A sustainable development review process

Throughout the pre-negotiation process, UNCTAD has maintained that the post-2015 development agenda should aim at both a new economic development paradigm and a revitalized global partnership. The new paradigm should enable the international community to achieve poverty reduction via economic structural transformation on the one hand and a socially inclusive and green economy on the other. The revitalized global partnership should leverage trade, investment, technology, finance and other “enablers” to contribute towardsnational efforts on sustainable development.

In negotiating the post-2015 development agenda, it is crucial that the international community also seek a framework that will help countries to deliver that agenda. The first step in delivering the agenda will be to adapt the targets of the post-2015 development agenda to existing national development strategies and to local constraints. The second essential step will be to monitor and review results.

By monitoring and reviewing, countries can assess, according to their own specificities, the effectiveness of policies and partnerships and ultimately the transformational impact of the sustainable development goals at the national, regional and global levels.

This preliminary proposal is based on UNCTAD’s experience with both national policy reviews (in the areas of trade policy, services, trade and gender, technology and innovation, debt management, etc.) and peer reviews (investment policy, competition policy). It also builds on UNCTAD’s direct involvement in the Millennium Development Goals monitoring exercise, as well as in the assessment by the Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force.

It takes into account UNCTAD’s experience with the two main institutional changes in the multilateral system in Geneva: the Universal Periodic Review that was brought about with the historic change of the Human Rights Commission into the Human Rights Council in 2006 and the Trade Policy Review Mechanism institutionalized when the World Trade Organization succeeded the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1995.

Lastly, this proposal builds on the broader institutional experience within the United Nations and other international organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other institutional experience at the regional level, such as the African Peer Review Mechanism.

* Abstract to: A sustainable development review process, UNCTAD  Policy Brief, June 2015.