HLCP begun its engagement with the topic of equality and non-discrimination at the heart of sustainable development at its twenty-ninth session, in March 2015. It had approved a positioning paper and a draft CEB statement of commitment at its thirtieth and thirty-first sessions, respectively. In the statement of commitment issued on 27 April 2016, CEB had requested the Committee to develop a “shared framework for action” to put the imperative to combat inequalities and discrimination at the forefront of United Nations efforts to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Accordingly, a draft shared framework, developed by the Committee’s consultative group on inequalities under the leadership of OHCHR and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), was now before the Committee for approval.
Building on existing policies, tools and methodologies and focusing on concrete action and greater coherence, the draft framework set out a conceptual framework that comprehensively addressed equality, non-discrimination and equity, covering both horizontal and vertical inequalities, inequalities of opportunities and outcomes, intergenerational equity and global inequalities among countries.
The framework proposed next steps for its implementation, namely (a) integration into the strategic frameworks, policy guidance and plans of CEB member organizations; (b) periodic review of progress by the Committee; and (c) engagement with UNDG towards operationalization at the country level.
The Committee expressed strong support for the proposed framework and enthusiasm to contribute to its implementation, commending the highly consultative manner in which it had been developed.Members suggested a number of issues that could be further emphasized in or added to the paper, including identification of different forms of vulnerable situations in which individuals might find themselves.
It was further observed that equality and inclusion were different but related issues (for example, many forms of inequality could not be analysed in terms of discrimination) and that further analysis on their connections was needed.
It was noted that there was a proliferation of monitoring structures around the Sustainable Development Goals and that it would be important to harmonize and align monitoring of inequalities/discrimination with other mechanisms. Moreover, agreement on the disaggregation of data, especially as it related to inequalities and discrimination, was necessary.
The Committee approved the shared framework for action to put equality and non-discrimination at the heart of sustainable development (see CEB/2016/6/Add.1), subject to the incorporation of comments made, for submission to CEB for endorsement at its second regular session of 2016.