Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås, Minister of International Development, at a hydropower plant in Guatemala. 
Photo: NorwayMFA/Svein Bæra.Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås, Minister of International Development, at a hydropower plant in Guatemala. Photo: NorwayMFA/Svein Bæra

Norway to facilitate global conversation on energy and development

3/11/2013 // One of the broadest global conversations ever initiated by the United Nations on development issues is underway and will continue over the coming months. Norway, together with Mexico and Tanzania, will facilitate the energy conversation. The aim is, making sure to give sustainable energy a prominent place on the UN development agenda.

“Energy is crucial for sustainable development. We need to do more to provide access to a reliable electricity supply for the 1.3 billion people who still do not have access to electricity,” commented Norwegian Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.

The conversation has already started online at worldwewant2015  
, as well as in various locations all over the world. One example is the recent consultation on energy and sustainable development in India. Regional consultations will also take place in Tanzania on 19 March and Mexico on 20-21 March – find more information here.

The Permanent Representatives from Mexico, Tanzania and Norway
The Permanent Representatives from Mexico, Tanzania and Norway at a briefing on "The global thematic consultation on energy in the post-2015 development agenda" at the UN headquarter in New York.

New goals for the world
The purpose of the conversation is to give everyone an opportunity to voice their opinion on how the global development agenda should look after 2015. 

2015 is the year when the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be replaced by a new development agenda framework – maybe in the form of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In addition to energy, the topics included in the thematic conversation are: inequalities, governance, health, environmental sustainability, population dynamics, water, growth and employment, conflict and fragility, food security and nutrition, and education.

High-level meeting in Oslo
The conversation on energy will be summarised at a high-level meeting in Oslo on 9 April 2013, which will be attended by representatives from all stakeholders, including the business community, civil society and young people. 

The outcome of the conversation will be formulated in a set of recommendations, which will be submitted to the UN Secretary-General and his High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which is co-chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. The High-Level Panel will in turn provide input for the Secretary-General’s proposals for the future development agenda.

Why energy?
Energy is essential in any modern society, and it will not be possible to meet development goals unless people have access to modern energy services.

At the same time, it will not be possible to meet energy goals without taking the three pillars of sustainable development into account. This entails addressing economic factors (e.g. employment), social factors (e.g. health and education) and environmental factors (e.g. climate change).

It has become clear that energy is a vital issue that needs to be included in the new development agenda.

UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All
At the Rio+20 conference last summer, world leaders acknowledged the importance of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) agenda and agreed that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be drawn up. The new development agenda and the SDGs will most likely be integrated into a single agenda.

Norway’s proposal for a United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All for 2014–24 was recently adopted by the General Assembly. This gives us a new platform for discussing energy – a relatively new priority issue on the UN agenda – over the coming years.


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