General Assembly General Debate and Launch of the Sustainable Development Goals

By Blythe Brauer and Charlette Lopez

On 15 September - 6 October 2015, the United Nations convened the 70th Session of the General Assembly (GA) General Debate. Representatives from the 193 Member States and civil society met at UN Headquarters in New York to discuss topics related to the theme “The UN at 70: The Road Ahead for Peace, Security, and Human Rights.” This year’s General Assembly also hosted the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. As part of WILPF’s ongoing efforts to promote accountability for disarmament and peace, PeaceWomen is working with our sister programme Reaching Critical Will to monitor all gender and disarmament references in the debate and will  continue to push -- not just for words but for action!

A key part of the General Assembly was the UN Summit, which -- after years of consultations and negotiations -- is formally launching the Sustainable Development Goals. WILPF has been advocating for years to promote a conflict prevention approach to development that promotes gender equality and peace. We welcome the inclusion in the SDGs  of stand alone goals on gender equality (Goal 5) as well as a goal on peaceful and inclusive societies (Goal 16) - key gap areas in the MGDs.  The SDGs are a historic opportunity to address conflict prevention as a key gap area in the Women, Peace and Security agenda by investing in gender equitable development and peace. With our coalition, the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition, we remind states that implementation of the SDGs must put gender equality and women’s rights at the core for sustainable development and peace.

In addition to the SDGs, the General Assembly Debate covered over 170 agenda items, including maintenance of international peace and security and disarmament. The GA also discussed peacebuilding and addressing UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security in preparation for it’s 15th anniversary this year. As part of this, UN Women and China co-hosted a high level event 27 September where member states are making commitments to raise the bar in implementing action promised in Beijing.  WILPF joins civil society in calling for these commitments to translate into action including in areas of conflict.

For PeaceWomen’s coverage of the General Assembly General Debate see here>>

For PeaceWomen’s coverage of the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda see here>>