On 5 December 2014, civil society representatives came together in Vienna to contribute to the ongoing debate on the post-2015 development agenda, in the lead up to the Special Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in September 2015 in New York.

The Vienna Liaison Office of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS Vienna) and the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the International Organisations in Vienna, with the support of UNODC, organised a roundtable on indicators for the proposed sustainable development goal 16. This goal relates most to the mandates of UNODC – “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. All speakers made reference to the recent Synthesis Report on the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Agenda.

Mr. Kristian Ødegard, Minister-Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Norway/Permanent Mission of Norway, pointed out to the fact that the sustainable development goals (SDGs) had to be seen in a comprehensive manner. Mr. Isaac Morales, Deputy Director-General for Global Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, underlined the importance of the rule of law, justice and security as enablers to improve development. Ambassador Ugliesa Zvekić, Senior Advisor at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, referred to the role played by organized crime and corruption in development. Ms. Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Research Director at Small Arms Survey, said that the indicators for Goal 16 may serve different communities and purposes. Ms. Angela Me, Chief, UNODC Research and Trend Analysis Branch, emphasized the importance, as well as the challenges of integrating human rights and rule of law indicators in these goals. Finally, Mr. Michael Platzer, Chairperson of the Vienna Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and Representative, ACUNS Vienna, underlined the important contribution made by NGOs and academia in the ongoing debate on the SDGs.

During the questions and answers session, attention was drawn to the interlinkages between the post-2015 development agenda and the preparatory process for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session – UNGASS on the world drug problem in 2016. Also, participants agreed on the need for measurable targets and recognized the challenge to identify technically rigorous indicators.
Following on this discussion, the sixth ACUNS Vienna Annual Conference, which will take place on 14-16 January 2015 in Vienna, will focus on the topic “Lessons Learned from the Millennium Development Goals and Perspectives for the Post 2015 Development Agenda”.