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70 Countries Share 30 Seats for SDG Negotiations

The process is now getting underway to organize the work on Sustainable Development Goals among the member states of the UN. An Open Working Group has been established after months of debate about how it would operate. Originally to be formed in September of 2012, it has taken a further six months to even agree the composition of the group. It is an unwieldy 70 countries sharing just 30 seats. The complications in agreeing the composition underpin the challenges of the coming negotiations, but the fact that so many countries wanted a seat is an indicator of the interest in the topic.

Ultimately, the Sustainable Development Goals process will need to marry with the Post 2015 process by next year. The fact that the Post 2015 process is so much more advanced may mean it takes the lead in describing the UN’s goals. However, it is clear the environmental agenda which was weighted more heavily in the SDG and Rio processes is crossing over to the people-focused development agenda to influence Post 2015 discussions.

The list of member states is below. For we Canadians, it is interesting that we are grouped not only with the USA in a North America regional group, but also Israel – possible outcome of our nation’s vote on Palestine in December. Of course, Iran, Japan, and Nepal is an even more interesting grouping.

Membership of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

  1. Algeria/Egypt/Morocco/Tunisia
  2. Ghana
  3. Benin
  4. Kenya
  5. United Republic of Tanzania
  6. Congo
  7. Zambia/Zimbabwe
  8. Nauru/Palau/Papua New Guinea
  9. Bhutan/Thailand/Viet Nam
  10. India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka
  11. China/Indonesia/Kazakhstan
  12. Cyprus/Singapore/United Arab Emirates
  13. Bangladesh/Republic of Korea/Saudi Arabia
  14. Iran (Islamic Republic of)/Japan/Nepal
  15. Colombia/Guatemala
  16. Bahamas/Barbados
  17. Guyana/Haiti/Trinidad and Tobago
  18. Mexico/Peru
  19. Brazil/Nicaragua
  20. Argentina/Bolivia (Plurinational State of)/Ecuador
  21. Australia/Netherlands/United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  22. Canada/Israel/United States of America
  23. Denmark/Ireland/Norway
  24. France/Germany/Switzerland
  25. Italy/Spain/Turkey
  26. Hungary
  27. Belarus/Serbia
  28. Bulgaria/Croatia
  29. Montenegro/Slovenia
  30. Poland/Romania

Robynne Anderson

Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

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