Expert: China should play bigger role in Post- 2015 Global Development Goals

A senior researcher is calling for China to play a more positive role in the agenda setting for the era of post-2015 UN Millennium Development Goals.

At the International Symposium on Post-2015 Global Development Agenda and Child Development which was held in Beijing on Monday, Deputy Secretary General of China Development Research Foundation, Fang Jin, says the world's second largest economy should take more responsibilities in setting the agenda for the post 2015 global development goals.

Fang points out that China understands the problems and challenges facing other developing countries. In order to help them better cope with those problems, China must change its mindset, devote sufficient resources for participating in global governance, do more research and have more communications with those countries, and provide its own solution to the world's pressing issues.

Read more at CRI


Liberia: UN High- Level Panel on Post- 2015 Development Agenda Reaching Agreement on Challenging and Contentious Issues, Reports President Sirleaf as Co- Chair

The High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons working on the post-2015 development agenda concluded a two-day meeting at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on May 14 - the final opportunity for the 27-member Panel to discuss pending issues before the report can be finalized and submitted to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on May 30, 2013.

According to a dispatch from New York, the meeting, under the guidance of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and the envoy of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia - the three Co-Chairs - reached agreement on the most challenging and contentious outstanding issues.
Summing up the session, President Sirleaf called it a very productive meeting, saying, "We managed to agree on some difficult issues, like how to tackle peace and conflict, to foster good governance and to ensure that this is a truly universal agenda - one with responsibilities for all countries."

The Panel will finalize its report and present it to the Secretary-General in two weeks. Secretary-General Ban visited the Panel on Wednesday, in the midst of the negotiations. He witnessed firsthand the deliberations, and heard the thinking behind some of the Panel's most difficult decisions.

Read more at AllAfrica


Consensus forming on golden thread of development, says co- chair of UN panel on post- 2015 agenda

A United Nations high-level panel on a post-2015 global development agenda wrapped up today with consensus emerging on how to make a more equitable world, said British Prime Minister David Cameron in his role as co-chair of the body.

Addressing journalists at the UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Cameron said that members of the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which includes President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, “nailed our colours to the mast with one clear overarching aim – end extreme poverty in our world.”

Building a framework to succeed the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the panel, appointed last year by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, aims to create a development agenda that will also focus on protection of the rule of law, good governance and holding Governments to account, which comprise what Mr. Cameron called “the golden thread of development.”

Read more at UN News Centre


Stakeholder’s Consultations Continue on Second Day of IBSA Women’s Forum 2013

The Stakeholder’s Consultations of the IBSA Women’s Forum entered its second and final day with parallel sessions on ‘Gender Responsive Budgeting’ and ‘Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality: Post 2015 Development Agenda’.

Panelists discussed the processes that could further strengthen the ongoing efforts of gender budgeting at all levels of governance. The participants engaged in intensive dialogues centering on the challenges of developing convergence action plans and mechanisms for translating gender commitments into budgetary allocations amongst the partner countries.

The panel discussions for the Forum concluded with the session on the role of women in the Post 2015 Development Agenda which addressed structural inequalities which persist for women and explored the many ways to make available the necessary resources to create sustainable and effective action on gender equality and empowerment. Participants from member countries stressed the need for greater engagement of women as equal partners in the global developmental processes, where they are regularly consulted on what they see as priorities for the development of their communities.

Read more at Education


Disaster risk reduction in the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

Several governments and the HFA2 Advisory Group identified the need to take advantage of the momentum for the Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction to further advance the consideration of disaster risk reduction and its link to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The session will discuss a number of issues that the Post-2015 development agenda may want to consider regarding disaster risk reduction.

The objectives of the session are to discuss…

Read more at Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction


Iraq’s Future: Post- 2015 Development Agenda

Iraqis came together on Sunday to agree on their country’s most pressing needs, and send a message to the international community on what issues should be prioritised after 2015.

With only two years remaining before the deadline of the Millennium Declaration Goals (MDGs), the UN is consulting with a wide range of Iraqi civil society, persons living with disabilities, academia, women and youth groups to add their voices to the global conversation on what issues the international community should prioritise beyond 2015.

“The importance of making this a civil society-led process cannot be understated,” explained Jacqueline Badcock, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Iraq. “The concerns of the most vulnerable, persons living with disabilities, women and youth are often drowned out. This series of consultations has ensured the voiceless are given a voice.”

Read more at Iraq- Business News


UK Prime Minister Aims “To Save Post- 2015 Development Goals Document” Guardian Reports

“As he prepares to co-chair a session of the U.N. High-Level Panel on aid in New York on Tuesday,” U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron “is to launch an 11th-hour bid to save a major U.N. report on the future of international development amid fears among aid groups that it … [may] lose sight of its original goals,” The Guardian reports. “Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cameron said: ‘It is coming to the end of its work. I hope it is going to be a good piece of work. But I need to be there in order to nail down some simple clear commitments that everyone can get behind as we look to the successors to the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs],’” the newspaper writes, noting Cameron co-chairs the panel with the presidents of Liberia and Indonesia.

Read more at the Kaiser Family Foundation


WSIS Forum focuses on post- 2015 development agenda

This year's forum of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), has been described as a unique opportunity to develop multi-stakeholder consensus on what is needed for the WSIS process in the future to ensure that the bottom-up approach of the process is preserved.  Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure of the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, also noted that the decisions concerning modalities also respect the real requirements of the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for socio-economic development, while ensuring growth in the ICT ecosystem itself."

In the coming week, the WSIS Forum will focus on the future of information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly as an engine of growth in a post-2015 development environment.

Read more at United Nations Radio


Gender and the post- 2015 framework

As we move toward the end date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), work towards a new post-2015 global architecture to frame development outcomes and track progress is already underway. Recognising the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York as a strategic moment to feed into these processes, a multi-stakeholder roundtable was organised, co-hosted by the BRIDGE research and information team at IDS.

Read more at Institute of Development Studies


Gender equality must be a development priority in its own right

In the consultations about what will replace the millennium development goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015, there is pressure on politicians and political commentators to come up with the next "new" idea.

The lack of focus on inequality was a key limitation of the MDGs and, rightly, this has become a major priority for the post-2015 agenda. But the discussion about inequality is evolving in a way that may undermine, and even reverse, the international commitment to gender balance. There are welcome efforts to define new ways of measuring income inequality, but gender and other social inequalities are invisible within these measures (pdf). And, while greater attention is finally being paid to social inequalities, there is a worrying tendency to treat gender as just one of many inequalities that generate poverty and exclusion. There is even a proposal to replace the current gender equality goal with a general and so far undefined "inequalities" goal.

The fundamental premise behind the demand for a standalone goal is that gender is not just one of many inequalities but the most pervasive.

Read more at The Guardian


CFS Briefing Highlights Food Security, Nutrition in Post- 2015 Agenda

A briefing to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) addressed the position of food security and nutrition in the post-2015 development agenda, and the work of the newly-reformed Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
The briefing, held on 6 May 2013, in New York, US, was organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger.

Nestor Osorio, ECOSOC President, addressed the results of the High-Level Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition that took place in Madrid, Spain, in April 2013, noting that these topics and the eradication of hunger should be central to the post-2015 agenda, and this requires action at all levels. He also emphasized the need for a strengthened relationship between the CFS and ECOSOC, specifically in the context of the global development agenda.

Read more at the International Institute for Sustainable Development


Resources on the Post- 2015 development agenda

A large number of reports and papers have been published as part of the discussions on the post-2015 development framework. In this table we present an overview of the most significant publications, with links to the full texts. They were written by various research institutions, NGOs, political organizations, UN bodies, multilateral organizations, etc.

For further resources on the post-2015 development agenda, you can also consult the Overseas Development Institute’s Tracker Initiative.

Read more at The Broker: Connecting Worlds of Knowledge


UN Process Inches Forward

Efforts to develop a global development framework beyond 2015 - the completion date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - have continued to advance in recent weeks, with the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda holding its final formal meeting in Bali, Indonesia on 25-27 March.

This 27-member group was formed last July by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and is co-chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The panel agreed in Bali “on the need for a renewed Global Partnership that enables a transformative, people-centred and planet-sensitive development agenda which is realised through the equal partnership of all stakeholders.”

The post-2015 process, which seeks to be highly participatory, is simultaneously taking place along a number of different strands, with an emphasis on internet consultations as well as actual face-to-face meetings. Areas covered comprise conflict and fragility, education, energy, environmental sustainability, food security, governance, growth and employment, health, inequality, population dynamics, and water.

More information from these consultations, held by “The World We Want” - a joint initiative between the UN and civil society - can be found online.

Read more at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development


Roles of technology, innovation for sustainable development

UN discussing role of technology, innovation for sustainable development - Senior UN officials, policymakers, civil society representatives and other stakeholders gathered on Tuesday in New York for a special UN Economic and Social Council forum on mobilizing science, technology and innovation for sustainable development.

Speaking at the opening session, UN Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Wu Hongbo, said that science, technology and innovation hold great potential as tools and pave the way to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development.

He stated: “They can be used to promote health, increase productivity, improve the efficiency of resource use, and reduce negative human impacts on the environment and they will be critical to tackling some of the major sustainable development challenges of this century.

Read more at Afrique Jet


Urgent call to Bahraini authorities to disclose whereabouts of Nabeel Rajab

Nabeel RajabCIVICUS calls on the government of Bahrain to urgently disclose the whereabouts of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. Nabeel called his wife on 14 May from prison informing her he had witnessed a heinous crime committed by the authorities in Bahrain and as a result the government is intent on silencing him.  The two calls made to his wife lasted a few seconds and were abruptly interrupted indicating that the Bahraini authorities stopped their conversation.  His family now fears for his life as he has been moved from his prison cell and his whereabouts are uknown. His wife believes he has been moved to solitary confinement to break all forms of communication with his family and may be tortured to silence him.  Nabeel, who was sentenced to three years in prison in August 2012 (sentenced reduced to 2 years in December 2012), has been reportedly subjected to different forms of harassment at the hands of the Bahraini authorities.


Read more on Nabeel Rajab


The situation is becoming dire for civil society in Uzbekistan | An interview with Sukhrobjon Ismoilov

Sukhrobjon Ismoilov, the founder and director of the Expert Working Group (EWG), speaks to CIVICUS about ongoing restrictions on civil society in Uzbekistan and the need for greater international support following Uzbekistan's recent examination under the UN Universal Period Review (UPR).

Uzbekistan just underwent its examination under the UN Universal Period Review. Can you tell us about the recent threats to civil society activists in the country?

The latest instances of judicial harassment and attacks against national civil society activists in Uzbekistan demonstrate the government's readiness to silence the country's only remaining critical voices. In an attempt to suppress independent dissent, the government has resorted to a number of strong arms tactics. Human rights defenders, including independent journalists, lawyers and CSO staff continue to be prosecuted on trumped-up criminal charges. In addition, the government continues to force activists to leave the country under the threat of criminal charges and imprisonment.


UN says slum eradication must revitalize sustainable development

Senior UN and government officials on Monday called on countries to prioritize establishment of innovative policy and legal instruments alongside new funding kitties to eradicate slums and enable urban population have access to low cost and environmental friendly homes.

The officials attending 24th Session of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council which kicked off in Nairobi, said that mushrooming slums in world’s cities place immense hurdles to sustainable development, threatens social and political order alongside human and ecological health.

“Though we have met the quantitative target of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers, the gains have been eroded by increased number of new arrivals. To be precise, the growth of slums has been faster than their eradication,” UN-HABITAT Executive Director Joan Clos told the participants.

He said growth of slums present new challenges to sustainable development, adding that Kenya’s devolved system of government to the two tier national and county governments was good for the country as it ensures more resources to the grassroots and participation in decision making.

Clos clarified that the world has made incremental progress in attainment of millennium development targets on improving conditions of slum dwellers through provision of basic amenities like water, sanitation, health, education and availability of energy sources.

“I therefore urge all governments and the Habitat Agenda partners to ensure that the MDG targets on slums and in water and sanitation are firmly kept in mind during the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda,” said Clos.



UN Development Goals Must Include Education Quality

Since the Millennium Summit in 2000, the United Nations' development goals have succeeded in driving and focusing the world debate on human development. The UN Millennium Declaration, adopted by all 193 UN members, sought to define a common global approach to addressing poverty, health, and education challenges.

Access to education is a major plank of this effort, listed at number two out of the eight Millennium Goals, adopted in 2005 at the follow up World Summit meeting in New York. While other goals include eliminating extreme poverty, empowering women, and combating disease, in the realm of education, the focus of the effort is to deliver universal primary education. Specifically, world leaders committed a deadline of 2015 to achieve both the enrollment in and completion of a full course of primary schooling for any child, girl or boy.

Read more at Huffington Post


Sierra Leone Minister calls for New Deal to end African conflict

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance, Kaifala Marah, has called for the implementation of the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States in the post-2015 development agenda to help Africa fulfil its potential.

‘It’s time to stand up to our continent’s least endearing trait: conflict. This reoccurring phenomenon is perpetuating poverty and hampering the fulfilment of Africa’s potential as a whole,’ warned Minister Marah.

Africa is the location for the majority of the 1.5 billion people living in fragile and conflict-affected states. Thirteen of the eighteen members of the g7+, a grouping of fragile states, are in Africa. No African member of the g7+ has yet achieved a single Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

Read more at Sierra Express Media


UN Reports Subdued Asia- Pacific Growth in 2013 as Region Faces Developed World Uncertainty

Growth in Asia-Pacific remains subdued due to the impact of persistent weaknesses and uncertainties in the developed economies, the United Nations reported today, urging Governments to implement macroeconomic policies that focus more on inclusivity and sustainable development.

The report, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013: Forward-looking macroeconomic policies for inclusive and sustainable development, argues that macroeconomic policies can play a vital role in reorienting the region towards a more inclusive and sustainable growth path – a high priority of its post-2015 development agenda.

Read more at eNews Park Forest


Sustainable Agriculture Intensification: A Practical Solution for the Global Development Agenda

Hunger, malnutrition, poverty, climate change, environmental degradation - addressing these injustices is at the forefront of political meetings the world over. Yet these problems persist as global leaders strive to find efficient and synergistic ways of tackling them sustainably.

In Africa alone over 200 million people are chronically hungry and 40% of children under the age of 5 are stunted. At the same time, the African population is still rapidly growing and experiencing serious declines in its agricultural resource base with present food production systems only expected to be able to meet 13% of the continent's food needs by 2050.

Meeting the challenge of this "post-2015" development agenda - so-called because it will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015 -requires new solutions to addressing food insecurity, resource scarcity and at-risk rural livelihoods.

One such solution is Sustainable Intensification.

The phrase "Sustainable Intensification" was originally coined as a technical term, but it has become highly politicised more recently by various groups and is often incorrectly associated only with high-input, industrial agriculture.

Read more Huffington Post


Arab Forum for Development- redefining pan- Arabism

Opened by Her Majesty Queen Rania al-Abdullah of Jordan on April 10th, 2013, the Arab Development Forum kicked off in Jordan, as part of the worldwide UN led consultations on the global development agenda beyond 2015, when the Millennium Developments Goals will expire.

The forum, which spanned over two days (April 10-11) aimed to identify regional priorities, such as:
Ø Poverty reduction, inclusive growth and employment generation
Ø Conflict prevention and social cohesion
Ø Voice, participation, citizen engagement and political inclusion
Ø Access to and quality of basic services: health and education
Ø Environmental sustainability Post Rio

The Forum was attended by Helen Clark, Chair of UN Development Group; the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhindawi, Sima Bahous, Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNSG’s Envoy on Youth; Costanza Farina, UN Resident Coordinator in Jordan; Corinne Woods, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign; Regional Directors of UN Agencies working on development; Yemen 2011 Nobel Peace prize winner, Tawakkul Karman and representatives from civil society, academia and the private sector from all over the Arab region.

Read more at Yemen Post


G77 Envoys in New York Meet on Sustainable Development

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr Peter Thomson convened the meeting in his capacity as the Chair of G77 and China.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Thomson welcomed the Permanent Representatives of South Africa, Guyana, Kenya and the Charge d’Affaires of Brazil, in their respective capacity as co-chair or co-facilitators of the silo process on the Special Event to follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the review of the implementation of resolution 61/16 of the General Assembly on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) respectively. The co-facilitators and co-chair briefed the G77 ambassadors on the progress of their work, followed by an interactive discussion.

In his briefing, Ambassador Mamabolo of South Africa reminded the meeting that the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs called for a High-level Special Event on the MDGs to be held in 2013 and requested the Secretary-General to make recommendations in his annual reports, for further steps to advance the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.  Ambassador Mamabolo acknowledged the current impasse between the G77 members and some developed countries on the status of the outcome document of this Special Event. He said the G77 has been insisting on an ‘intergovernmentally agreed’ document which is implementable within the UN system while some developed countries stood firm on their preference for a ‘President’s Summary’, an outcome that is not binding.  He urged the Group to move beyond the insistence of terminology but focus on the actual outcome document instead.

Read more at The Jet


Pakistan urges focus on poverty eradication, energy needs in new global development

Pakistan’s State Bank Governor Yaseen Anwar said Monday that poverty alleviation and enhancing energy access to people should be at the heart of the post-2015 global development agenda and goals that the U.N. was in the process of preparing.  “Distinct circumstances of countries should guide the implementation of global frameworks and agendas,” he told a special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods Institutions (World Bank and IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  The Bank governor said Pakistan would constructively engage with the global economic discourse at the U.N. and in other foras for a development agenda that is grounded in the needs and requirements of all countries.  Noting that the world economy was seeing some signs of recovery, Yaseen Anwar said it was still mired in an economic and financial crisis.

Developing countries had faced the worst consequences of the crisis, he said, adding deeper reform would be necessary to maintain stability.
“Global economic stability is a common good,” he told delegates from around the world.  

As such, it required shared understanding, not simply shared responsibility for its preservation.  

While many countries could withstand the intensity of the crisis, he said shock absorbers in the developing world either were not available or were insufficient, as had been seen in the enhanced risk premium on lending and investments, which, in turn, had resulted in a surge in external financing costs.

Read more at Associated Press of Pakistan


Planning Ministry works on post- 2015 agenda elaboration

The Ministry of Planning and Territory Development has been working together with the UNDP meant to prepare the post-2015 Agenda, the new global development plan, Angop has learnt.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the State Secretary for planning and territory development, Pedro Luís da Fonseca, during the opening of a seminar on the Global agenda of 2015 post development-Angola contribution.
He said that the UNPD is the entity in charge of preparing the 2015-post development agenda, adding that the elaboration of the agenda is a complex task, but absolutely reasoned.
The official also said that Angola was named to integrate the group of countries that will be consulted under the framework of the identification of priorities that will be part of the focus of the international institutions and may be national ones until 2030.

Read more at ANGOP Society


Briefing on Final Report of High Level Panel

A briefing on the report from the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP) will be given by the President of Indonesia and Panel Co-chair, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. This briefing was announced on 22 April 2013, by UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Vuk Jeremic during the HLP's briefing on its fourth meeting (HLP 4). The briefing will address the UNGA. The final report of the Panel is expected to be submitted to the Secretary-General at the end of May 2013, per the Panel's terms of reference.  

Read more at Post- 2015 Policy and Practice


Regional post- 2015 consultation organized for Latin America and the Caribbean

Around 400 representatives from civil society, academia, indigenous peoples and the private sector from 24 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean gathered at the conference “Realizing the Future We Want in Latin America and the Caribbean: Towards a post-2015 development agenda,” held in Guadalajara, Mexico on 17-19 April 2013. The conference, organized by the government of Mexico, provided a forum to discuss and enhance regional perspectives in the post-2015 process, adding to the national and thematic consultations organized by the United Nations and to the meetings held by the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP).

The Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña and the Governor of the State of Jalisco [1] Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz welcomed the participants to one of the biggest face-to-face consultations organized so far in the post-2015 context. During the meeting, participants had the opportunity to interact – both formally and informally – with Ambassador and High-level Panel member Patricia Espinosa. She emphasized the importance of having continued multi-stakeholder dialogues in the lead up to 2015 and committed to sharing the outcomes of the regional consultation with the other members of the HLP.

The discussions in Mexico were also informed by high-level representatives of the United Nations, such as United Nations Development Programme’s Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan and Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; representatives of the HLP Secretariat; and representatives of the Mexican government. Prior to the official start of the conference, Ms. Grynspan and Ms. Espinosa also talked with Mexican journalists about the role of media in covering the MDG and the post-2015 process.

Read more at NGLS


New Global Challenges Require New Goals in Post- 2015 Development Agenda, CIGI Paper says

The post-2015 development agenda should be reframed around “one-world” goals, according to a new paper issued by The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Researchers propose 10 new comprehensive goals that will advance human development in the developed and developing world, alike.

In "The Millennium Development Goals and Post-2015: Squaring the Circle," authors Barry Carin and Nicole Bates-Eamer address what should follow the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond their target date of 2015. Carin and Bates-Eamer’s findings are based on a two-year project, sponsored by CIGI and the Korea Development Institute (KDI), which involved consultations in Bellagio, Beijing, Geneva, Mumbai, New York, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Washington and at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

“To respond to emerging global and national challenges, the post-2015 development agenda should be based on a comprehensive and holistic notion of development,” the authors write. Moreover, they argue, “there is a persuasive rationale for why new challenges should be addressed, given the dramatic changes in the international development landscape over the past two decades.”

The authors recommend the following 10 goals…

Read more at PR Web


1000 days to MDGs deadline options for PH

The countdown to the last 1,000 days to the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has begun. On April 5, the world marked the beginning of the critical last mile of the MDGs.

Launched in 2000 with the signing of the Millennium Declaration by 189 UN member-countries, the MDGs became the global agenda for development at the start of the new century. Being time-bound and measurable, the MDGs have made a difference and changed the way of achieving development objectives.

The 8 MDGs are: the halving of extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, gender equality, reduction of child mortality, improved women's health, stoppage and reversal of the spread of TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships for aid, trade and debt relief. The MDGs are measured against 18 targets and 60 indicators.

Twelve years hence, the MDGs have shown successes in mobilizing the global community into achieving its targets. As of the 2012 Global MDGs Progress Report, 4 targets have been achieved. First, the global target of halving extreme poverty from its 1990 level has been reached, equivalent to 600 million people.

Read more at Rappler Beta


Too many cooks in the kitchen warns MDG co- architect

The post-MDG framework runs the risk of underachieving because “there are too many cooks in the kitchen this time around,” according to Jan Vandemoortele, one of the co-architects of the Millennium Development Goals.

While confident that the implementation of a framework “can and will be done,” Vandemoortele told Devex that he feared it would look like a “badly decorated Christmas tree” that no one wants to get too close to.

With over 30 years of experience at various United Nations bodies and as director of the Poverty Group at the U.N. Development Program between 2001 and 2005, Vandemoortele cautioned that the “clock is ticking” to achieve the MDGs currently on the table.

Looking ahead, the advisor to the U.N. Secretary-General and the Dutch secretary for development cooperation stressed the need for the international community to “keep its promises” while “listening more” and avoiding a “donor-centric approach.”

“Strong leadership” in the months ahead is essential, Vandemoortele asserted, if global development is to take steps towards its “Man on the Moon” moment by the end of the decade.

Read more at devex


NOGAID urges richer nations to support poor nations

Mustapha Sanah, Executive Chairman of Northern Ghana Aid (NOGAID), a development-oriented organisation, has appealed to developed nations to support poor countries to reduce poverty and disease to facilitate sustainable development and world peace.

He said it is imperative for developed countries to increase assistance to smaller and weaker countries to make them strong to reduce the urge to engage in violent conflicts normally associated with poverty.

The advanced countries have a moral obligation to do just that in making the world a happier place, “he said in an interview with Ghana News Agency, in Washington, after a dialogue session with Mr Joachim Von Amsberg, Vice President of the World Bank with civil society organisations (CSOs).

Mr Amsberg is in-charge of concessional Finance at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Mr Sanah said, despite the difficult fiscal conditions the developed nations faced in 2010, they manage to extend $49 billion funding for the world poorest countries under the International Development Association (IDA) 16 Replenishment.

IDA is the World Bank’s assistance for the poorest of countries and key actor in progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Read more at GhanaWeb


If we want to change the world, where’s the cash going to come from?

First, rather than treating countries as finance-recipients, they need to be viewed as finance-generators. It is a common criticism of the MDG era that too much emphasis has been placed on aid. Instead, taxation and curbing illicit flows, present but largely forgotten in every major development financing document of the past 20 years, must finally be given precedence over foreign inflows of money.

Second, and even more profoundly, the whole "financing gap" calculating model, whereby a particular outcome is costed and possible contributions totted up, is past its sell-by date. It has been the basis of much of the quantitative analysis behind the MDG era, and is also the thinking behind the simplified NGO stats that x billion dollars will result in y lives saved. But it depoliticises finance, which is – and should be – very political.

Both themes emerged at a recent meeting in Johannesburg organised by the UN Millennium Campaign, where a group of African intellectuals and guests discussed how new development goals would be financed in Africa. The buzzwords were "structural transformation". Rather than seeking cash from others to achieve development results, a profound economic restructuring is required to finance change that is both sustainable and equitable.

Read more at Poverty Matters


FG releases Conditional Grants to 148 LGAs

The Federal Government has announced the release of ‘conditional grants’ to 148 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in order to improve investment at the grassroots level.

The senior special assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); Precious Gbeneol, who announced this in Abuja at a pre-implementation workshop for local government officials said the conditional grants scheme has availed the nation the opportunity of leveraging resources from all tiers of government in order to achieve socio-economic development of the rural areas.

She explained that the scheme is aimed at reducing poverty and providing even development of local government areas.

Ms Gbeneol warned the participants not to misuse the grants allocated to their local government areas.
Development partners from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) pledged their support for the programme.

Read more at Channels


Orange Botswana starts youth campaign for development goals

Orange Botswana has come up with an initiative concerning the second batch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Biztech reported. Orange has partnered with Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including a Dutch one for the 'Voice Africa's Future' campaign. Orange Botswana said the campaign asks young people to share their vision for Africa's future using their mobile phones. Orange Botswana will send text messages to its customers aged between 15 and 35 and ask them to join in, free of charge.

Orange Botswana said it makes perfect sense to use the short messaging system (SMS) on mobile phones to give young people a voice. Botswana is ranked second in Africa for mobile technology penetration. The network provider is the only one in Botswana involved in the initiative so far. Orange said that with the deadline for the goals approaching, it was clear that not all of them will be achieved, and pointed out that in Botswana, HIV continues to be a heavy burden on the healthcare system, and causing child mortality and complications in maternal health.

Read more at telecompaper


Finance Ministry: Sudan Demands Debt Drop, Open Trade and Economic Cooperation

Sudan confirmed its willingness to work with the international community to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), calling for the importance of partnership and cooperation in the development agenda beyond the year 2015. State Minister at the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Abdul Rahman Dirar said that in the statement he presented on behalf of Sudan in the high-level meeting organized by the UN Economic and Social Council in New York, in collaboration with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO) and UN Trade and Development Organization, in order to discuss the global economic crisis. He pointed to the importance of addressing issues of debt for countries emerging from conflict. The minister called on international financial institutions to encourage the success achieved on the course of the relationship with South Sudan and in Darfur by dropping the debt and open trade and economic cooperation with Sudan.

The minister called for the need to inspire lessons from the financial and economic crisis, which showed the importance of partnership and economic to achieve common development. He pointed to Sudan's willingness to work with the international community to enforce the MDGs, according to the Secretary-General's initiative. The minister tackled the need for reform within the new economic system to finance and support the development in poor countries.

Read more at Sudan Vision


National action against hunger crucial in post- 2015 world- FAO

National leadership and action are crucial and governments have the primary responsibility for assuring the food security of their citizens, Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said.

The Organisation's Director-General José Graziano da Silva told a high-level meeting on the United Nation's vision for a post-2015 strategy against world hunger in a statement signed by Peter Lowrey of the FAO Media Relations Department in Rome and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

He said the Millennium Development Goals had pushed us forward; however with 870 million people still suffering from hunger, the war against food insecurity was far from over.

The Director General said the only effective answer to food insecurity was political commitment at the national level, and reinforcement at the regional and global levels by the international community of donors and international organizations; adding that the world's attitude toward hunger had changed profoundly.

He stated that the right to food in the context of national food security was now the agreed foundation for policy discussion worldwide.

Read more at Modern Ghana


What global partnership for post- 2015 development?

Millennium Development Goals now drawing near, the international community is looking at the path to follow to support the efforts of developing countries after 2015.  The 2013 European Report on Development (ERD), entitled “Post 2015: Global Action for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future”, is part of this global reflection. It comes just after the Commission’s proposal for a new development framework (“A Decent Life for All: Ending Poverty and Giving the World a Sustainable Future”).    

The ERD 2013 argues that the lessons should be learned from the MDG experiences to go further and calls for a new framework that goes “Beyond MDGs” and “Beyond aid”. Poverty eradication remains a central objective that requires strategies that tackle the roots of it in an inclusive and sustainable manner, by means of a genuine transformative programme. The report looks at the “drivers”: flows of money (development finance), goods (trade and investment) and people (migration) and enriches the analysis by examining, with local researchers, the experiences of four countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Nepal, Peru and Rwanda.

In Africa, the capacity of the Côte d’Ivoire, a middle income country, to benefit from trade and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has played a key role, even if the country remains vulnerable due to its overdependence on a limited range of products. The recent political instability has compromised achievement of the MDGs but they remain a priority. The study notes that, despite the present crisis, the Côte d’Ivoire is succeeding in maintain high levels of tax revenue.  

Rwanda has experienced difficulties in attracting FDI and Official Development Assistance has played a bigger role there. The government implemented an ambitious development programme in which the MDGs played a central role but this dependence on aid also creates vulnerability. Today Rwanda is seeking to attract more FDI and is making progress in mobilising domestic resources.  

The report illustrates the importance of national choices and of taking ownership but also of the external environment and the need to avoid ready-made solutions. European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomed its contribution: “I am pleased to see that the new ERD, which is particularly timely and relevant, in many ways complements and supports the work of the Commission; This year’s report, with its in-depth analysis and ambitious messages, will help stimulate the debate on the post-2015 development agenda, both at the EU and global levels.”

Read more at Africa and Europe in Partnership


Sustainable development goals post- 2015 must include coal

Ahead of the high-level summit on energy in the post 2015 development framework taking place in Oslo on 9-10th April 2013, The World Coal Association (WCA) has called for clear action to improve energy access and address the challenge of energy poverty affecting 1.3bn people worldwide.

Participants in the Oslo event will discuss key energy recommendations and potential global energy objectives, with the aim of informing and shaping the post 2015 development agenda on energy issues. As the world’s leading source of electricity, the WCA wants coal to be recognised as having a major role to play in meeting global energy access and climate change objectives.

Milton Catelin, Chief Executive of the WCA, commented “One of the biggest criticisms of the Rio+20 conference was the lack of ambition to improve energy access and no real statement on how the international community can work together to deliver energy for all. In the current global discourse on energy poverty there is too much focus on patchwork solutions for energy access.

Read more at World Coal Association


Post- 2015 agenda: Reinventing global decision- making, Olav Kjorven

For the first time in history, the United Nations (UN) are engaging people all around the world in shaping a global agenda: the next development goals.

We are breaking new ground using digital media, mobile phone technology and door-to-door interviewers to include as many individuals as possible in the debate on the future anti-poverty targets that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

To date, close to half a million people have taken part in the ongoing “Global Conversation.”

The discussion takes place on several platforms: close to 100 UN Member States are organizing local workshops with the participation of young people, vulnerable women, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups;  eleven global thematic consultations are taking place online through the World We Want 2015 website, where people can contribute their ideas on issues such as inequalities, food security, and access to water; and the MY World survey, available in 10 languages, invites people to vote for six out of 16 priorities for the future development agenda.

Read more at UNDP


Post- MDG agenda: Exclusive update by ex- Haitian PM

For Garry Conille, the United Nations high-level panel of eminent persons on the post-2015 development agenda will “go down in history as one of the most consultative processes ever.”
The former prime minister of Haiti is currently a special advisor to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who co-chairs the panel.
While civil society and aid groups greeted the outcome of the panel’s last meeting — held in Bali, Indonesia, on March 27 — with mixed reactions, Conille believes it has been “an incredible process” so far. Conille is optimistic, he told Devex, that the panel will be both “ambitious and bold” in its final recommendations, which are due to be released in May.
Looking forward, he said that any post-2015 development agenda would need to include practical and measurable goals — and ideally, global ones.
He also stressed the importance of the emerging economies and the private sector in achieving broad consensus beyond aid, asserting that “countries want to graduate from aid and part of achieving that is better trade.”
Here are some excerpts from our conversation with Conille, captured last week in Brussels.

Read more at devex


The EU and post- 2015- towards a decent peace for all

The EU’s latest proposal for the post-2015 development framework is on the right track. But, as Member States reflect on this document to adopt Council Conclusions in May, more effort is needed to spell out how a future framework can support and measure progress towards sustainable peace.

On 27 February, the European Commission (EC) released a Communication entitled ‘A decent life for all: ending poverty and giving the world a sustainable future’, setting out a proposal for a common EU approach to the post-MDG framework. The EU’s vision revolves around five priorities that are seen as the building blocks of a decent life for all. These are: basic living standards; inclusive and sustainable growth; sustainable management of natural resources; equality, equity and justice; and peace and security. The inclusion of peace and security as one of the building blocks of the framework highlights recognition by the EC that “Where there is physical insecurity, high levels of inequality, governance challenges and little or no institutional capacity, it is extremely difficult to make sustainable progress on the key MDG benchmarks” (EuropeanCommission: A Decent Life for all: Ending poverty and giving the world a sustainable future).

Read more at TransConflict


UNECA-United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Experts to address Statistical Challenges on Monitoring Development Indicators beyond 2015

At the March 2013 Conference of African ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development that was held in Abidjan, African Ministers requested the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission to set up a Working Group that would come up with indicators aimed at following up on progress made in reaching the post 2015 development agenda in line with the Africa Common Position.

In this regard, the three institutions are jointly organizing a meeting, themed: Statistical Challenges of Monitoring Development beyond 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa on 2-3 May 2013. The objective of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to officials from the national statistical systems and other statistical organizations in the region to learn about the on-going policy work on the post-2015 development agenda at international and regional levels; initiate development of indicators and prepare a clear roadmap for meeting the statistical challenges through a balanced understanding of the likely data demand beyond 2015.

Regardless of the nature of post-2015 development framework that is finally adopted, the issues and challenges of monitoring progress against regional and national goals and targets through robustly measurable indicators still need to be seriously addressed. Further, while the policy work is in progress, it is hoped that the statistical community in Africa can start engaging in discussions on development of indicators; setting of goals and targets; as well as measurement issues for monitoring purposes. The discussion should also include the various statistical challenges currently being faced by the countries with regard to obtaining regular data for monitoring of development indicators, including those in the MDGs. Clearly, statisticians should prepare themselves to meet greater data demands in future.

Read more at 4- traders


UN General Assembly focussing on current and future development agenda, its president says

The United Nations General Assembly is focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and fostering a successor development agenda, the President of the UN body said today, highlighting upcoming events to increase momentum as the 2015 deadline for both efforts approaches.

Vuk Jeremic, President of the General Assembly, told journalists in New York that he is putting a lot of my time and energy into working with the different UN actors and uniting their efforts on the MDGs “so that the way is paved for the General Assembly in the next 1,000 days to come to a single holistic and comprehensive sustainable development agenda.”

“That is in my opinion possibly the most important piece of work for the General Assembly for the next 1,000 days,” Mr. Jeremic added.

Among the high-level events related to the MDGs, Mr. Jeremic noted plans are underway for a “landmark” conference on 25 September to coincide with the high-level opening of the General Assembly in New York.
The event, Mr. Jeremic said, would be the last big conference aimed at marking the transition from the MDGs to a sustainable post-2015 development agenda.

Read more at UN News Centre


Dublin conference: A bottom- up approach to hunger

High-level aid officials and close to 100 people from local communities across Africa and Asia will be participating today in a conference in Dublin that aims to drive post-2015 development agenda discussions on the interlinkages among hunger, nutrition and climate change.
The Dublin Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, Climate Justice — hosted by the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice and the Irish government, which currently holds the EU presidency — will act as a platform for the aid community to exchange ideas on tackling hunger and malnutrition.
About 870 million people — 563 million of them from Asia-Pacific — continue to suffer from hunger, according to the the FAO’s 2012 State of Food Insecurity in the World. Climate change is expected to add 10 to 20 percent more to this number by 2050. It adds to the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, affects crop production and water access.
A paper released ahead of the conference highlights these scenario and the need to address the nexus between hunger and climate change. With an expected world population of 9 billion come 2050, the need to produce food enough for everyone becomes more critical.

 Read more at devex


General Assembly, in special debate, aims to boost interaction between UN and G20

The United Nations General Assembly today is holding a thematic debate with the Group of 20 major economies, or G20, to strengthen interaction between the two bodies and to improve global economic governance.

“Since the outbreak of the world economic, financial and debt crisis, the ongoing discussions about how to improve global economic governance have grown in significance, drawing increased public attention across the planet,” General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said in his opening address to the thematic debate, ‘UN and Global Economic Governance.’

Mr. Jeremic noted that the UN General Assembly is the only global forum with universal membership and the only one to give equal voice to all members.

“The General Assembly should become a venue for enhanced interaction between international financial and trade institutions, the G20 and non-G20 Member States, by providing a platform to reflect on common concerns, as well as exchange views and share information,” he stressed.

In his speech, Mr. Jeremic outlined some ways to better formalize ad hoc practices to boost relations between the General Assembly and the G20, whose presidency is held this year by the Russian Federation.

Read more at UN News Centre


Kenya to support Sustainable Development

Kenya will continue to support sustainable urbanization as key part of the post-2015 global development agenda. “We believe that a post-2015 development agenda should be transformative to address the main challengers and opportunities that cities and towns in the 21st Century face, we should find better ways to manage our rural environments in order to stem disruptive migratory flows to big cities,” the country's President Uhuru Kenyatta said when he opened the United Nations Habitat 24th Session of the Governing Council.

“We want an agenda that focuses on small villages as much as it does on mega-cities and balances the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development,” Added Kenyatta.

According to Kenyatta, the theme of the session ‘Sustainable Development: The role of cities in creating improved economic opportunities for all’ speaks to the highest priorities of the Jubilee government. “Over the next five years, my government in keeping with the pledges made by the Jubilee coalition will deliver on a manifesto that tackles the challenges we are discussing here” Remarked Kenyatta.

“Our manifesto rests on three pillars with elements that are congruent with the theme of Sustainable Urban Development and the generation of economic opportunities through cities especially for young men and women,” he said.

Read more at African Science News


Critical perspectives on post- 2015 from Southern Voice

Southern Voice, a network of 48 Think Tanks based Africa, Latin America and South Asia has recently launched its ‘Occasional Paper Series’. The aim is to provide “quality data, evidence and analyses that derive from research in the countries of the global South”  as “these think tanks seek to inform the discussion on the post‐2015 framework, goals and targets, and to help give shape to the debate itself”, while strengthening their outreach capacity in a policy context dominated by Northern institutions.

The two papers below are amongst the first in the Occasional Paper Series, and take a critical view on the post-2015 development agenda.

Read more at what comes after the MDGs?


EA Suswatch joins global Civil Society on Post- 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda

In collaboration with the Berlin Civil Society Center, CIVICUS, DAWN, IBON and Social Watch, GCAP helped organize a civil society forum in Bonn, March 22 – 23, 2013 that was attended by 260 representatives from over 200 CSOs including EA SusWatch represented by UCSD, to advance the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (a successor to the Millennium Development Goals framework to end in 2015).

In a video message at the start of the Conference, Dirk Niebel – Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development underscored the importance of civil society in the Post 2015 development process with a task to point out challenges and how to address them. ‘An inclusive process through the UN will give the necessary legitimacy to the process,’ the Germany Minister emphasized.

In addition, he called for the Post 2015 outcome to apply to all countries (not only developing countries), and the need to link the Post 2015 development process to the intergovernmental Open Working Group process on sustainable development goals (SDGs) called for in the Rio+20 Outcome Document, June 2012 that is also underway.

Read more at In2EastAfrica




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