Transforming Our World – New Agenda for Sustainable Development

We are nearing the end of the long journey that should set the stage for transforming our world for better and put it on the track of sustainable development encompassing its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental. A new development agenda that will be adopted at the United Nations Summit to be held on 25-27 September 2015 New York, has an ambitious aim to free human race from the tyranny of poverty and hunger and to secure our planet for present and future generations.

The post-2015 development agenda that envisages leaving no one behind will guide global developing policies for the coming 15 years. The 17 Sustainable Goals and 169 Targets contained therein are encompassing a wide range of fields. They are comprehensive, universal and transformative in their nature. They build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and seek to address yet unfinished business.

The necessity to initiate thinking on a post-2015 development agenda was initially mentioned in the outcome document of the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the MDGs. Later, in June 2012, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20), UN Member States agreed to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that would replace the MDGs that expire this year. An Open Working Group (OWG) of the General Assembly established in January 2013 was tasked to prepare a proposal on the SDGs. The OWG successfully completed its work in July 2014 with its proposal on the SGDs to become an integral part and the main basis for the post-2015 agenda. The intergovernmental negotiations on this new agenda commenced in January 2015.

Georgia, as a responsible member of international community, with its Permanent Mission to the United Nations at the forefront of these events has been participating in the mentioned global endeavours and contributing to the processes aimed to forge an ambitious and transformational vision for future development. From the very beginning the Georgian side has been a strong advocate for a visionary, inclusive and people-centered agenda that ensures a rights-based approach encompassing all human rights and leaves no one behind; an agenda that, among others, transforms the lives of women and girls and actively pursues gender equality; serves as a road map towards achieving food security and sustainable management of water; addresses the climate change as a security challenge.

All the goals and targets are equally pressing and important for sustainable development but none can really be achieved without having rule of law at its foundation and heart. Hence, as an active member of the Secretary General’s Group of Friends on the Rule of Law, Georgia called for the development of an agenda that, inter alia, promotes democratic governance, the rule of law and human rights for all.

In the context of leaving no one behind, plight of people in vulnerable situations had been an important issue that could not have been neglected. Consequently, Georgia spoke about the necessity of empowerment of vulnerable sections of population, including children, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, refugees, internally displaced persons and people living in areas affected by conflict and humanitarian emergencies among others. Georgia underlined the importance of prioritizing investments in and participation of youth as a critical component of a transformative and sustainable future agenda.

All those efforts have not been in vain. A fair part of the just ideas and good proposals have been reflected in the outcome document of the September Summit that will adopt the new development agenda – “An Agenda of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Thanks to the mutual determination and endeavour of the global community, we are just few steps away from beginning another journey that has noble and transformative goals. The goals that will fill hearts of many with the hope for the better future...