SUMMARY OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY OPEN WORKING GROUP ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The second session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place on 17-19 April 2013 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The meeting brought together OWG members, other member states, observers, representatives from the UN system and Major Groups. The meeting was devoted to conceptualizing the SDGs and the SDG process, and to poverty eradication.

On Wednesday, an interactive exchange of views on conceptualizing the SDGs and the SDG process was held followed by a moderated panel discussion. On Thursday, delegates continued discussions on conceptualizing the SDGs and SDG process. In the afternoon, a keynote presentation on poverty eradication was delivered, followed by a moderated panel discussion on poverty eradication. Discussion on poverty eradication continued on Friday. On Friday afternoon delegates discussed the Programme of Work (PoW) for 2013-2014 and discussed the programmes for OWG-3 and OWG-4.

Co-Chair Macharia Kamau opened the session by imploring delegates to “get serious, and get on with the business of the OWG.” Delegates got down to business, discussing conceptual issues such as: how to make the goals universally applicable but still meaningful to the specific circumstances of countries; the SDG relationship to, and key lessons from, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and poverty eradication.

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