The Committee, at it's twenty-ninth session in March 2015, considered a discussion paper, prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that explored the concept of inequalities as a central element of the post-2015 agenda and a driver for greater mainstreaming of human rights in sustainable development.
Following the Committee’s discussion, OHCHR had been requested to lead the effort to develop, over the course of 2015, a Committee “positioning paper” articulating a system-wide framework to guide the work of the organizations of the system related to inequalities in the context of the post-2015 agenda.
In introducing the draft paper to the Committee, the representative of OHCHR noted that the issue of inequality and its human rights implications had been embraced by HLCP and the wider United Nations system, both of which had showed a strong commitment to addressing the challenge. He observed that the 2030 Agenda was largely an agenda for equality, with two Sustainable Development Goals devoted entirely to inequality, as well as numerous related elements reflected in the problem statement, in a number of targets and in the call for broader disaggregation included in the Agenda.
The Committee expressed appreciation for OHCHRs leadership in this important area of work and welcomed the paper. The document was seen to be well articulated and comprehensive. Members felt that the draft effectively brought together the five key elements of the post-2015 agenda identified by CEB. The focus on substantive equality, and the emphasis on the contribution of the United Nations system to data collection and data disaggregation, were appreciated. Also welcomed were references to the root causes of inequalities, refugees and displaced persons, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and universal access to the Internet.
It was observed that the development of the Sustainable Development Goal indicators was well advanced, and that any effort to monitor the support of the United Nations system to the reduction of inequalities and discrimination should be appropriately aligned with the process being carried out through the Statistical Commission. A number of interventions also stressed the need for capacity development within the United Nations system so that staff could more effectively contribute to this effort.
Closing the session, the Chair recognized the overwhelming support for the framing of an inequality response by the United Nations system within the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. He concluded that the Committee approved the position paper for onward transmission for CEB’s endorsement, subject to a last round of revisions and a quick electronic circulation before it was finalized and transmitted. As a next step, OHCHR should lead the consultation process to develop a succinct CEB policy statement for the Committees consideration at its next session. In the light of the various views presented, the Chair also requested OHCHR, with other interested agencies, to further reflect on possible tools or mechanisms that were most appropriate to subsequently take this work forward across the system. In this regard, he noted the approach, as suggested in the paper, to extract from Sustainable Development Goals and targets and indicators an analytical framework for inequality.
The Committee concluded the following: (a)Subject to the incorporation of its comments and subsequent electronic endorsement, the Committee approved the positioning paper (as set out in annex III to the present report), for endorsement by CEB at its second regular session of 2015; (b)The Committee requested OHCHR to lead the process to prepare a draft CEB policy statement for its consideration at its thirty -first session in March 2016; (c)The Committee further requested OHCHR to develop, in consultation with others, proposed options for possible approaches or instruments to further advance this work, also for its consideration at the thirty-first session.