Focusing on Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development will meet on October 22-23 at OAS headquarters to launch a review and update of OAS priorities and policies on sustainable development and the environment, with a focus on the region’s post-2015 development agenda. The meeting, chaired by Honduras, sets in motion a year-long process that will culminate with a regional ministerial meeting in Tegucigalpa.

The aim of the review process is to update the Inter-American Program on Sustainable Development (known by its Spanish acronym, PIDS), which establishes a blueprint for OAS action in this area. The PIDS currently in effect was initially approved for 2006-2009 and subsequently extended through 2015.

The meeting this month will bring together high-level representatives from the member states to begin examining the next steps the OAS should take on sustainable development and the environment. This process will take into account global efforts related to climate change and challenges being identified as countries shape a new development agenda beyond the Millennium Development Goals.

The plan is for a new PIDS to be adopted at the Third Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on Sustainable Development, scheduled to take place in Honduras on October 22-23, 2015, and by the OAS General Assembly at its regular session in 2016.

Honduran government officials met with representatives of the OAS General Secretariat on September 16 in Tegucigalpa to plan this month’s meeting and establish a participatory approach for the PIDS review that will ensure that civil society, the private sector, youth, academia, and other actors have a voice in the process. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Leónidas Rosa Bautista, Honduras’ Permanent Representative to the OAS, and coordinated by Xiomara Cubas, General Coordinator of the National Council for Sustainable Development of the Presidency of the Republic. Representatives of some 18 Honduran government agencies also participated, reflecting the multidimensional nature of this issue. The OAS technical team included Claudia Barrientos, OAS Representative in Honduras, and Cletus Springer, Director of the Department of Sustainable Development, among others.

The Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development promotes dialogue and cooperation, proposes activities related to sustainable development and the environment, and coordinates follow-up of mandates received through the Summit of the Americas process. The committee is made up of a high-level representative from each member state, along with other delegates, advisers, or experts each country deems appropriate.

The OAS Department of Sustainable Development—which includes the ECPA Clearinghouse—serves as technical secretariat to the Inter-American Committee and also plays a key role in implementing the Inter-American Program on Sustainable Development and following up on its progress.