thus, a lasting solution to the scourges of poverty and hunger must include raising smallholder productivity and rural incomes on a sustainable basis.

48. That will require greater investments in agricultural research and rural infrastructure, as well as measures to provide more secure access to land, credit, crop insurance and other productive inputs to smallholder farmers, especially women farmers.

49. Access of small farmers to national, regional and international markets is also critical, including through removal of trade barriers and market-distorting subsidies.

50. Healthy, productive and sustainable fisheries are critical for food security as well as livelihoods in many countries; likewise, sustainable livestock-raising to augment farm incomes and productivity.

51. Agricultural value chains need strengthening in many developing countries, including post-harvest processing, storage and transport to markets. Losses at these stages significantly reduce food availability and raise costs.

52. Food wastage at the retail and consumer end of the value chain is also a major problem that hampers the capacity of the food system to meet demands from growing populations and changing diets.

53. Sustainable agricultural practices will need to play an increasingly important role in meeting growing food demand going forward. Sustainable farming systems must make more efficient use of all scarce resources and inflict far less damage on the environment than currently pervasive input-intensive systems.

54. There are many elements of traditional farmer knowledge that, enriched by the latest scientific knowledge, can support productive food systems through sound and sustainable soil, land, water, nutrient and pest management, and the more extensive use of organic fertilizers.

55. Halting and reversing land degradation will be critical to meeting future food needs. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development called for achieving a land-degradation-neutral world in the context of sustainable development.

56. Some question whether the objective is sufficiently ambitious, given the current extent of land degradation globally and the potential benefits from land restoration not only for food security but also for mitigating climate change. There is also a recognition that scientific understanding of the drivers of desertification, land degradation and drought is still evolving.

Water and sanitation

57. Water is at the core of sustainable development. Water and sanitation are central to the achievement of many development goals, including agriculture, health and education.

58. While the world has met the target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water five years ahead of schedule, the task of providing universal, reliable access remains far from complete.

59. Moreover, extending improved sanitation facilities in rural areas and poor urban communities remains a major challenge, with insufficient progress realized to date towards the Millennium Development Goal 7 target.

60. There is also a strong case for continuing to link sanitation with safe drinking water, as the two are intimately linked health determinants.

61. Scientific evidence shows the global character of hydrological processes and the strong interdependencies among different water functions and uses. Hence the value of an integrated approach to water resources management spanning multiple levels. The importance of transboundary cooperation in water management was underscored.

62. Water scarcity and water variability are becoming more serious concerns with climate change, and therefore sustainable water management needs to feature prominently in the post-2015 development agenda.

63. Beyond ensuring essential requirements for healthy living, water use needs to become far more efficient almost everywhere, especially in agriculture and industry.

64. Technologies, infrastructure improvements and incentives are needed for reducing water losses, wastage and pollution in order to free up supplies for productive uses.

65. As technologies are needed to use water efficiently, reduce water pollution and treat polluted waters, any targets in this regard should be considered in relation to technology availability and costs.

66. Sustainable management of ecosystems for enhanced water regulation, water quality and water availability needs to be reinforced. Experience shows that investing in protection of critical watersheds, for example, can have high returns, but the services provided by such ecosystems are consistently underappreciated and undervalued.

67. There was broad support for a dedicated water sustainable development goal, as the complex interrelations among various water-related concerns call for an integrated approach that would be better catalysed by a single water sustainable development goal.

68. Targets could cover various aspects, including possibly: equitable, universal and sustained access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene; sustainable development, management and use of surface and groundwater resources respecting ecosystem requirements; reduction of water pollution and collection and treatment of used water and wastewater; reduction of exposure and impacts from floods, droughts and other water-related disasters; and enhanced water cooperation and improved water governance.

Employment and decent work for all, social protection, youth, education and culture

69. Creation of enough productive jobs to employ all those seeking work at decent pay: this is a major challenge facing all countries, developed and developing alike.

70. In low-income countries, while unemployment as such is also a pressing issue, of more immediate concern is the dominance of low-productivity employment, mostly in the informal sector, which provides insufficient household income to escape poverty.

71. Building dynamic, resilient, sustainable and diversified economies is critical to addressing the employment challenge in developing countries. Africa, for example, has the possibility, given its large "youth bulge", of reaping a sizeable demographic dividend, but only if economies are able to generate enough decent jobs through structural transformation, including industrialization.

72. As private companies create the lion's share of decent jobs, a policy environment conducive to private investment and entrepreneurship is critical.

73. Tackling youth unemployment is a global priority. Stronger systems to facilitate the school-to-work transition are vital, including for skills development linked to labour market needs.

74. A variety of proposals have been made on employment and decent work, including as a stand-alone goal and as a target(s) associated with a higher-order goal like "eradicate poverty" or "create jobs, sustainable livelihoods and equitable growth" (goal 8 of the annex to the report of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (A/67/890)).

75. Social protection programmes are important anti-poverty measures that also help to build social cohesion. Protecting children from extreme deprivation is a valuable long-term investment in individual and societal well-being.

76. Access to basic health services, income support, school and other supplemental nutrition -- these are all elements of a social protection floor. Thus, some elements of a social protection floor may be addressed through food security and health goals.

77. Unemployment insurance and old-age pensions are also important elements of social protection, common in developed countries but spreading more widely.

78. Evidence suggests that a basic, country-specific social protection floor is affordable and feasible even in low-income countries.

79. Education is absolutely central to any sustainable development agenda. It is not only an essential investment but an important basis for human enrichment through lifelong learning.

80. The post-2015 development agenda must achieve the Millennium Development Goal of primary education for all. However, it should also aim to address quality as reflected in learning outcomes, which will need to be more widely and effectively measured.

81. Gender equality in education is an important objective in its own right, with multiple social, economic and environmental benefits.

82. Moreover, to ensure productive employment in increasingly knowledge-based economies, greater emphasis is needed on secondary school and even tertiary attainment, and some countries may choose to set relevant targets.

83. Even if the emphasis is put on educating young people, continued attention is needed in many countries to raising adult literacy and, in all countries, to lifelong learning to facilitate adjustment to changing labour market conditions.

84. Culture and cultural diversity are widely understood to be important to societies' creativity, cohesion and resilience, but it is not clear that culture per se is "goalable".

Health, population dynamics

85. Health is a right and a goal in its own right, as well as a means of measuring success across the whole sustainable development agenda.

86. There was a fairly broadly shared sentiment that, while the health priorities captured in the health-related Millennium Development Goals continue to require focus, that could be achieved by integrating them as targets along with other health targets under a single, overarching health goal.

87. One proposed variant of a health goal is: maximize health at all stages of life, and another is: maximize healthy life expectancy. Any such goal would also need to address the quality of life of those with disabilities.

88. Another proposed health goal focuses on access to services more than outcomes: universal health coverage, which encompasses equitable access to quality basic health services; health promotion, prevention and treatment, and financial risk protection from illness and disability.

89. Achieving an outcome like "maximizing healthy lives" would require not only universal health coverage but that a range of social and environmental determinants of health are addressed -- from poverty and malnutrition to pollution.

90. The diseases that primarily afflict the poor must remain a central focus of post 2015 global health efforts, and that needs to be reflected in the health targets.

91. Sustained progress is needed on vaccination against common childhood diseases as well as on prevention and treatment of communicable diseases like gastrointestinal disorders, malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. There was a call for realizing the vision of a generation free from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

92. At the same time, reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases has become a high priority in many countries, highlighting the need, inter alia, to promote healthy diets and lifestyles.

93. Health is an area where the costs of realizing the same outcome, say in terms of life expectancy or disability-adjusted life years, can vary enormously. Therefore, Governments will need to look at cost-effective approaches, especially where an ageing population is expected to strain health-care systems.

94. The importance was highlighted of respecting and promoting sexual and reproductive health, and protecting and fulfilling reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences. Also stressed was the need to end violence against women and girls, including sexual violence and abuse.

95. Any set of sustainable development goals and related targets must be cognizant of population dynamics, as those will condition their feasibility. Eradicating poverty, for example, becomes all the more challenging in the context of high fertility rates and rapid population growth. Providing adequate health care for all becomes more challenging in the face of rapid population ageing.

96. Population dynamics also have important implications for economy and the environment. The rate of increase of the labour force relative to the young and old has implications for potential gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Population increase and rapid growth of urban middle classes both have implications for resource use, consumption and production patterns, and environmental pressures.

97. Migration is an aspect of population dynamics that brings important social and economic benefits -- through new skills and expanded labour supply in destination countries, remittance flows to sending ones, and return of migrants with increased investment potential to their countries of origin -- as well as challenges, including the loss of skilled labour by sending countries and social and cultural integration of migrants in destination countries. Respect for migrants' human rights is a basic touchstone.

IV. Side events at the third and fourth sessions of the Open Working Group

Open Working Group (third session)

98. A total of four side events were organized during the third session of the Open Working Group. The German Ministry for the Environment organized a side event entitled "Environment as part of an overarching agenda: the case of water resources, food security and land degradation", which examined the environmental dimension of sustainable development while focusing on the interlinkages among thematic areas. The United Nations Development Programme and the Millennium Campaign held a side event on "My world: a snapshot of citizens' priorities for the new development agenda: a focus on access to clean water and sanitation and affordable and nutritious food". The Permanent Mission of Brazil and the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity organized a side event on "Water and biodiversity" on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity. The World Food Programme (WFP) held a side event entitled "Nutrition in the post 2015 context", featuring a presentation jointly prepared by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WFP.

Open Working Group (fourth session)

99. A total of 14 side events were organized during the fourth session of the Open Working Group. Those included presentations of the report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as well as the report of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The former featured Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, and Homi Kharas, Lead Author and Executive Secretary of the Panel secretariat. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, presented the Network's report, entitled An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development.

100. Three side events addressed issues related to youth, one organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat's Youth Programme and the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth, entitled "Indicators and benchmarks for children and youth within a potential SDG framework", and another on "Youth and adolescents in the post-2015 agenda: priorities, challenges and opportunities", organized by the United Nations Population Fund. In addition, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland held a side event on "Youth unemployment: going beyond just those not in employment, education and training towards quality jobs".

101. Addressing the conceptual framing of the sustainable development goals, the Governments of Colombia and Guatemala held a side event to discuss "The Dashboard Proposal -- how to arrive at a post-2015 agenda that is universal and responsive to national circumstances". For its part, the European Union held a side event entitled "Post-2015: global action for an inclusive and sustainable future". The International Labour Organization held a side event on "Connecting environment, economy and society through decent work", showcasing concrete experiences and recommendations for decent work policies. On water, the Steering Committee of the Friends of Water (Finland, Hungary, Tajikistan and Thailand, together with Switzerland) organized "The road to a global goal on water", which included a presentation of the Swiss proposal on "a water-secure world" as a stand-alone goal.

102. The World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Foundation and Sustainable Energy for All organized a side event on "The health nexus -- sustainable cities, transport and energy delivering healthy people". The Permanent Missions of Mexico, Norway and Uruguay, together with Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision and the Management Sciences for Health and Beyond 2015, held a side event on "Ending extreme poverty: getting ambitious on health and education for children", highlighting ways to make progress towards universal health coverage. Also on health, the Permanent Missions of Sweden and Botswana, WHO and UNICEF, with the support of other partners, organized a side event on "Health in the sustainable development agenda: reflections on the Open Working Group, the Global Thematic Consultation on Health and the High-level Panel Report".

103. The Government of Bangladesh and the International Organization for Migration organized an event on "Migration in the post-2015 development agenda", during which diverse stakeholders shared their views and discussed the significance and impact of migration in the context of the post-2015 development framework. Addressing transdisciplinary research and resilient governance, the Governments of Japan and Australia organized a side event entitled "SDGs as a driver for transdisciplinary research and education -- a view from the Nature article authors".

V. The way forward

104. At the midpoint of its stocktaking exercise, the Open Working Group has already explored a great deal of relevant information. Valuable inputs to the Group's deliberations have been made, inter alia, by the reports of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

105. A range of crucial topics will be considered in the forthcoming sessions, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, means of implementation, sustainable consumption and production, climate change and disaster risk reduction, and oceans. The continuation of the encouraging experience to date of open and interactive exchange of ideas and concrete proposals would further enhance the Group's deliberations. In the same vein, the Group could continue to take up the challenge of considering, hand in hand with proposals on goals or targets, the need to prioritize and consider associated means and resources. As the discussions advance, there is also a need to keep in mind the broader framing or narrative, in addition to the consideration of goals and targets.

106. Going forward, the Open Working Group can build on the convergence of ideas around the need to balance the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. This endeavour is guided by the unquestioned imperative of poverty eradication, while also integrating more comprehensively economic growth and environmental sustainability in order to make poverty eradication and human development irreversible.