The Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals released an updated ‘Focus Areas Document’ last week. While the original version started with 19 different focus areas, the updated version now concentrates on 16 topics which will serve to better concentrate and guide the work of the UN as it looks ahead to the next 15 years.
In view of the 11th Session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 5-9 May 2014, an updated “Focus Area Document” was released. The purpose of this working document is to disclose the principal themes that will be discussed during the session and the goals that need to be achieved; it differs from its previous version in that the former one was divided in 19 focus areas, while the updated version reveals discussed condensed version of only 16 main topics.
For the realization of the “Focus Area Document”, UNESCO submitted to the UN Technical Support Team (TST) of the OWG on SDGs several possible targets and goals, since the areas of action of UNESCO’s mandate are closely related with the topics included on the OWG’s agenda.
The current 16 Focus Areas include:
1. Poverty eradication, building shared prosperity and promoting equality
2. Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition
3. Health and population dynamics
4. Education and life-long learning
5. Gender equality and women’s empowerment
6. Water and sanitation
8. Economic growth, employment and infrastructure
9. Industrialization and promoting equality among nations
10. Sustainable cities and human settlements
11. Sustainable Consumption and Production
12. Climate change
13. Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas
14. Ecosystems and biodiversity
15. Means of implementation/Global partnership for sustainable development
16. Peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions
The next sessions of the OWG on SDGs are planned for 16-20 June and 14-18 July 2014. At the end of this process, the OWG will produce and submit a report containing a proposal on the SDGs to the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014.
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UNESCO is continuing to be engaged in this process by mobilizing its strengths to raise awareness about the leading role of education, the sciences, culture, communication and information to achieve the new sustainable development goals of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and to build inclusive and just societies. In particular, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is supporting the efforts of the Member States in its region to host and conduct a series of consultations for what should be included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The inputs received from the consultations in this and other regions around the world have formed the basis of the aforementioned “Focus Areas” as further elaborated upon by the Open Working Group.