UN’s conversation on Millennium Development Goals

The United Nations recently released a report entitled “The Global Conversation Begins,” which serves to illustrate progress towards universal understanding of and support for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Almost a quarter of a million people from nearly 200 countries were contacted, all in a variety of ways which included conferences, mobile apps, and paper surveys. This project focused on communicating with those groups who normally do not have the means to make their voices heard, such as native tribes and the disabled. By developing more diverse lines of communication, the UN hopes to fine-tune its strategies for achieving its MDGs.


The Millennium Development Goals have served as an overarching global framework for improving the lives of the billions who do not benefit from (and sometimes are actively harmed by) today’s globalized economy. Several categories have benchmarks designed to measure and improve the factors which contribute to poverty and development traps, like poor maternal health, a lack of education, and preventable diseases. Projects all over the world are ongoing every day to help bring everyone forward, even if it is only a little bit at a time.


Read more at The Borgen Project

On World Water Day, UN Women spotlights the need to ensure access to drinking water and sanitation for all

On World Water Day, UN Women is calling attention to the urgent need to increase access to clean water and basic sanitation and to support the initiative of UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson to enhance progress on sanitation ahead of the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


Lack of access to basic sanitation infrastructures disproportionately impacts women and girls and puts them at a greater risk of violence and assault when there are no facilities in their homes. Lack of safe, private toilets at schools is one of the reasons for high drop-out rates amongst young girls and is a major impediment to girls’ education. Today, 2.5 billion people still do not have access to proper sanitation, increasing their vulnerability to diseases.


The lack of access to drinking water also disproportionately affects women and girls. In many countries, women and girls carry out most tasks related to water – they walk long hours to fetch water, they cook, they clean, they care for the sick and the elderly, and they grow food for their families and communities. Lack of access to drinking water increases their burden and reduces their time for other activities, such as going to school or earning an income.


Read more at UN Women

 

 

Incorporating Justice in the Post- 2015 Development Framework

A new development framework needs new strategies for eradicating poverty. Justice—a principle missing from the current MDGs—needs to be part of the next generation of development efforts.


Justice is important enough to warrant its own goal. Lack of legal power and protection is a major reason why people fall into, and remain in, extreme poverty. Around the world, more than four billion people are living outside the reach of the law—mostly because they are poor.


Justice also cuts across most development issues—including health, education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. So, integrating justice-related targets and indicators into other goals will also help to realize, sustain, and monitor gains in multiple sectors.
Increasingly, policy makers, governments, researchers, and, most importantly, people living in poverty are recognizing that justice is critical to improving lives and reducing poverty. There’s also an emerging consensus that justice is measurable.


Here are two possible ways that justice could be included in a Post 2015 framework.


Read more at Namati: Innovations in Legel Empowerment

UNDP: Priorities for global development agenda shaped by unprecedented public outreach effort

The United Nations presented today the first findings from an unprecedented global conversation through which people from all over the world have been invited to help Member States shape the future development agenda that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after their target date at the end of 2015.
The snapshot report of initial findings entitled “The Global Conversation Begins” was delivered to more than 100 representatives of Member States who will negotiate the future development agenda that is likely to build on the MDGs and sustainable development agenda from Rio+20.
“We are reinventing the way decisions will be made at the global level,” said Olav Kjorven, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of Bureau for Development Policy at UN Development Programme. “People want to have a say in determining what kind of world they are going to live in and we are providing that opportunity by using digital media as well as door-to-door interviewers.”


Read more at Post- 2015 Women’s Coalition

Nation- wide consultations on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda begin next week

The Government of Liberia with support from the United Nations in Liberia will on March 18, 2013, hold nation-wide consultations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
The objective of these consultations is to ensure a bottom up approach to the development of the next Global Development Agenda, so that the plan is informed by the aspirations, perspectives and voices of the people who will be affected by the Agenda, making an improvement over the previous MDGs in order to facilitate an inclusive, nationally led process.
These consultations are expected to stimulate inclusive discussions amongst national stakeholders which include government representatives, NGOs, civil society, community-based organizations (CBOs), indigenous peoples, women's and social movements, youth and children, as well as the private sector among others, to build a shared global vision on the “Future we Want” with clear recommendations for governments, civil society and broad stakeholders on the Post 2015 Development Framework.


Read more at Modern Ghana

Post- 2015 Youth Consultation in Zambia


Restless Development Zambia convened approximately 50 young people from around Zambia to provide a youth consultation supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on their vision for the Post-2015 Development Goals. UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.

This consultation has been apart of ongoing consultation by the UN Zambia to engage young people in the formulation of tangible goals that will impact their lives until the year 2030. This consultation is timely, as people from around the world are evaluating the successes and challenges of the Millennium Development Goals which are scheduled to elapse by 2015.


Read more at Restless Development

5 Ways to meet an anti- corruption millennium development goal

This week the United Nations is bringing experts and world leaders to Indonesia to debate development priorities beyond 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals expire. Good governance tops the list of what to add to the current eight targets.


We want to make certain that good governance and anti-corruption form part of the promises and solutions post 2015 – because they can make a tangible difference in delivering all the
A TI study from 2010 has shown the huge, positive impacts transparency can have on development – if you reverse the corruption-poverty equation. For example:
The findings suggest that higher levels of access to information — such as on a school’s budget, resource inflows provided to schools and appointment procedures for teachers and school administrators — is positively and significantly correlated with higher literacy rates.


In other words, make a school budget more transparent, our research shows, and literacy rates go up.


If we had an anti-corruption or “good governance” goal for all countries, what would we do to put the transparency pay-off into practice...


Read more at Transparency International

The search for post- 2015 successors to the Millennium Development Goals


Post-2015 goals must satisfy several conditions. Goals must be few in number (so some sector goals will have to be omitted entirely or consolidated with others- lowering their visibility and disappointing interest groups), globally relevant, simple to understand, measurable and enabling. They must avoid the calculated ambiguity of most negotiated documents that leads to an “agreement all despise.” Most important post-2015 goals must galvanize widespread endorsement and action.


One project to explore the post-2015 development paradigm has involved researchers at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and its partners. In our modest effort to consult with experts around the world, we received a lot of passionate advice — “Base goals on already agreed language”; “Start with an empowering vision”; “Stress the key elements of development”; “Include the drivers of change”; “Focus on rules to allow mobilization of own resources”; “Emphasize interconnections and inter linkages”; “Mainstream accountability”; “Make the goals rights-based”; “Underscore democracy”; “Highlight corruption”; and “Recognize planetary boundaries.” We were advised to avoid a “Christmas tree” wish list, disregard ideological values, and to ignore estimating costs of achieving the goals.


Read more at thestar.com

The search for post- 2015 successors to the Millennium Development Goals


Post-2015 goals must satisfy several conditions. Goals must be few in number (so some sector goals will have to be omitted entirely or consolidated with others- lowering their visibility and disappointing interest groups), globally relevant, simple to understand, measurable and enabling. They must avoid the calculated ambiguity of most negotiated documents that leads to an “agreement all despise.” Most important post-2015 goals must galvanize widespread endorsement and action.


One project to explore the post-2015 development paradigm has involved researchers at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and its partners. In our modest effort to consult with experts around the world, we received a lot of passionate advice — “Base goals on already agreed language”; “Start with an empowering vision”; “Stress the key elements of development”; “Include the drivers of change”; “Focus on rules to allow mobilization of own resources”; “Emphasize interconnections and inter linkages”; “Mainstream accountability”; “Make the goals rights-based”; “Underscore democracy”; “Highlight corruption”; and “Recognize planetary boundaries.” We were advised to avoid a “Christmas tree” wish list, disregard ideological values, and to ignore estimating costs of achieving the goals.


Read more at thestar.com

Austerity driven Europe could miss UN development goals

Eradicate extreme poverty, achieve universal primary education and combat HIV. These are only a few of the proposals made by the UN in 2000 to free people from multiple deprivations. This pledge turned into the eight Millennium Development Goals.


13 years later, as Europe lives on of the worst crisis in decades, economic and fiscal pressure will see many member states missing their targets in fighting poverty reduction. Europe fears that foreign aid will be among the first casualties of long-term austerity measures.


'This budget reduction goes against the principles of the European solidarity that we have always supported. Having to choose between fighting poverty in a European country or overseas is a complete trap', said social democrat MEP Ricardo Cortes.


Despite the economic crisis, the European Parliament will present a non-binding resolution in April calling for EU governments to live up to their commitment to devote 0.7% of their gross national income to development aid.


'We don't share this vision of cutting the budget for development aid. This is a mistake. According to Eurostat surveys, over 85% of the European population wants to continue helping those countries in need', said social democrat MEP Ricardo Cortes.


Only a few months before the United Nations agrees on the next Millennium Development goals, due to expire in 2015, the focus of the debate has shifted to the new up comers in the global scene.


Read more at EurActiv.com

UN, Gov’t to hold national consultations on post- 2015 MDGs

The United Nations in Rwanda with support from the Government of Rwanda will hold national consultations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda called “The Future we want”. The consultations will be held from March 25thto April 6th 2013.


The objective of these consultations according to a UN communiqué is to ensure a bottom up approach to the definition of the next Global Development Agenda that is expected to succeed the MDGs after 2015, so that it is informed by the aspirations, perspectives and voices of the Rwandan people.


 This is expected to make an improvement over the previous MDGs in terms of more inclusive nationally-led processes.


“These consultations are intended to stimulate inclusive discussions amongst national stakeholders which include government representatives, NGOs, civil society, community-based organizations (CBOs), vulnerable groups, women’s and social movements, youth and children, as well as the private sector among others, to build a shared global vision on the “Future we Want” with clear recommendations for governments, civil society and broad stakeholders on the Post 2015 Development Framework,” the statement reads in part.


Read more at News of Rwanda

ActionAid calls for post- 2015 development panel to address domestic taxation

Taxation must be central to discussions on how to finance any new development goals, ActionAid said today ahead of a meeting of the high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda next week in Bali.

Members of the panel will be discussing the thorny issue of how to finance any new development goals that follow the Millennium Development Goals which expire in 2015.

David Cameron is one of three co-chairs of the panel, and will be represented in Bali by Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development.

A new ActionAid briefing paper, Bringing taxation info the post-2015 development framework, sets out a number of options for increasing domestic resource mobilisation, focussing on how developing countries could increase their tax revenues. This includes building tax collection capacities, but it also means changing the international rules that stand in the way of developing and developed countries collecting taxes.

The issue of corporate tax avoidance and evasion has risen up the global political agenda, with Cameron promising it will be a key item for the G8 this year.


Read more at AlertNet

ActionAid calls for post- 2015 development panel to address domestic taxation

Taxation must be central to discussions on how to finance any new development goals, ActionAid said today ahead of a meeting of the high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda next week in Bali.

Members of the panel will be discussing the thorny issue of how to finance any new development goals that follow the Millennium Development Goals which expire in 2015.

David Cameron is one of three co-chairs of the panel, and will be represented in Bali by Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development.

A new ActionAid briefing paper, Bringing taxation info the post-2015 development framework, sets out a number of options for increasing domestic resource mobilisation, focussing on how developing countries could increase their tax revenues. This includes building tax collection capacities, but it also means changing the international rules that stand in the way of developing and developed countries collecting taxes.

The issue of corporate tax avoidance and evasion has risen up the global political agenda, with Cameron promising it will be a key item for the G8 this year.


Read more at AlertNet

Liberia: President Sirleaf holds talks with the Netherlands’ Princess Maxima- Delegation from Tilburg University

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf held talks with Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima of the Netherlands on the eve of a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Water in the Post-2015 Agenda and Discussion of the Results of the Global Thematic Consultation on Water.


Princess Maxima, who is the UN Secretary General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, met with President Sirleaf in the first of a series of meetings with the co-chairs of the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The meeting mainly focused on making inclusive financing a key component of the post-2015 development agenda.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Princess pointed out that savings increased the resilience of the poor and protected them from falling back into poverty. She noted that even though large numbers of people make the transition out of poverty each year, health problems and other shocks force millions back into poverty. "By emphasizing innovative ways to help create easy access to financing, the world's poor can increase their resilience," she said.


Read more at allAfrica

People’s Alliance to use Bali conferences to champion agenda

As many as 30 civil society organizations under the banner of the newly established Indonesian People’s Alliance (IPA) plan to voice the unsung-aspirations of Indonesian grassroot communities at the numerous international high-level conferences in Bali this year.

The IPA, which was established in January in Jakarta, is a broad campaign platform to facilitate and coordinate initiatives from grass root communities — including environmental activists; farmers trade unions; indigenous people; migrant workers; research groups; women; and the youth and students — in response to the international conferences to be hosted in Bali.

The conferences include the United Nations High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda next week, the Asia-Pasific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit slated for Oct. 1-8 and the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ninth Ministerial Conference that will run on the island from Dec. 3 to 6.

The IPA’s members include individuals from the Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI), the Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity), the Alliance of Independent Labor Unions (GSBI), the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers (ATKI), the Alliance of Agrarian Reform Movement, the Alliance of Indonesian Indigenous People, the Institute for National and Democratic Studies (INDIES) as well as the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).


Read more at Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post)

Indonesia to hold meeting on post- 2015 development agenda

Indonesia in cooperation with the United Nations will hold a High Level Panel of Eminent Persons meeting on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Bali to discuss global partnership, Indonesia's Antara reported.

"The meeting will be held at Nusa Dua, Bali on March 24-27, 2013 and the theme is `Global Partnership as Means of Implementation`," said director general of multilateral relations of the Foreign Ministry, Hasan Kleib, in a press briefing here, Friday.

He said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been appointed to be one of the three co-chairs of the panel accompanying British Prime Minister David Cameroon and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The result from the panel meeting will be delivered to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on May 30 in New York.


Read more at Official Portal of National News Agency of Malaysia

Liberia unlikely to achieve the MDGs in full

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will on Monday, 25 March launch two Flag Ship Reports and validate the national consultations held on the Global Development Agenda Post 2015, dubbed "Our voices and aspirations for the world we want after 2015."


A release issued in Monrovia by the UNDP on March 21, 2013 said the launch of the 2013 Human Development Report and Liberia's 2012 MDG Report will take place at the Bella Cassa Hotel adjacent the Monrovia City Hall at 8:30 in the morning.


UNDP Country Director Dominic Sam, said there is good progress in some of the MDGs, even though Liberia's capacity to meet majority of the goals by the deadline is unlikely.
Mr. Sam however noted that efforts are underway to develop an MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) to address MDG 5 on the reduction of Child Mortality.


Liberia is one of 14 countries that have recorded impressive Human Development Index (HDI) gains of more than 2% annually since 2000, according to the Global Human Development report released by UNDP.


The 2013 HDI under the theme "The Rise of the South: Human Development in a Diverse World" was launched on the 14th of March 2013 in Mexico City.


Read more at allAfrica

The PM can’t afford to ignore environmental risks in setting the post- 2015 development framework

Next week, the High-level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda meets for the fourth time. Disappointed that David Cameron, one of the co-chairs, will not be attending this meeting, a coalition of the UK’s leading environment and development groups – Christian Aid, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF and Green Alliance – has warned that the post-2015 framework won’t be fit for purpose if the environmental challenges faced by developing nations are ignored.


Climate change, natural disasters, ecosystem decline and biodiversity loss present huge risks to sustainable development and poverty eradication, especially for the world’s poorest who depend on the natural environment for their survival.


The groups have outlined four environmental resilience tests essential for the post-2015 framework to eradicate poverty and deliver long term sustainable development.[2] In Cameron’s absence, they call on Justine Greening to show decisive leadership on these issues in Bali, and for Cameron to make clear that he is still committed to securing a sustainable, long term development agenda for post-2015.


Read more at Christian Aid

 

Global public outreach helping to shape future development agenda, UN reports

People want the United Nations to address challenges such as environmental degradation, unemployment and violence, according to initial findings released today from a global multi-media survey aimed at bringing the concerns of regular people to policymakers as they shape the development agenda for after 2015, the deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
The process includes participations from 60 UN agencies, funds and programmes, and involves almost 100 national consultations in Member States, thematic discussions, surveys and online survey ‘My World’ where people are asked, “What kind of World do you Want?”


Thousands of people have logged into the related website, WorldWeWant2015.org, which currently has more than 5,700 suggested priorities ranging from ‘financial inclusion’ to ‘an honest and responsive government’ and youth empowerment.


“We are reinventing the way decisions will be made at the global level,” said Olav Kjørven, Director of the Bureau for Development Policy at the UN Development Programme (UNDP). He is also a co-chair of a UN Task Team working on a future development agenda, referred to as “the post-2015 agenda.”


Read more at UN News Centre

Global Leadership Meeting on Population Dynamics in the Context of Post- 2015 UN Development Goals

On the invitation extended by the Government of Bangladesh, Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of External Affairs visited Dhaka to attend “Global Leadership Meeting on Population Dynamics in the context of Post 2015 UN Development Goals” 12-13 March 2013.


Delegates from 82 countries and representatives from International Organizations, Civil Societies, Academics, Inter Governmental and Local Agencies attended two days conference which was jointly organized by the Government of Bangladesh and Switzerland.


While addressing the meeting Minister briefed how Sri Lanka transformed its development index dramatically under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the recent years going with sound policies. And he emphasized that the Post 2015 development agenda should also address social economic issues including those that are discussed in the conference, where the concerns of the developing countries should give due priority. Minister urged that we as developing countries do not recognize the culture of knowledge economy and not advanced in technological development. At the conclusion of his speech, he requested to place on record that when defining the post 2015 development agenda, make sure to address all issues that continue to affect the developing world including population dynamics.


Read more at Asian Tribune

Priorities for the global development agenda shaped by unprecedented public outreach effort


The United Nations presented today the first findings from an unprecedented global conversation through which people from all over the world have been invited to help Member States shape the future development agenda that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after their target date at the end of 2015.


The snapshot report of initial findings entitled “The Global Conversation Begins” was delivered to more than 100 representatives of Member States who will negotiate the future development agenda that is likely to build on the MDGs and sustainable development agenda from Rio+20.


“We are reinventing the way decisions will be made at the global level,” said Olav Kjorven, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of Bureau for Development Policy at UN Development Programme. “People want to have a say in determining what kind of world they are going to live in and we are providing that opportunity by using digital media as well as door-to-door interviewers.”


Read more at Island Business

Experts at UN- backed forum stress lifelong learning as cornerstone for development

Access to education and lifelong learning must be at the heart of the development agenda, global experts stressed at a United Nations-backed conference in Dakar, Senegal.
“Inequalities limit education and learning opportunities for the most disadvantaged and excluded children,” said the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Geeta Rao Gupta, at the Global Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.


“Girls, children with disabilities, children living in conflict zones, nomadic children and children forced to work to help their families make ends meet are among the key vulnerable groups,” she said. “We must place equity and inclusion front and centre in our post-2015 plans.”


Over 100 representatives from UN agencies, donors, academia and civil society organizations attended the two-day conference, which was co-organized by UNICEF and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and which wrapped up yesterday.


During the conference, participants mapped out ways to ensure all children, youth and adults – especially the most disadvantaged – are able to realize their right to learn.


Read more at UN News Centre 

Environment protection in the global development agenda

Representatives of UN agencies and the governments of France and Costa Rica held a meeting this week to look for ways to include environmental sustainability in the global development agenda from 2015.


The meeting in San Jose is part of a comprehensive consultation, covering meetings in 100 countries and citizen participation through the Internet, to look at development proposals on environmental issues, food security, access to water and to reduce poverty.


The Administrator of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Helen Clark, said in a press conference that “the world will not be able to sustain social and economic progress if the environment is destroyed.”


“It is essential now move from speech focused (to action) on the balance between growth, poverty and the environment, one that focuses forward in the three strands together,” said Clark.
Representatives from New Zealand explained that the “ecological crisis” is a constraint to development, but it also opens the opportunity “to make a leap forward.”


Read more at The Costa Rica News

Put sustainability at the heart of development, says Progressio


The UK-based agency Progressio wants to see sustainability and stewardship of scarce natural resources placed at the heart of a future vision for development, when the High Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda meet next week in Bali.


The HLP must recognise the impact that climate change and environmental degradation is already having on the ability of poor people to meet their basic needs and make bold recommendations about how environmental sustainability can be integral to every development goal, the NGO says.


Glenda Rodriguez, Progressio's Central America regional manager, wants world leaders to be, "More assertive in their messages and actions by demanding their fellow leaders and governments respect natural resources."


The agency says it remains disappointed that David Cameron will not be attending the HLP next week to fulfill his duties as a co-chair. However, Justine Greening, who is attending on his behalf, is in a uniquely powerful position to promote environmental sustainability as a global priority, reversing a trend which has seen environmental issues side-lined in the post 2015 discussions, it says.


Read more at Ekklesia

Ghana Commended for Prioritising MDGs Interventions

Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, UN Resident Coordinator yesterday commended Ghana for tracking the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which has helped prioritise development interventions such as child mortality, maternal health and basic sanitation.


She said even though the country was making efforts to accelerate the achievement of MDG five targets, a number of additional challenges remained to be tackled.
Ms Sandhu-Rojon was speaking at the National consultative Meeting on Post 2015 Development Agenda in Accra.


The Stakeholders workshop organised by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with the UN System in Ghana, is to collate the views of participants on the development agenda for post 2015 and feeding it into the global UN report.


This report would be the basis for inter-governmental negotiations for the Post-2015 global development agenda.


Read more at Government of Ghana

Water and Sanitation Seek Rightful Place in Post- 2015 Agenda

When the General Assembly unanimously adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) back in 2000, water and sanitation were reduced to a subtext - never a stand-alone goal compared with poverty and hunger alleviation.
Now, as the United Nations begins the process of formulating a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its post-2015 agenda, there is a campaign to underscore the importance of water and sanitation, so that the world body will get it right the second time around.


Ambassador Csaba Korosi of Hungary, whose government will host an international water summit in the capital of Budapest in October, says, "Sustainable development goals for water should be designed in order to avoid the looming global water crisis."


Speaking to reporters last week, Hungary's Permanent Representative to the United Nations said water resources have remained virtually unchanged for nearly 1,000 years.


"But the number of users have since increased by about 8,000 times," he said.


With global food production projected to increase 80 percent by 2030 - and with 70 percent of water consumption flowing into the agricultural sector - Korosi said 2.5 billion people will very soon live in areas of water scarcity.
Addressing the Special Thematic Session of the General Assembly on Water and Disasters last week, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson was blunt: "We must address the global disgrace of thousands of people who die every day in silent emergencies caused by dirty water and poor sanitation."


The theme of the Budapest water summit, scheduled for early October, will be "The Role of Water and Sanitation in the Global Sustainable Development Agenda."


Read more at Independent European Daily Express

African Ministers and Stakeholders Meet in Tunisia to Shape Africa’s Post- MDG Agenda

African Ministers, parliamentarians and policymakers met in Hammamet, Tunisia, to ensure that Africa plays a proactive role in shaping the future global development agenda.


In his keynote address to delegates, African Development Bank Vice-President for Operations Aly Abou-Sabaa said, "This is the time for Africa to set its targets for the post-2015 development agenda," adding: "It is critical that the voice of Africa is heard and accepted" in formulating the agenda.


The meeting was hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), and co-organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Africa Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The meeting was the third and final consultation on the post-2015 development agenda, following consultations in Mombasa, Kenya (October 1-2, 2012) and Dakar, Senegal (December 10-11, 2012).


Read more at AllAfrica

Insight: The world needs justice: A lesson from Indonesia

The year 2015 was set by the members of the United Nations in 2001 as the target for fulfilling the targets agreed to in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for eliminating extreme poverty. While many of the MDGs may not be achieved by the deadline, the world can take pride in the significant progress that has been made to date.

In particular, extreme poverty has been greatly reduced in many countries, including Indonesia. The focus has now turned to working out a new framework for global development, to continue advances while ensuring that gains already made are not undone.


Read more at The Jakarta Post

 

UN, Vietnam discuss post- 2015 development priorities

A conference on Vietnam's national consultations for the post-2015 development agenda was jointly held by the United Nations (UN) in Vietnam and the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment here on Wednesday, the state- run Vietnam News Agency reported.


Specifically, within the framework of the Post-2015 Development Roadmap of Vietnam, the UN Task Team for National Consultations, specialists and consultants focused on three main areas, namely the challenges and risks of climate change that an agricultural economy like Vietnam has to face up to, global economic integration, and the changes caused by the country's population shift.


Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, said that 2015 is the last year for the implementation and accomplishment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). After more than 10 years and considerable achievements, Vietnam is considered a leading country in implementing the goals thanks to its government's commitment and efforts.

Read more at ASEAN- China Centre

Post- 2015 Consultation on Conflict, Violence and Disaster Culminates in High- level Meeting

The Global Thematic Consultation on Conflict, Violence and Disaster in the Post-2015 Development Agenda has culminated with final, high-level meeting, which recognized that conflict, violence and disasters mutually reinforce each other, and recommended addressing them simultaneously within the post-2015 agenda.


The meeting took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 13 March 2013, and was organized by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), the UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with support from the Government of Finland.


Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator, presented the Synthesis Report of the Conflict, Violence and Disaster Consultation, which includes the outcomes of regional consultations in Indonesia, Liberia and Panama between October 2013 and February 2013. She noted that participants had stressed the need for a multidimensional framework that explicitly calls for access to justice, inclusive institutions, economic opportunities, equity, the mainstreaming of human rights and women’s empowerment, and combating all forms of violence against women.


Read more at Institute for Sustainable Development

Ensuring Water is a Key Part of Post- 2015 Agenda

GWP Southern Africa has participated in national and international dialogues focusing on water in the post 2015 development agenda. The dialogues form part of the UN national dialogue (post Rio +20) process which will feed into the development of the UN post 2015 Sustainable Development Goal(s).


At the invitation of the Department of Water Affairs, South Africa, GWP Southern Africa Executive Secretary, Ms Ruth Beukman participated in the Post Rio+20 National Water Sector Workshop as a presenter on the topic “Thinking behind the post-2015 development agenda.” The workshop, which brought together about 60 participants from key water, environment and development institutions across the country, was held in Durban 19-20 February 2013. The workshop objectives included…


Read more at Global Water Partnership

How should inequality feature in a post- 2015 agreement?

A widely-acknowledged limitation of the Millennium Development Goals is a neglect of inequality – it is argued that the targets encouraged a focus on ‘low hanging fruit’, those people that were easiest to reach. In the run-up to 2015, a great deal of debate has highlighted this neglect and considered the many ways in which inequality might feature in a new global agreement.

At this meeting, which takes place shortly after the UN-facilitated Global Consultation on Addressing Inequalities and precedes a meeting of its Advisory Group, we invite panelists and discussants to give their own insights and suggest proposals. The presentations will address three aspects of this debate...


Read more at ODI

Post- 2015: If we don’t tackle educational inequality, we’ll fail the fairness test


As debates about the post-2015 development framework rumble on, there appears to be considerable agreement that in education a refocusing from access to learning will be needed. But where are we on educational inequality?  How strongly is this now embedded in the broader post-2015 development debate?


Many organizations, including the EFA Global Monitoring Report team, are highlighting inequality as a critical education challenge, but on the whole it is not being taken seriously enough and there is in sufficient recognition of just how vital it will be. This is a major problem.


Read more at World Education Blog

UN Broadband Commission Sets Target, Launches Post- 2015, SDG Task Force

On the 17 of March 2013, Commissioners at the 7th Meeting of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development adopted a gender target on access to information and communication technologies (ICT). A new Task Group on the post 2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be led by Ericsson, was also launched by the Commission.


During its meeting in Mexico City from the 16/17th of March, the Commission set a target to ensure gender equality in broadband access by 2020, in light of the global gender gap affecting access to ICT’s, which stands at 25% globally, and rises to 45% in Sub Saharan Africa according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).


For Helen Clark, UNDP administrator, a “lack of equal opportunity for women and girls to access [ICT] technologies risks thwarting development progress”. According to her, closing the gender gap in ICT access would help empower women and girls, helping to achieve inclusive, sustainable development. The ITU Secretary Gteneral, Hamadoun Touré added that “women’s access to ICTs and particularly broadband must be made a key pillar of the post-2015 global development agenda.”


Read more at Post2015.org- what comes after the MDGs?

Post- 2015: take away messages for fragile states and education

The ongoing process to shape the post-2015 framework includes an interesting angle whereby citizens around the world are asked to rank their top priorities for what development goals will come after 2015. The My2015 first online and offline survey results have shown that ‘a good education’ is the top priority for a future development framework for Liberians, where the first survey took place, and a cross-section of the global population who voted online.


Almost in parallel, the g7+ countries, a group of 18 like-minded fragile states taking development decisions into their own hands—as well as donors supporting fragile states in the achievement of their goals—met  in Dili to discuss and adopt a common agenda on post-2015 for fragile states.


Read more at An Internal Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Equity, valuing teachers, governance and accountability should be central to post- 2015 development agenda

Last month I joined a team of 13 VSO employees, partners and volunteers at the Asia Pacific Regional Thematic  Consultation on Education in the Post 2015 Development Agenda in Bangkok. The conference was organised by the  regional offices of UNESCO and UNICEF.  Its purpose was to ensure that the voices of the Asia-Pacific region are included in the global process.


VSO realised that many groups have been excluded in discussions on the post-2015 development framework which aims to prioritise the development needs of poor and marginalised people. We felt that views of excluded groups such as female teachers and pupils living in rural areas, parents, out-of-school children, ethnic minorities, and youth are not being adequately represented.


Read more at VSO talk

UNESCO’s vision of education after 2015

The vision of education in the post-2015 development agenda must reflect two fundamental principles, said UNESCO's Assistant Director-General, Qian Tang.


He spoke at the Global Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda which opened on 18 March 2013, in Dakar, Senegal.  


The first principle is that the right to quality education is a fundamental human right enshrined in normative frameworks and built into the legislation of most countries.  


The second is that education is a public good. The state must be the custodian of the principles of education as a public good, paying particular attention to the promotion of equality.  


Mr Tang also underlined that while governments must be in the driving seat, we also need to recognize that the delivery of education is a collective responsibility that involves families, communities, civil society organizations and business."We need to do a better job of harnessing all of these stakeholders to improve the delivery and financing of education," he said.  


Read more at UNESCO

Post- 2015: framing a new approach to sustainable development

A new international alliance of research institutes has identified eight major shifts that must take place for humanity to achieve sustainable development.


The recommendations come in a paper published today by the Independent Research Forum on a Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, whose members include IIED and other think tanks in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and South America.


The research institutes joined forces to provide expert analysis to inform the on-going international policy processes that will shape both the Sustainable Development Goals (which nations agreed to create at the Rio+20 Summit last year) and the ‘post-2015’ development agenda, which is set to replace the Millennium Development Goals.


Read more at Eco- Business.com

Letter from leading academics addressed to High Level Panel says: Put Inequality at the heart of Post- 2015

A group of 90 academics, economists and development experts have written to the members of the High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda to ask that they put tackling inequality at the heart of any new framework.

Ahead of the next meeting of the panel in Bali next week, the letter says that to eradicate extreme poverty in all its dimensions by 2030, the panel must find a way to reduce vast and increasing inequalities both within and between countries.


The expert signatories include former Colombian minister and leading development economist Jose Antonio Ocampo, Indian academic Jayati Ghosh, Thomas Pogge, a lead thinker in global justice debates and co-authors of the Spirit Level book, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson.


The letter was also signed by Cambridge University’s Gabriel Palma and Andy Sumner from the International Development Institute at King’s College London who have put forward an alternative measure of inequality based on Palma’s ratio between the  income share of the richest 10% of a population compared with the poorest 40%.


Read more at Post2015.org- what comes after the MDGs?

People want new development goals to promote growth for all- UN

The new development agenda to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015, should focus on how countries can achieve growth that includes everyone, going beyond poverty eradication and international aid, according to an early snapshot of consultations with people around the world.

The United Nations launched what it calls a "global conversation" in August last year, and more than 200,000 people from across the world have contributed to a process that will run until May or June.


The United Nations Development Group released on Thursday an initial set of findings, which it hopes will inform a meeting of the U.N. secretary-general's high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda in Bali starting on Sunday.

The report says people still regard the MDGs as "fundamental", not least because they help "channel support to people living in vulnerable situations across the world". But they also see room for improvement.


Read more at AlterNet

UN nominates Ghana to develop sustainable development goals

The United Nations' Organisation (UNO) has nominated Ghana to play a lead role among 30 member-states from five regional blocks, to develop Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be universally applicable, through the Open Working Group (OWG) initiative.

The Rio+20 Conference agreed to launch a process to develop a set of SDGs, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to converge with the post 2015 development agenda.

It was decided that an "inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly," which Ghana is now playing a lead role among the 30 member-states representatives, would be established.

Mr. Ken Kanda, Ghana’s Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the UNO, noted that Ghana considers the role as a duty to humanity and the UNO to develop goals to enhance the assets of the poor and address current global crises.


Read more at GhanaWeb

Towards an exclusive and gendered post- 2015 agenda

UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra participated in a panel on the “Key gender equality issues to be reflected in the post-2015 development framework” on 7 March during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57). The objective of the panel was to solicit the views of CSW Member States and civil society on key issues in the post-2015 agenda.


Mr. Hendra outlined UN Women’s perspective on what a post-2015 agenda that has gender equality and women’s empowerment at its heart might look like. He described the need for the inclusion of a substantive stand-alone gender equality goal that is firmly grounded in women’s rights, based on existing human rights norms and standards, including CEDAW. This goal must be comprehensive, avoid repeating the narrow focus of Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG3), and include the specific gender issues that other goals and targets do not address, such as aim to eliminate violence against women and girls, expand women’s choices and opportunities, ensure their full participation in decision-making at all levels, and include sex-disaggregated targets and indicators.


Read more at reliefweb

We have a voice at the table | Emele Duituturaga speaks with CIVICUS about development effectiveness in the Third Sector

Emele Duituturaga Speaking at the Open Forum 2nd Global Assembly 2Emele Duituturaga (far right), Executive Director at Pacific Islands Association of Non Governmental Organisations in Fiji, sits in a plenary session with other CSO leaders at the 2nd Global Assembly of the Open Forum in Cambodia in 2011. A development specialist, academic, consultant and trainer, Emele has exceptional knowledge of gender and development issues in the Pacific region, having served in senior roles including CEO of the Fiji Ministry for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation and Head of the Pacific Women's Resource Bureau for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Here, Emele speaks with CIVICUS about development effectiveness in Civil Society.

You played an important role in the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness. What are, for you, the key results of this process?
The key results are the collective and unified voice of Civil Society created as a result of a very focused and well-organised global bottom-up process of consultations in over 70 different countries and reaching global consensus on the Istanbul Principles and the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness which we tabled at the Busan HLF4 and got global recognition for. This is truly remarkable.

What do the Istanbul Principles bring to the CSO sector, on top of existing accountability and self-regulating tools?
The Istanbul Principles bring a unifying mission and global consensus of what CSOs value and work for: a mission and consensus which other stakeholders – particularly governments and donors – have now embraced.

CIVICUS alliance to hold open membership meeting with the Board of Directors

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On Monday 8 April 2013, the CIVICUS Board of Directors invites members of the CIVICUS alliance to join and interact with them in an open online meeting.

The CIVICUS Board of Directors will be holding their next regular meeting in New York on 7 and 8 April 2013, and are eager to take the opportunity of being together in one place to reach out to members and strengthen the connectivity and sharing of ideas between the organisation’s membership and Board.

Since the last CIVICUS members Annual General Meeting in September 2012 in Montreal, there have been some key developments in the organisational governance:

Although this virtual meeting does not constitute a formal AGM, it will be an interactive chance for the CIVICUS membership and broader constituency to interact with the current Board, who have served since 2010. After a short report back from the Board Chair, the format of the meeting will be an interactive question, answer and consultation session.

If you would like to take part in the meeting from the comfort of your computer, please RSVP to Carol Baloyi, Membership Officer (E. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; T. +27 11 833 5959 ext. 109) no later than Friday 5 April 2013. Carol will send you the instructions on how to connect to the virtual meeting.

The meeting will take place at 12:00 – 13:30 New York time / 16:00 – 17:30 GMT. To check your local time equivalent, please click here.

Although this is a meeting primarily for CIVICUS members, others are welcome to join the meeting with observer status.

Join CIVICUS or renew your membership here.

Civil society and its environment – Driving sustainable development?

10:00-12:00 am, Tuesday 9 April 2013, at the United Nations, New York
Conference Room 4, North Lawn Building

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations warmly invite you to attend the presentation of findings from the forthcoming 2013 State of Civil Society Report, followed by a panel discussion on the links between an enabling environment for civil society and the successful implementation and integration of key global development agendas.

The annual CIVICUS State of Civil Society Report assesses the health of citizen participation and civil society around the world. This year’s report, to be published in late April 2013, draws on fresh data and research to explore the different components of the environment within which civil society and citizen action during 2012 took place.

The subsequent panel discussion comes at a critical time for global negotiations on the post-2015 development framework, the post-Rio+20 Sustainable Development Goals and the follow-up to the 2011 Busan 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and will explore and sharpen the contribution to sustainable development of an enabling environment for civil society.

The event will also be an opportunity to meet and mingle with the CIVICUS Board of Directors, who will be meeting in New York ahead of this event.

If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Mark Nowottny (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / T. +44 7415 217002) or Sunda May (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / T. +1 212 906 6709) no later than Thursday 4 April 2013. You can view the full programme here.

For those of you not able to attend in person, please be advised that the event will be webcast on the UN Web TV: http://webtv.un.org/.

We look forward to seeing you at this discussion.

CIVICUS logo P M to Sweden       UNDP

Drive for Quality in Global Education Post- 2015

Education experts gathered in the Senegalese capital Dakar this week to discuss what priorities should look like once the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. The conclusion: more focus on quality and how to measure it; on equity and access for hard-to-reach children; and on what should happen during the first three years of secondary school. “We need a goal that encompasses our broad aim of quality education, equitably delivered, for all children,” said Caroline Pearce, head of policy at the Global Campaign for Education (GCE).

The meeting was one of 11 global consultations on the post-2015 development agenda. Millennium Development Goal 2 - to achieve universal primary education - succeeded in pushing up enrolment rates: in 2010 some 90 percent of children were enrolled in primary school, up from 82 percent in 1999, according to the UN. But the goal was narrow and even more narrowly interpreted: it focused only on access to primary education, and implementers tended to judge success by enrolment rates rather than completion rates.

Read more at IRIN

Population dynamics in the post 2015 framework

The Global Consultation on Population Dynamics in the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda recently published its final outcome document: “A Call to Integrate Population Dynamics into the Post-2015 Development Agenda” after its Dhaka meeting in Bangladesh from the 11-12th of March 2013. [Please note: while the titles on the consultation website have not been updated, this is the final document].


It considers population to be a cross-cutting issue, calling for any emerging development framework, goals and targets to be informed by population projections. It will  inform the report of the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP) and the UN Secretary-General’s report to the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
It makes recommendations in relation to health, labour, education and urban planning. It also calls for: capacity building regarding the ability to collect and analyse demographic data; universal  health care including sexual and reproductive health; and encourages the provision of health and reproductive education. It also argues for the elimination of child marriage, and addresses migration, youth and ageing issues.


The outcome document was formulated after a series of consultations, the most recent having invited participants to comment on a draft of the outcome document.


Read more at Post2015.org- what comes after the MDGs?

Africa Wide Consultations on Post- 2015 Development Agenda and Expert Group Validation Meeting on Africa’s Progress Report on MDGs, Tunis, Tunisia, 11- 14 March 2013

The 2015 deadline to the current Millennium Development Goals has led to a flurry of activities on what the post 2015 development agenda should look like. The question is not whether there will be a set of international development goals after 2015, but rather, what the proposed framework will consist of. In effect, should the MDGs be retained in their current configuration with an extended deadline? Reformulated? Or replaced by an alternative framework? Underlying all these is the question of which option is likely to have the greatest impact on poverty eradication in Africa.


At the global level, activities have been initiated led by a UN Task Team coordinated by DESA and UNDP resulting in the report Realizing the Future We Want For All, which whilst reaffirming the Millennium Declaration of 2000, proposes a set of global objectives based on the three concepts of human rights, social development and environmental sustainability. This will constitute one of the base documents to be discussed at a Special Session of the General Assembly on the post 2015 development agenda in September 2013. This same group has also prepared guidelines for consultations at the global, regional and national levels – including thematic issues. These guidelines are open-ended and adaptable to the local context. Furthermore, the Secretary General established a High Level panel on the post 2015 agenda and the appointment of the President of Liberia of Ms. Johnson Sirleaf as co-chair of this panel together with the newly established Assistant Secretary General for post 2015 development planning Ms. HajiaAmina Mohammed provides a unique opportunity to feed the outcomes of the Africa-wide consultations into the report of the High Level Panel.


Read more at Union Africaine

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