With the first round of consultations concluded, a second round of consultations focusing primarily on the means of implementation of the new agenda has recently been launched and includes Culture and Development as a special thematic focus.
In January 2014 the second round of global consultations for the elaboration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda was launched. The Post-2015 Development Agenda aims to provide a framework within which global development efforts will be organized for the next 15 years following the conclusion of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The first phase, which was elaborated throughout 2013, focused on consulting people around the world using a variety of platforms, languages and technologies to allow them to voice what the new agenda should be and where the UN and the world still need to focus their efforts to create a sustainable planet and inclusive global society. This second phase, to be completed within 2014 and also following a participatory process, will focus on better defining the means of implementation of the new agenda; in short, “how to make the new agenda work.”
The areas of consultation for the second phase include:
- Localizing the post-2015 development agenda;
- Helping to strengthen capacities and institutions;
- Participatory monitoring, existing and new forms of accountability;
- Partnerships with civil society and other actors;
- Partnerships with the private sector; and,
- Culture and development
The inclusion of Culture and Development in this list closely follows the adoption of a Resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development A/RES/68/223 at the UN General Assembly on 12 December 2013, which in addition to recognizing the key role culture plays in sustainable development, highlights the importance of giving due consideration to the inter-linkages between culture and development in the elaboration of the Post 2015 Development Agenda. Contributing to the dialogue on the topic, a special thematic debate on the issue is scheduled to take place at the UN General Assembly on 5 May 2014.
UNESCO is taking the lead in organizing this global round of consultations on culture and development in cooperation with UNFPA and UNDP. Together they are developing a concept note to define the scope and parameters of the exercise for eventual adaptation at country level, in which a couple of countries in the European region have already expressed an interest in participating.
The results from this second round of consultations will contribute to the related thematic sessions of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals throughout the year and will be fed into the OWG’s report that will be delivered to the UN General Assembly in September 2014, the latter of which will form the basis of the UN Secretary-General’s report which has been requested by Member States to be delivered before the end of 2014.
The more that culture and development is recognized in the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations, it increases the prospect that it will be included in the final Declaration for a set of new Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015. UNESCO, through its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is continuing its efforts to closely follow the consultation processes in the Members States within its geographical mandate and to raise awareness on the importance of UNESCO’s areas of competence within the new Development Agenda.