NAIROBI, March 18 (Xinhua)--The UN General Assembly has unanimously elected Kenya to co-chair an intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) tasked with the formulation of the global sustainable development goals (SDGs), Kenya's Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
A statement issued in Nairobi said the appointment of Kenya has been highly acknowledged and appreciated by developing world which is grappling with socio-economic and environmental challenges thus the leadership of the East African nation will be crucial in this process.
"The group is open to the participation of all the 193 UN member states but will be represented in an arrangement in which 30 member states elected from the five regions of the UN will take the leader in developing a report on the sustainable development gorals," the ministry said.
It noted that the goals are supposed to be catalyzed and galvanize international cooperation and action towards poverty eradication and protection environment.
The statement said the East African nation was elected last week together with Hungary to spearhead this historic intergovernmental process.
"It's important to note that unlike the Millennium Development Goals, member states will have the opportunity to define and formulate the SDG for themselves," the foreign ministry said.
Kenya's Gender, Children and Social Development Minister Naomi Shaban who attended the meeting emphasized that sustainable development goals must build on the success of MDGs and be pragmatic allowing for development policy space for developing countries.
The minister who led the Kenyan delegation to the annual session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women lauded member states for the trust and confidence bestowed on the East African nation to lead the important intergovernmental assignment.
The goals will be integral part of the post 2015 UN development agenda that will be applicable to all member states.
"They (goals) are expected to be the authoritative guidelines for sustainable development and should therefore be action- oriented, concise and easy to communicate; limited in number; inspirational and global in nature," the statement said.
The establishment of the intergovernmental working group was one of the key outcomes of the Rio+20 conference held in June in Brazil.
As follow up of the decisions, the president of the General Assembly earlier this year appointed Ambassador Macharia Kamau and Ambassador Csaba Korosi, Permanent Representatives of Kenya and Hungary to the UN respectively as co-facilitators of the inter- governmental consultative process that developed the methods of work and the agenda.