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Press Release

Initiation of Discussion on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) at National Level, Jogjakarta, 12-13 March 2012

Thursday, 15 March 2012

No 023/PR/III/2012/53

On 12-13 March 2012 the Directorate General of Multilateral Affairs c.q. the Directorate of Development, Economic and Environmental Affairs held a National Workshop on “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Post-2015 Indicator of Global Development?” in Jogjakarta.

This first ever national workshop was organized to specifically discuss the issue of SDGs. More than 70 participants were seen on the event which featured Erna Witoelar, acting as the UN Ambassador to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Asia Pacific, and Nila F. A. Moeloek, acting as the Special Envoy of the Indonesian President to MDGs, as well as other sustainable development experts as speakers.

The workshop opened with the Acting Director General of Multilateral Affairs delivering latest developments in discussion on SGDs nearing the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (the Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June 2012.

He stated that the discussion is starting to sprout tension as the discussion on the two big themes of the Rio+20—green economy and institutional framework for sustainable development—hardly reaches a consensus.

In hindsight, the need to invent an indicator for sustainable development has been established since the 1980s. Until now, however, not a single definition of the said indicator which is generally accepted or agreed to by the international community has been set forth.

The discussion on SDGs nearing the Rio+20 is expected to gather the highest political momentum possible so that the international community could at least speak with one voice on the importance of the SDGs as a part and a complement in the review process of the MDGs implementation.

The SDGs are expected to be passed up as a part of the post-2015 global development agenda and serves to identify the gap in the implementation of various global tools for sustainable development, such as the Rio Principles, the Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPoI).

The workshop’s first day passed with three presentations by sustainable development experts coming from academician, local government, central government as well as non-governmental organization backgrounds and was followed by a discussion. The three presentations went on how salient it is to integrate all three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic development, social welfare, and environmental sustainability, under the policy and implementation of national development.

On the second day, the participants engaged in an informal roundtable discussion to gather concrete inputs for determining the Indonesian Government’s stance on the process and the format/scoop of the SGDs at the Rio+20. From the process aspect, it suggested that SGDs discussion needs to happen at the government level in order to guarantee the inclusivity of the issue and also on an expert panel to expedite such discussion. Meanwhile from the format/scoop aspect, it agreed that the SGDs are important to complement the MDGs and that SDGs should apply to every country with a consideration to the condition and the national priority of each.

The workshop shall be held continuously to ensure the involvement from all the stakeholders in the discussion of sustainable development issues and to foster the community’s sense of ownership towards the implementation of sustainable development.

To know more about the Rio+20 Conference, visit the Rio+20 Secretariat website at:

Jogjakarta, 13 March 2012

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