Analysis UN Secretary General Report on the Millennium Development Goals and the Post2015 Development Agenda

In preparation for next month’s UN General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Post-2015 Development Agenda, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has released a report, A Life of Dignity for All, containing his updates on the MDGs and vision for the road ahead. The Secretary General’s report, which will form the foundation for post-2015 discussions, highlights critical elements that have driven success in the achievement of the MDGs and which can contribute to the success of a post-2015 development agenda.

  • Emphasizing inclusive growth, decent employment and social protection;
  • Allocating more resources for essential services and ensuring access for all;
  • Strengthening political will and improving the international policy environment;
  • Harnessing the power of multi-stakeholder partnerships.

At its August 22, 2013 meeting, the USCIB SDGs Working Group noted many themes in the SG reports which USCIB has also drawn attention to in its advocacy, such as conducive business environments, the importance of rule of law and well-functioning institutions and the importance of job creation. Julie Kim, ECOSOC Counsellor, US Mission to the United Nations described U.S. perspectives and expectations on the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda and SDGs, indicating that countries are still discussing how formal SDG negotiations will commence in February. USCIB’s SDG Working Group, co-chaired by Tam Nguyen, Chevron, and Brian Lowry, Monsanto, is defining USCIB recommendations and priorities on the SDGs. For more information on USCIB’s SDG Working Group and ongoing involvement in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, click here. Contact Adam Greene ( or Norine Kennedy ( to join the working group or for further details.

Secretary General Ban’s report highlights sustainable development — enabled by the integration of economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship — as a global guiding principle and operational standard. According to Ban Ki-Moon, this universal agenda requires profound economic transformations and a new global partnership. It also requires the international community, including the UN, to embrace a more coherent and effective response to support the agenda.

The report calls for a new, broader set of targets beyond 2015 that reflect new global realities and challenges. The goals should be measurable, adaptable to both global and local settings and apply to all countries.

Secretary General Ban believes that a universal development agenda beyond 2015 will require:

  • A robust framework for sustainable development finance including both private and public funding
  • A broadening of the tax base and an improvement of tax administration
  • A commitment by the public and private scientific and research communities to develop new and transformative technologies

On September 25, the General Assembly will convene a special event to review current efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and rally political support for their acceleration. The event will reflect on the broad contours of the development agenda beyond 2015.  The General Assembly could launch the final phase of the intergovernmental consultations on a post-2015 development agenda at its sixty-ninth session [September 2014].

Conclusion/Calls to Action

Secretary General Ban concludes his report by making a series of calls on:

  • Member States and the entire international community to take every step possible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Member States to adopt a universal post-2015 development agenda, with sustainable development at its core, and provide clarity on the road map to 2015;
  • The international system to embrace a more coherent and effective response to support this agenda.

Elements of a Post-2015 Agenda

A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and advancing the UN development agenda beyond 2015

The UN SG’s report calls for transformative and mutually reinforcing actions that will apply to all countries. These include:

  • Eradicating poverty in all its forms
  • Tackling exclusion and inequality
  • Empowering women and girls
  • Providing quality education and lifelong learning
  • Improving health
  • Addressing climate change
  • Addressing environmental challenges
  • Promoting inclusive and sustainable growth and decent employment
  • Ending hunger and malnutrition
  • Addressing demographic challenges
  • Enhancing the positive contribution of migrants
  • Meeting the challenges of urbanization
  •  Building peace and effective governance based on the rule of law and sound institutions
  • Fostering a renewed global partnership
  • Strengthening the international development cooperation network

A USCIB comparative matrix of the reports on the SDGs by the UN Secretary General, the Post-2015 High-level Panel, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the UN Global Compact is available here.

Staff contact: Norine Kennedy

Staff Contact:   Norine Kennedy

Senior VP, Policy and Global Strategy
Tel: 212.703.5052

Norine Kennedy promotes U.S. business participation in international environmental policy and management initiatives, and works closely with industry, government and NGOs to promote sustainable development and green growth. She also spearheads USCIB’s strategic international engagement initiative, which seeks to advance meaningful business participation and regulatory diplomacy in inter-governmental organizations.
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