Ahead of the 68thGeneral Assembly Session as world leaders begin to converge at the New York Headquarters of the United Nations, General Assembly (UNGA) President John Ashe and Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson held wide ranging consultations with more than 1,100 civil society representatives about their priorities for global sustainable development in the years following the end of the current development cycle in 2015.
As reported earlier, the key focus at the 68th General Assembly session is outlining the need to lay the groundwork for global sustainable development after the end of the current development cycle in 2015 which is the deadline for achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
"Embarking on the post-2015 development agenda will require levels of collaboration among all stakeholders, the likes of which we have not seen before," UNGA President Ashe said.
The consultative dialogue was titled, 'Advancing Regional Recommendations on Post-2015: A Dialogue between Civil Society, Governments and UN Representatives'.
Thousands of participants gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and several others participated in the consultation via webcast, accordingly to a UN news release.
Urging a collective change in the "business as usual," attitude, Ashe called for the inclusion of sustainability into the way "we plan, live, do business and seek recreation."
"This is the greatest challenge we face," the General Assembly President said, "how to get absolutely everyone on board for the way in which we define, approach and implement the post-2015 development agenda."
Today's Dialogue comes ahead of Tuesday's high-level General Assembly event to take stock of progress and renew commitment toward achieving by 2015 the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to lay the foundation for a sustainable agenda to follow, the release said.
To this end, as reported earlier, the theme for the 68th General Assembly is "The Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!"
Sunday's consultative dialogue was organized by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) in partnership with the Post-2015 Development Planning Team of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG).
Earlier this month, the UN launched 'A Million Voices: The World We Want' reflecting the long-term priorities of people around the world. The report is the result of 88 national consultations, 11 thematic dialogues and an online global survey, which were carried out over the past year, the U.N. news release said.
At today's event - which also brought together Member States, regional actors and the UN - representatives of regional civil society networks presented their recommendations in Arabic, English, French and Spanish for a post-2015 agenda, the release added.
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