Global Launch and SEforALL Forum
The United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All was formally launched by the President of the General Assembly on 5 June 2014, as part of the first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum. The Forum and Decade launch also included the launch of an initial two-year special focus on energy for women, children and health. In launching the Decade, the President noted that the Assembly is acutely aware of the role that sustainable energy can and must play in our future planning.
The annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum will include related cross-regional activities leading up to and feeding into it. For the first Forum, held from 4 to 6 June 2014, more than 1,000 leaders from Governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The three days and nearly 60 sessions featured more than 300 speakers from all regions and sectors of society, including more than 20 participants at the ministerial level or above.
The key objectives of the first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum were: (a) to launch the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All; (b) to nurture the broader movement of civil society organizations and stakeholders as part of the Decade; (c) to assess the progress made on the issue of Sustainable Energy for All two years after the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development; (d) to inspire and mobilize further action, partnerships and commitments by showcasing success stories, innovation and best practices; and (e) to shape and set the direction for the global policy discourse on energy for the crucial next decades to come.
The first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum incorporated the third meeting of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative’s Advisory Board. During the Forum, the four Advisory Board committees, on energy access, renewable energy, energy efficiency and finance, reported on their preliminary results. The Forum also included sessions entitled “Growing the movement”, “Catalysing investment through innovative business models”, “Sharing knowledge and experiences, developing capacity”; “Accelerating country action”; “Ten years to transform the world’s energy”; “Global leadership dialogue”; and “The human face of sustainable energy for all”.
On the last day of the Forum, more than 60 delegates, including 20 at the ministerial level or above, participated in a high-level dialogue on energy in the post-2015 development agenda. The debate showed strong support for including energy as part of the new development framework, including in its sustainable development goals. As expressed during statements, participants welcomed the Decade and saw the new Sustainable Energy for All Forum as a useful meeting place and building block that should continue to contribute to sustainable development through poverty eradication and the curbing of climate change.