UN Releases UNGA72 Preparatory Documents
In preparation for the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA72), the UN has released a number of documents related to its agenda item on sustainable development, including documents on education for sustainable development (ESD), implementation of UN environmental conventions, and social development. The documents provide an overview of progress on the topic and make recommendations for the UNGA’s consideration, including specific recommendations on accelerating progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNGA 71 will formally close on September 11. UNGA 72 will open on September 12. The General Debate will open on September 19, with a focus on the theme, ‘Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.’
Education for Sustainable Development
On ESD, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General has prepared a report, titled ‘Implementation of ESD (A/72/130),’ which provides an overview of the implementation of SDG 4 (quality education) and ESD in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Global Action Programme on ESD. The report highlights synergies between progress on SDG 4 and other SDGs, particularly on SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action), and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) but finds that mainstreaming ESD into curricula “remains a challenge.”
The report finds that the Global Action Programme on ESD has exceeded targets in five priority areas related to advancing policy, transforming learning and training environments, building capacities of educators and trainers, empowering and mobilizing youth, and accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level.
National level progress includes:
- translation of ESD policies into action plans in Costa Rica;
- the adoption of a national action plan on ESD in Germany;
- the launch of an ESD policy in Kenya’s education sector following national consultations;
- implementation of an ESD whole-school approach in the Republic of Korea; and
- development of capacity-building tools and policy briefs on ESD in Viet Nam.
The report recommends a number of actions to ensure education systems contribute effectively to sustainable development:
- recognizing both formal and non-formal education and training as key to building capacity and tackling the SDGs;
- expanding marginalized groups’ access to good quality primary and secondary education, including to reduce income inequality and disparity; and
- improving equity in universal primary and secondary education, especially for girls.
The report underscores the importance of sustained and increased commitment and action from Government and partners to implement and achieve ESD goals and the 2030 Agenda.
On social development, the report titled, ‘Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the 24th special session of the UNGA (A/72/158),’ highlights discussion from the 55th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSD) and underscores the need to address inequality to eradicate poverty and achieve the SDGs. The report recommends focusing on inequality within and among countries, including inequality in opportunities and access to quality education and health care, food and nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation, productive assets such as land, credit and technology, and housing. The report further calls for addressing the special needs of least developed countries (LDCs) and Africa.
Also on social development, the UN Secretary-General released a report titled, ‘Follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons: Second World Assembly on Ageing (A/72/161).’ The report highlights how the interlinkages among the Goals has contributed to increased discussion and action on cross-cutting issues like ageing, emphasizing that ageing is one of the megatrends likely to shape prospects for achieving all the SDGs.
The report recommends that:
- Member States take into account the multi-dimensional nature of older persons’ vulnerability to poverty and economic security in SDG implementation;
- develop improved age-disaggregated data; and
- continue to support the integration of ageing and older persons in implementing the SDGs, among other actions.
For further reading:
Report of the Secretary-General:
The present report has been prepared in accordance with paragraph 5 (d) of the annex to General Assembly resolution 58/316. It contains the draft programme of work of the plenary for the seventy-second session of the General Assembly. The draft programmes of work of five of the six Main Committees of the Assembly, which were approved by the Assembly, can be found in the respective decisions of the Assembly. The status of documentation will be issued as an addendum to the present report.
Note by the Secretary-General:
The Secretary-General transmits herewith the report from the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the implementation of education for sustainable development.
Report of the Secretary-General:
The present report is submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 71/162. The report highlights discussions of the fifty-fifth session of the Commission for Social Development. It underscores the need to address inequality to eradicate poverty and achieve the goals of the World Summit for Social Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focusing on trends in inequality within and among countries. It also addresses the special needs of Africa and the least developed countries and presents progress made in the implementation of programmes related to social groups. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly.
Report of the Secretary-General:
Summary The present report is submitted in response to General Assembly resolution 71/164 on follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing. It focuses on how older persons should be better taken into account in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the 2017 theme of the high-level political forum on sustainable development of eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world. The report provides an update on new initiatives to advance cooperation on ageing and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Conclusions and recommendations are also presented.