A first round of informal consultations kicked off on 15 February in NY with Member States discussing their initial ideas on the modalities and substance of the UNGA's Special Event to follow-up on efforts made towards achieving the MDGs, to be held in September 2013. The consultations were chaired by the two Co-Facilitators for the preparatory process of the Special Event: Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative Designate of South Africa, and Anne Anderson, Permanent Representative of Ireland. Both co-facilitators were appointed by the President of the GA in January of this year. Ahead of the informal consultations, the Co-Facilitators had shared a first “Food for Thought” paper to the Member States that would serve as the basis for discussion.
The Co-Chairs reminded the audience that the Special Event will not be a formal event of the General Assembly, but an ad hoc meeting convened on a specific theme. In accordance with the resolution adopted by the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG Summit), held from 20-22 September 2010, the Special Event should officially focus on “follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” It is expected that the event will thus focus on the work that needs to be done to accelerate the implementation of MDGs prior to 2015. However, the Co-facilitators will continue discussing with Member States to which extent the Special Event should also feature deliberations on the post-2015 development framework.
On modalities, the Co-Chairs suggested to hold a one-day event on 25 September 2013 during the High-level Segment of the 68th session of the General Assembly that will facilitate the participation of Heads of State and Government. In their view, the event could consist of a short opening plenary session, roundtable discussions, and a relatively short wrap-up plenary session. Member States also discussed the nature of the outcome to be produced by the Special Event. Some States were of the opinion that a Co-Chairs’ Summary would be the most suitable outcome.
Following this initial round of consultations, the Co-Chairs will continue to consult with Member States on the preparation of the Special Event with particular focus on its modalities.