"A vibrant and independent civil society is an essential ingredient of effective and stable democracy."

Cathy AshtonA vibrant and independent civil society is an essential ingredient of effective and stable democracy. The EU has for many years sought to incorporate the input and views of civil society in its foreign policy.
 
During my mandate, I have ensured that civil society remains a central pillar of our external relations. Civil society organisations are our partners when advocating human rights around the globe or designing programmes for women’s empowerment. Today, we fund a wide array of NGOs and seek the views of civil society organisations both at headquarters and in the field. On my trips overseas, I meet NGO representatives to hear from them how they see political as well as economic developments on the ground.
 
In Brussels, I have sought to ensure that the EU engages civil society in a more systematic way; in 2012, European foreign ministers adopted conclusions on Europe's engagement with civil society in external relations, thus renewing EU policy in support of civil society.

 

Archbishop Tutu joins CIVICUS in demanding justice for missing Laotian activist

Johannesburg. 23 April 2013. Archibishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu joins CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation in expressing deep distress at the disappearance of Laotian human rights activist Sombath Samphone. More than four months have passed since closed-circuit television footage obtained by Mr Samphone’s family showed him being taken away in a car from a police post in Vientiane, Cambodia on 15 December 2012. It is critical that a complete and impartial investigation is carried out into the circumstances behind Sombath Somphone’s disappearance to ensure justice for him and his family.

Following are some additional areas of concern regarding Sombath Somphone’s disappearance and restrictions on civil society activities in Laos.

  • Mr Samphone is the Executive Director of the Participatory Development Training Center (PADETC). A public campaign is underway to demand information about his whereabouts.  Although government officials have denied knowledge about Mr Samphone’s disappearance, serious concerns persist about the lack of a proper investigation into the case and the resulting failure to apprehend the culprits.

     

Call for papers for Sur - International Journal on Human Rights

English | Portuguese | Spanish    

Conectas Human Rights, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, CIVICUS: Worldwide Alliance for Citizen Participation and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development invite scholars and practitioners to submit articles for Sur Journal’s Issue No. 19, to be published in December 2013, with a focus on Foreign Policy and Human Rights.

Sur - International Journal on Human Rights is published twice a year by Conectas, in partnership with and with the support of Fundação Carlos Chagas. It is edited in three languages (English, Portuguese and Spanish), distributed free of charge to approximately 2,400 readers in more than a hundred countries, and can be fully accessed online at www.surjournal.org.

 

Joint Civil Society Submission on Sri Lanka to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)

Sri Lanka currently faces widespread criticism for shocking human rights abuses, past and ongoing. These abuses have been well documented and have twice been the cause of Sri Lanka’s censure at the world’s premiere human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council. The latest instance was the Council’s resolution passed in March 2013 when the body decided to place Sri Lanka under its review for a year. The Government of Sri Lanka nevertheless has been defiant and has shown no significant signs of cooperating with the international community or moving towards accountability domestically.

Read more

 

Joint Submission to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Kingdom of Swaziland

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative would like to draw the attention of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

The Kingdom of Swaziland, the last absolute monarchy in Commonwealth Africa, has been ruled by King Mswati III since 1986. This regime has been characterised by a suppression of fundamental freedoms, in particular, the freedoms of expression, assembly and association remain curtailed. Human rights defenders and especially those who engage in pro-democracy activities, face severe intimidation and threats. Media censorship in the country is widespread and police impunity is prevalent.

Read more

 

New development framework must reduce inequality

The post-2015 framework must bring equal development as new research shows inequality holding back education, nutrition, alleviating poverty, and food security.
Save the Children’s new report “Growing up with the promise of the MDGs: children’s hopes for the future of development” shows that growth does not automatically translate into improved lives for children.


“Children are most vulnerable to inequality because it directly impacts their early development and as a result, their future,” says the report which coincides with the Post-2015 High Level Panel meeting in Bali.


Save the Children Indonesia country director, Ricardo Caivano believes commitment to eradicating extreme poverty will not translate into reality unless there is a clear focus on inequality.
“The UN Panel is in danger of willing the ends but not the means,” he said.


The gap of available income between the richest children and poorest has grown by 35 percent since 1990.


Read more at The Jakarta Post

 

Good governance, key to post- 2015 growth

Is good governance the key to post-2015 growth? Craig Fagan, senior policy coordinator at Transparency International, certainly thinks so. As the high-level meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on the post-2015 agenda comes to a close, he spoke to Devex on how addressing corruption “makes a tangible difference” in meeting development goals.
 
From the recent United Nations My World Survey, “an honest and responsive government” emerged as a top development priority.
 
The results of the survey were delivered to the U.N. High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, who have met for the final time to draw up recommendations for the post-2015 agenda.
 
This is a welcome change in the fight against poverty and inequality, Fagan asserted. Together with Transparency International, he sends this message: that unless corruption is tackled, no significant development for the marginalized and underprivileged sectors can be made.
 
Read more at Devex

 

The role of business post- 2015

As we approach the target date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, discussions on what will replace them are gaining momentum. This week the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 agenda is holding its fourth meeting, focusing on global partnerships. The role of the private sector is high on the agenda.


Businesses have played an important role in contributing to the MDGs by driving economic growth; bringing investment; creating employment and increasing access to goods and services such as health and education. It is the innovation of private enterprise that has enabled the world to eliminate diseases, and transform the way we communicate, travel, and use information technology.


However, businesses can also commit, or contribute to, a wide range of abuses of human rights. Recent global crises – the credit crunch, rising food prices, climate change and social unrest – have shown how businesses are inseparably linked to these problems, more often than not with the power to exacerbate them.


Read more at UNICEF UK Blogs

 

A sneak peek into post- 2015 agenda priorities


In the United Nations’ first wave of global consultations, three priorities have emerged as post-2015 development goals.
 
The priorities, summed up in a snapshot report called The Global Conversation Begins, have emerged from the results of a global multimedia conversation, involving more than 200,000 people in 83 national dialogues across 189 countries.


Read more at Devex

 

Belarus actively involved in discussions on Post- 2015 UN Development Agenda


Belarus participates actively in the discussions of the global development agenda post 2015, Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, said at the nationwide conference in Minsk.

The Millennium Declaration was unanimously endorsed by all UN Member States in 2000. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that define the general framework of development priorities for the period until 2015 has already been achieved in many countries of the world. “Belarus has made great progress. Now the task is to develop the agenda for the future, post 2015," said Sanaka Samarasinha.

The UN representative in Belarus stressed that at the time when the MDGs were developed the consultation process was not as extensive as it is now. “The United Nations is interested not only in the opinion of international agencies, governments, academia, the business community, and public organizations, but also in the people whose opinion had not been previously taken into account in decision-making at the macro-level. We hear from people that the MDGs are good but not enough. Primarily because the MDGs focus more on quantity instead of quality, more on numbers rather than the actual situation. As a result, the numbers conceal the problem of inequality, and this gap is widening. We therefore want to know opinions, suggestions and priorities of the inhabitants of the planet, including those from vulnerable groups,” Sanaka Samarasinha said.


Read more at Belarusian Telegraph Agency

 

 

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

 

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