NEW YORK (June 17, 2014)— At the start of the 12th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), observers to the process were asked to leave as Members entered into ‘informal informal’ discussions. In response, today observers from all the Major Groups shared an open letter to the Co-Chairs of the OWG stating:

As we call for a transformative, participatory and inclusive development framework we have to embody those principles in the process of formulating this agenda. This is in line with Article 248 of the Rio+20 Outcome Document which calls for “…an intergovernmental process on SD, that is open to all stakeholders…”.

This exclusion of Major Groups and other Stakeholders contradicts the co-chair’s calls for civil society to meaningfully respond and provide concrete ideas for the draft goals and targets. Civil society is no longer able to provide their expertise, as they lack the information on where the discussions stand.

We call into mind the compromise that co-chairs had made, to have ‘informal informals’ in the week preceding the open working group meeting. We therefore object that the informals were resumed during the formal session, and that civil society was subsequently excluded, without a clear reason to do so.”

Click here to download the full letter.

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