Summary of OWG 8

The eighth session of the Open Working Group (OWG 8) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place from the 3rd to 7th of February 2014, at UN HQ in New York. It was the final “stocktaking” session. The meeting addressed the following issues: oceans and seas, forests, and biodiversity; promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment; and conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance. Read extracts from IISD’s coverage – and summary – of OWG below:

“[…] Delegates also considered the way forward for the five scheduled “decision-making” sessions, between March and July 2014. In this context, an informal consultation was held on the evening of 4 February 2014, during which Member States were informed that the Co-Chairs will formulate a stock-taking document, taking into account everything that has been discussed over the past year, to be released on 14 February. They will then present a document around which a conversation of SDGs and targets can begin, listing “priority areas” that Member States may wish to discuss, by 21 February.

The agenda for the week-long OWG-8 meeting could not have been more full. Delegates emphasized that oceans, seas and forests account for a large percentage of global biodiversity, and noted the importance of each of these topics for poverty alleviation, food security, water quality and other development objectives. Discussions on equity and gender equality, and conflict and rule of law were highlighted by many to be integral components of sustainable development. Past, unresolved debates over these issues and their underlying implications for sovereignty, the international structure, and resource flows revealed that the Group’s task over the upcoming five decision-making meetings will be complex and will require careful navigation to maintain the spirit of what Co-Chair Kamau called, in closing OWG-8 on Friday evening, “our lovely OWG.””

Click here to access the full summary of OWG 8, and other OWG sessions courtesy of IISD.

Click here to access the full set of issue briefs prepared by the OWG technical team on the different themes of each OWG. You can also access the UN-NGLS’ own OWG briefs here.

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