Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals publishes its report

At its 13th session the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals presented its report, which included its proposed SDGs (sustainable development goals). The Open Working Group (OWD) is a 30 member1, intergovernmental group set up by the UN to draft a report and develop concrete proposals on SDGs universally relevant to every country2.

The report published on July 19, 2014, consists of an 18 paragraph introduction, 17 objectives, and 169 targets. Paragraph 9 of the introduction refers to the 2012 Rio+20 Summit,3 which acknowledged the natural and cultural diversity of the world, and recognized that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to sustainable development (par. 41, Rio+20 Resolution). Note that culture is mentioned in some of the targets, including protecting world natural and cultural heritage, innovation and creativity, promotion of sustainable tourism and local products, education on cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development, and traditional knowledge.

The report was submitted to the UN General Assembly in September 2014. The next step was to draft, before the end of 2014, a Secretary-Generals report summarizing all contributions, including the those of the working group on SDGs, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, and Structured Dialogues on Technology, all under the auspices of the UN, as well as regional dialogues on responsibility4. Negotiations on the development program for post-2015 are ongoing and will continue until September 2015. The program will then be adopted at a High-Level Summit.

For additional information, consult the OWG report on the UN website.

2 Paragraph18 of the introduction reads as follows: Sustainable Development Goals are accompanied by targets and will be further elaborated through indicators focused on measurable outcomes. They are action oriented, global in nature, and universally applicable.

3 The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) was held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20 to 22, 2012. The conference aim was to generate new policy ideas, particularly in the area of environmental protection.