Coordinating United Nations system-wide support in the preparation of the post-2015 development agenda
As the international community became increasingly engaged in with the formulation of a new development framework, the General Assembly in its resolution 69/17 emphasized the key role to be played by CEB in ensuring coordinated United Nations system-wide support in the preparation of and follow-up to the post-2015 development agenda, in accordance with relevant intergovernmental mandates. It further requested the Board to include in the current report information on ways and means to strengthen its role to foster policy coherence in the United Nations system in order to ensure coordinated and effective action on a wide range of programmatic, management and operational issues linked to the post-2015 development agenda.
Member States, in General Assembly resolution 68/6, recognized the intrinsic interlinkage between poverty eradication and the promotion of sustainable development and underlined the need for a coherent approach that integrated in a balanced manner the three dimensions of sustainable development and involved working towards a single framework and set of goals, universal in nature and applicable to all countries. By the same text, Member States also stressed that the global agenda should promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights for all. The General Assembly further stated that it counted on the strong support of the United Nations system throughout all its work.
In 2014, CEB took concrete steps to enhance UN system-wide coordination and policy coherence in the preparation of the post-2015 development agenda in an effort to support Member States in the transition to a new universal development agenda. CEB focused its reflections on the five key interconnected elements that anchored sustainable development in any context: universality, equality, human rights, integration and data. The Board also considered the UN system’s capacity and readiness to deliver the new sustainable development agenda, and to enhance its operational efficiency and effectiveness in support of achieving development results.
The Board reaffirmed the UN system’s commitment to seize the unique historic opportunity of the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda to ensure that the system was capable of responding to the challenges of sustainable development and delivering on the new agenda. At the core of CEB’s deliberations was a reflection on how to render the UN system competent in contributing to the transformative agenda and to enhance coordinated and effective action on programmatic, management and operational issues linked to it.
To deepen considerations on the steps required for the UN system to collectively rise to the challenge and effectively support Member States in the formulation and implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, the High-Level Committee on Management and the High-Level Committee on Programmes held a joint session on 9 October 2014 which was followed on 23 and 24 October by a United Nations Development Group retreat. Bringing together more than 100 senior managers from UN system organizations, the joint session set out to bolster the system’s internal capacity to respond to Member States’ call for a transformative, universal and integrated development agenda by building on the strength of the UN system as a whole and its component parts. It considered a wide range of actions to enhance the system’s complementarities and synergies in support of the new development framework.
Strengthening multi-stakeholder engagement and mobilizing partnerships, capacities and resources were seen as important measures for supporting implementation of the future global agenda. The successful implementation of the sustainable development agenda also required the coherent integration of policies across the three dimensions of sustainable development by building on institutional synergies. To advance work in these areas, CEB, under the auspices of the High-Level Committee on Programmes, agreed to focus first on the issues of urbanization and youth employment in a system-wide examination of the ways and means to deepen policy coherence and coordination to improve programme delivery within the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
As the global community prepares for the transition to the new development agenda, there has been increasing recognition of the need for better access to quality data for planning and monitoring. The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda highlighted the need for a “data revolution” as part of an accountability framework. In 2014, the Secretary-General created an Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development to help shape “an ambitious and achievable vision” to assess new opportunities linked to innovation, technical progress and the surge of new data providers to support and complement conventional statistical systems and strengthen accountability at the global, regional and national levels. At its second regular session, CEB considered the recommendations contained in the report of the Independent Expert Advisory Group and called for the preparation of a programme of work to strengthen the internal capacity of the UN system to leverage new and innovative approaches to data in support of national data capabilities.