Co-facilitators issue ‘food for thought’ paper on modalities for negotiations on post-2015 development agenda

Sam K Kutesa, President of the General Assembly has transmitted a letter from the Co-facilitators for the post-2015 development agenda and their ‘food for thought’ paper to all UN Permanent Representatives. It provides a basis, based on views expressed by Member States during the consultations held on 4 and 10 November, for further discussions that will take place on 3 and 16 December. It is then hoped that the modalities will be finalized by the end of December so that the substantive consultation can begin in January 2015.

According to the Co-facilitators the objective is to “agree an ambitious and transformative agenda with a view to ensuring the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development by 2030.”

Working methods

The working methods for the negotiations should build on those used in the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and should be “open, inclusive and transparent.” They should allow all Member States to express their views, either individually, as part of informal combinations (which presumably means the groupings that were used during the OWG sessions) or through traditional group structures (such as Group of 77 and China, regional and sub-regional groups such as the European Union, Africa Group and Caribbean Community (CARICOM)). The working arrangements should be “flexible” as was the case for the OWG and there should be “provision for regular structured engagement with major groups and other stakeholders.” 


The following are identified as the main components of the outcome document to be adopted at the Summit:

  •  An introductory declaration
  •  Sustainable Development Goals, targets and indicators
  •  Means of Implementation and a new Global Partnership
  •  Framework for monitoring and review of implementation

A further possible element could be the “possible implications of the post-2015 agenda for the UN system and its institutions (“UN Fit for Purpose”).”

In accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/309, the OWG proposals, as included in its report, will be the main basis for integrating the SDGs into the post-2015 development agenda, “while recognizing that other inputs including the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report will also be considered.” The Co-facilitators recognize that “some technical proofing od the proposed targets will be required” (Ambassador Kamau’s “tweaking”).(See: Initial exchange of views on post-2015 negotiations concluded) The Co-facilitators note that the UN Statistical Commission could assist in developing the “indicators to measure progress against the targets,” although this will have to be confirmed by Member States.

The means of implementation (MOI) will be mainly addressed in the consultations on Financing for Development (FfD), although there are certain aspects that will have to be taken up in the post-2015 consultations, including “technology facilitation” (on which structured dialogues have been taking place) and the “shaping of an overall Global Partnership.”

Arrangements will be made to ensure close interaction with both the FfD consultations and also with the climate change negotiations in the context of the UNFCCC. Consideration will also be given a monitoring and review framework and the role of the High Level Political on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

Dates for meetings 

The following dates have been identified for meetings within a pattern of at least one day a month beginning in January normally lasting for four and half days each. The dates are aimed to fit in with those for the FfD consultations, the HFLP and the Third international Conference on Financing for Development

  • 19-21 January* 
  • 3-6 February (tbc) 
  • 17-20 February (tbc) 
  • 9-13 March (tbc) 
  • 23-27 March (tbc) 
  • 20-24 April (tbc) 
  • 18-22 May
  • 22-25 June
  • 20-24 July
  • 27-31 July 

*This will be a shorter meeting due to scheduling difficulties

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