Water Stewardship Conference to Address Post- 2015 Development Priorities

Marking the critical importance of water stewardship around the world and its relation to the United Nation’s process to define post-2015 development priorities, the CEO Water Mandate will convene a major conference in Mumbai, India. Global and domestic companies, government agencies, civil society groups, academia and the UN will gather to explore complex corporate water management issues and seek to advance effective and equitable solutions.
The discussions in Mumbai will be significant as the world heads towards the post-2015 era, when stresses on planetary boundaries and natural resources are fully tested. The UN has begun a process to develop global Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015. In this regard, the UN Global Compact has been assigned the position to relay to the UN Secretary-General and other UN processes the outputs of the CEO Water Mandate's Mumbai conference that are especially relevant to the post-2015 agenda.


In particular, the Conference on Corporate Water Stewardship and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Drawing from the India Experience will examine the three sub-topics of the UN’s global water thematic consultation: water, sanitation and hygiene; water resources management; and wastewater management and water quality.

Read more at United Nations Global Compact

Key UN expert group looks beyond the Millennium Development

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have remained silent regarding inequalities,” warned today the largest body of independent experts* in the United Nations Human Rights system, while urging the international community to place human rights, equality and non-discrimination, and sustainability at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda.


“Rising inequalities have powerful and corrosive effects; they threaten human development and suggest a trajectory that is contrary to the realization of human rights,” said Michel Forst on behalf the group of 72 independent experts charged by the UN Human Rights Council to address specific country situations and thematic issues in all parts of the world.


During a high-level panel of the Human Rights Council, the expert did note that the implementation of the eight goals to fight poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women, which all UN member states agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015, has so far been successful in lifting millions of people out of poverty and reducing hunger and the number of preventable maternal and child deaths.

Read more at Scoop World Independent News

Lessons from the AIDS response can shape new paradigm for development post- 2015, Michel Sidibe tells UN Human Rights Council

In a high-level address to the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council on 28 February, UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, stressed the crucial importance of viewing the AIDS epidemic through a human rights prism. 

The AIDS response, he said, is inextricably linked with the human rights agenda. If the world is to get to zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths then ensuring rights, social justice, equity and gender equality is vital.


Mr Sidibé stressed that the AIDS response has paved the way for transformative progress across a broad range of rights, providing the engine for achieving the development goals. He noted that “critical lessons learned from the response to AIDS can help to ensure that the post-2015 development agenda puts human rights at its very center.” These lessons include promoting inclusion and participation; providing resources and political space for civil society to drive social change from within; and ensuring attention to the most marginalized.


Read more at UNAIDS

Malawi urged to fight corruption, support post- 2015 development agenda

The National Champion on post 2015 development agenda, former Vice President Dr. Justin Malewezi says it is imperative for Government, development partners and policy makers to assess performance of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the period before 2015 and accelerate their progress in the post 2015 period.


Malewezi was speaking in Mzuzu when he presented a key note address to the public and stakeholders at a day -long regional validation workshop on the post 2015 development agenda.


He said government should be in the forefront to accelerate progress in a bid to shape and develop an inclusive and sustainable post 2015 development agenda, noting that it was now less than two years to the 2015 deadline.

Read more at Nyasa Times

e-CIVICUS Special Issue Commemorating the 2013 International Women's Day

  • Women in civil society: Breaking the glass pyramid
  • Gender justice: The entry point to reforming the Post- 2015 development agenda
  • Highlights from CIVICUS: 13 Women profiled!
  • Nigeria: Women Deliver 2013 Global Agenda for women, girls’ health
  • Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Post-2015 framework
  • Afghanistan's first female mayor proves critics wrong
  • Get Involved: Stop the violence: Speak out for girls' rights
  • Get Involved: Cut it Out Campaign - International Women’s Day, 8 March 2013
  • Resource: SADC Gender Protocol 2012 Barometer
  • Resource: Defending Women – Defending Rights

Read this issue online or subscribe to receive all future issues.

Queen Rania takes part in Post- 2015 Arab Development Priorities Workshop

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah has participated along with a group of leaders from civil society, research institutes and academia from Arab countries in a regional workshop on the Post-2015 Development Priorities for the Arab world. The workshop, which started here on Sunday, aims at discussing the main development challenges and priorities of the Arab world which will help shape the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Queen Rania is one of two members representing the Arab world on the U.N. High Level Panel (HLP), which was appointed last summer by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to help advise on the shape of the Post-2015 development agenda.

The two-day event is hosted by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) in partnership with the King Abdullah Fund for Development and in cooperation with University of Jordan’s Center for Strategic Studies and the Columbia University Middle East Research Center (CUMERC). Participants will submit a summary report of highlights and outcomes to the High Level Panel.

Read more at Petra Jordan News Agency

Midterm Evaluation, Girl Power Program

The Girl Power program is developed under the MFS-II subsidy facility of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and runs from 2011 to 2015. Its main goal is to build capacity in local civil society in 10 countries Bolivia and Nicaragua in Latin America, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Zambia in Africa and Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh in Asia, to support the empowerment of girls and young women for gender equality.


The Girl Power program was developed by 6 civil society organizations in the Netherlands, ICDI, Women Win, FreeVoice (now Free Press Unlimited), Child Helpline International, DCI-Ecpat, and Plan Nederland. These six organizations work together in the Child Rights Alliance (CRA), led by Plan Nederland who is responsible for the implementation of the program and the reporting to the ministry.


Girl Power focuses on four UN promoted thematic areas relevant for MDG 3 and MDG 2: Violence against girls and women, (post-primary) education, economic participation, and socio-political participation. These four thematic areas are addressed in three dimensions: individual, socio-cultural, and institutional.

Read more at Association for Women’s Rights in Development

IFSW makes statement to the UN on the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls

The following statement has been submitted by the International Federation of Social Workers to the United Nations on occasion of the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women:
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) supports the theme of “Prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls” of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) because it is totally congruent with the aims of IFSW.


This association is a global federation of social work organizations in 90 countries, representing over 750,000 social workers (www.ifsw.org).   The goals as are to promote social and economic equalities, promote the dignity and worth of peoples, work toward environmental sustainability and strengthen recognition of the importance of human relationships. We promote social strategies that build cohesive societies and remove the seeds of conflicts (The Global Agenda, 2012). This commitment coincides with the theme of the 57th session of CSW, as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda.

Read more at Association for Women’s Rights in Development

IFRD Online Forum on the UN CSW57 Themes

The dialogue takes place in the form of papers submitted to this forum, which will be posted online and open to discussion.


A compilation of select papers from the Online Forum highlighting experiences, lessons & strategies for eliminating all forms of violence against women & girls will be published and serve as a formal follow-up contribution to CSW57.
To get started, Register and Submit an abstract to the IRFD South-South Exchange Online Forum. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Editorial Committee and posted to the forum.


Read more at International Research Foundation for Development

Will we see real progress in addressing violence against women and girls at the 57th Commission on The Status of Women?

Member states, women’s rights advocates and organisations, trade unions, religious institutions and organizations and human rights organisations will once again gather in New York for the annual two-week long meeting to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide.  Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a recurring theme for the CSW and yet it is not abating. In fact, in some cases VAWG is increasing in both number of attacks and brutality and we continue to see new forms arising.  So what is being done and what are the some challenges in combatting VAWG and how does it relate the post-2015 development agenda currently being debated?


Read more at Association for Women’s Rights in Development

Opening statement of Michelle Bachelet at CSW57: Time for action: Prevent and end violence against women and girls

I am delighted to be here with all of you at this 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. This is not just one more session. This is not just one more year. So much has happened since we last met. The world is watching as we come together to prevent and end violence against women and girls.


Recent events and protests point to growing awareness and momentum. Over the past few months, women, men, and young people took to the streets with signs that ask “Where is the justice?” with rallying cries that say “Wake up!”


Read more at UN Women

UN Women: Culture must not progress on stopping gender violence

Culture and religion must not be allowed to block proposals to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls, the head of UN Women said on the eve of what is expected to be the largest global summit ever convened to discuss the issue.


Michelle Bachelet said the 57th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which sits for two weeks in New York from today, should send a clear message that custom and tradition could not stand in the way of progress.


"I know there are a lot of sensitivities and we need to ensure that cultural sensitivities are reflected, which is something that always comes into discussions in the UN. We do understand, and respect and believe in country ownership in every issue and want everyone to feel represented.


"But having said that, this is a universal issue and there is no culture or religion that should accept this. I feel there is a clarity that we have to have a positive outcome document to move things forward," Bachelet told the Guardian.

Read more at The Guardian

UNESCO organising debate on future of education in the post- 2015 development era

Youth, government representatives and civil society organizations from across the Asia-Pacific today debate the future of education in the post-2015 development era. The two-day regional thematic consultation (28 Feb-1 Mar 2013) hosted by UNESCO Bangkok, UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific (EAPRO), and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) is part of an international movement to review the Millennium Development Goals and strengthen global commitment toward human development and poverty reduction.


The United Nations has helped to launch this international movement to foster broadbased, open and inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders to define the post-2015 development agenda. This involves global thematic consultations around 11 themes, one of which is education.


This thematic consultation on education is co-led by UNESCO and UNICEF, which have set up a regional Task Team to help ensure that voices from the Asia-Pacific region are included in global discussions.


Read more at India Education Diary.com

Sudan Selected to Shape the Global Development Agenda

Representatives of the Government of Sudan, Civil society, academia, media, INGOs and the United Nations met today in Khartoum to discuss the background paper prepared by a group of national experts  on Sudan views for the post 2015 global development agenda.

The main purpose of the background paper is to harness the process of the consultations and provide an overall thematic guidance on critical national development needs, aspiration and agenda in Sudan at both national and state levels.

Sudan is one of over 50 countries selected to set the global development agenda beyond 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Addressing the opening session of today’s meeting, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari said “the consultations process represents a significant momentum for Sudan to take advantage of the strengths of diversity for  better development planning.”


Read more at Sudan Vision

Pacific issues featured in International Conference in Dili, Timor- Leste

Fiji is participating at the “International Conference on the Post-2015 Development Agenda- Development for all: Stop conflict, build states and eradicate poverty” in East Timor.


The three day meet was officially opened today by the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, H.E Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.
Preliminary roundtable discussions by Pacific leaders and government ministers began yesterday, where Fiji was represented by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. In that meeting, Pacific leaders focused on issues that matter most to island states, with a view to formulate a development agenda for post-2015.


Amongst the issues discussed, five were identified as crucial to Pacific states. They are inclusive of economic growth, environmental (including climate change) and natural resource management, state effectiveness, peace and justice and improving social services.


Read more at The Jet

New Development Goals for a New World

International aid or development assistance programs have been around for about 60 years.  They grew out of the post-WWII reconstruction effort in Europe and developed over the course of the Cold War, in support of decolonization and then greater equality between the “First” and “Third” worlds.


For most of this period, the paradigm of international development has been understood as consisting of three elements: “Developed”, “developing”, and “least-developed” countries (LDCs), identified on the basis of GDP or other basic measures of per capita consumption that eventually became the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI).


The ultimate expression of this paradigm can be found in the creation of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) framework.  In the broadest sense, the MDG framework is an internationally coordinated endeavour that involves the adoption and implementation of national poverty reduction programs with common goals by 100 developing countries, and the provision of political and financial support for this agenda by donor countries and other aid agencies.


Read more at Canadian International Council

Caste inequalities recognised in post- 2015 development agenda

As the discussion on how to take the global development agenda beyond the original Millennium Development Goals intensifies, IDSN recommends that issues related to caste discrimination be included in this important framework.
An extensive global public consultation on the post-2015 development agenda, led by UN agencies over a period of five months, has recognised caste discrimination as a source of inequality.


Among the key messages listed in the report from the Global Consultation on Inequalities was that "inequalities are often closely associated with and reinforced by specific forms of discrimination, including in the social, legal and cultural spheres." Examples mentioned include "discrimination related to caste."

Read more at International Dalit Solidarity Network

International Conference on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda begins in Dili

In the next days over two hundred people will fly into Timor-Leste to discuss the World Development Agenda for 2015 and beyond. Delegates attending will represent more than 45 countries around the globe and include the President of Kiribati, His Excellency Anote Tong, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Gordon Darcy Lilo, chairman of the Group of 77, Foreign Minister of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and many other Ministers of Government. Academics and leaders in development will also visit to make their contribution to this important discussion.


The special envoys of the President of Indonesia, the President of Liberia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will attend and report back to these three leaders who are the co-chairs of the Panel advising the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. A video message to convention delegates from the Secretary General will be played during the opening session.


We have a special friendship with many of these visitors to our shores as they are from our g7+ family. Others are close to us as they are our regional neighbours from the Pacific Islands with whom we share much in common.

Read more at Government of Timor- Leste

CIVICUS alliance examines the human rights situations in China, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria

CIVICUS makes interventions for the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which scrutinizes each country's human rights record every four years. For the 17th session of the UPR, CIVICUS has examined the freedoms of expression, association and assembly in China, Jordan, Mexico and Nigeria. In the run-up to each country's review in October 2013, CIVICUS’ submissions to the UPR working group outline concerns relating to the environment in which civil society organisation and human rights defenders operate in, and discusses the threats they face.

In China, CIVICUS is concerned by the highly discriminatory registration requirements for civil society groups and the limitations on civil society organizations’ contact with international groups and access to foreign funding. In Jordan, CIVICUS’s joint submission with the Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies examines the worrying crackdown on news websites and reports that protesters have been tortured in detention. In Mexico, CIVICUS gravely notes the setbacks experienced by labour unions since 2009 and the rise in acts of violence and intimidation committed by state and non-stake actors against civil society members and staff of Civil Society Organisations. In Nigeria, CIVICUS analyses the Government attacks and attacks from militant groups on journalists and civil society actors.

The People’s Republic of China Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 17th Session of the UPR Working Group

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 17thSession of the UPR Working Group

The United Mexican States Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 17th Session of the UPR Working Group

Federal Republic of Nigeria Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 17th Session of the UPR Working Group

High- Level Global Consultation on Post- 2015 Development Agenda Kicks off in South Africa this week

Matters of Governance and the post 2015 Development Agenda shall come into scrutiny mid- this week at a high-level African Thematic Consultation taking place in Midrand - Johannesburg, South Africa.   The Consultation organised by the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) takes place on February 26-27, 2013. Prof Amos Sawyer, the Chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and former President of Liberia, is expected to open the two-day Consultation.


In attendance are key African leaders and eminent personalities.  Among the leaders are former Presidents, H.E. Festus Mogae of Botswana, H.E. Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Ghana’s Jerry John Rawlings and H.E. Joachim Chissano of Mozambique.   Others are Republic of Mozambique’s Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Alberto Vaquina and his counterpart from the Kingdom of Lesotho, Rt. Hon Motsoahe Thomas Thabane. The Secretaries General of the SADC, COMESA and the President of the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU) are also expected to be in attendance.

High ranking government officials from the EAC Partner States and the continent have also been invited.  The aim of the meeting is to bring together the African experience on governance so that this may inform the new global development agenda.

Various related topics shall be discussed.   The topics shall delve into the state of democratic governance as envisaged by the African Union, roles of various stakeholders including Parliamentarians, academia and civil society in the development agenda and financing sustainable development – post 2015.


Read more at East African Legislative Assembly

Nigeria: The Euphoria of Post- 2015 Health Agenda

Many developing countries including Nigeria are not on track to achieve the health MDGs in reducing maternal death by 75% and reducing child death by about 66% by 2015. In many poor nations health service utilization remains low due to poor and inadequate human resources, essential drugs and equipments. Some critical barriers observed are; low funding to health sector as many nations could not achieve the Abuja declaration of allocating 15% to health sector. The recommendations of the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability and commission on life saving commodities are far from actualising in many developing nations.


The commissions emerged from the Every Woman, Every Child initiative of the United Nation which aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. It is an unprecedented global movement that mobilises and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world. The effort puts into action the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, which presents a roadmap on how to enhance financing, strengthen policy and improve service on the ground for the most vulnerable women and children.


Read more at Daily Trust

National Dialogue on Post- 2015 Development Agenda to be launched today

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the UN system in The Gambia and other stakeholders will today, Tuesday 26th launch the National Dialogue on Post 2015 Development Agenda at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau.


The one day launching will also feature discussions on the post Rio+20 Conference outcomes.
In a letter sent to the Daily Observer, the UNDP resident representative, Izumi Morota-Alakija, indicated that during the conference, the global community reaffirmed its common vision that poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge facing humanity and an indispensable requirement to sustainable development.


Read more at Daily Observer

Award to inspire communities in poverty eradication

As part of a campaign to spur further action in poverty eradication and health development goals, the office of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s special envoy for the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) launched what it called the Indonesia MDG Awards.

The President’s special envoy for the MDGs, Nila Djuwita Anfasa Moeloek, said on Monday that the award would be given to participants ranging from local government, non-governmental organizations, youth organizations and private companies for their efforts in making programs in four different areas: the health of mother and baby, nutrition, access to clean water and HIV/AIDS.

Nila said that 600 participants had so far registered with her office.

“The award will be given to those who apply best practices in helping to develop the community,” Nila told The Jakarta Post on Monday. She said that the awards would also go to organizations that succeeded in programs to reduce the level of poverty over three consecutive years.


Read more at The Jakarta Post

Pencerah Nusantara to boost progress on MDGs: Envoy

Ufara Zuwasti from the office of the special envoy to the President of the Republic of Indonesia for the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) said on Monday that the office was gearing up for significant progress toward achieving the MDG targets as there were only two years left ahead the 2015 deadline.


She said that Pencerah Nusantara was one of programs the office was currently working on to improve the health of local people, particularly those who lived in remote areas.


“For the first year, volunteers in the Pencerah Nusantara program will focus their activities on developing a database on local demographics. The data will include the status of people's health, education, employment and others factors pertaining to local people,” said Ufara on the sidelines of a visit to The Jakarta Post offices.

Read more at The Jakarta Post

Nigeria Consultations on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

With less than three years to the deadlines in achieving the MDGs, the United Nations and state parties to the Millennium Declaration are putting various processes in place to evolve a successor framework which will reflect the views of people across divides and proffer solutions to current and emerging development challenges. At international level, the Secretary‐General (SG) established a post‐2015 UN Task Team, co‐chaired by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The UN will also be conducting series of thematic consultations with partners. At national level, there will be national consultations aimed at gathering public opinions on the shape of the successor framework to the MDGs. Towards this end, the UN, Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders have developed a National Consultation Plan to guide the mobilisation of stakeholders to contribute in discussions in reviewing the MDGs and towards framing a successor framework to the MDGs. The consultations will seek the views of NGOs, community‐based organisation, universities and research institutions, private sector entities, interest groups (trade unions, employers’ organisations, advocacy groups), and political decision‐makers on development options and strategies necessary for human and social advancement. The consultations are set to hold on the 18th and 19th of February 2013. These consultations shall revolve around the following themes:

Read more at IOM

UN deputy chief addresses millennium development goals, Korean Peninsula issues

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on Friday called for efforts to improve maternal health and sanitation issues around the world.


Eliasson said at a press briefing held during his ongoing China visit that the UN's millennium development goals are expected to be achieved by 2015, although two of the goals will require substantial effort to achieve.
"One is maternal health. There are far too many women who die in childbirth around the world with a lack of midwives and a lack of facilities when they are giving birth," he said.


He cited a lack of water and sanitation as the second goal that will be difficult to reach.


Read more at China.org.cn

Inequalities Consultations Culminate on Public Dialogue Leadership Meeting

The Public Dialogue and Leadership Meeting on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda have taken place in Copenhagen, Denmark, to review the final report and findings of the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Chairpersons’ summary will be circulated to the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP) and the other post-2015 global thematic consultations.


Co-hosted by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women and the Governments of Denmark and Ghana, the Public Dialogue was held on 18 February and the Leadership Meeting on 19 February 2013.


The public dialogue included three interactive discussions that focused on: the impacts of inequalities impacts of inequalities; the different dimensions of inequality that should be of greatest concern, the synergies among them and the common factors that drive and sustain them; and the most effective ways to address inequalities and their driving factors in a new development agenda, as well as ways to assess and measure progress on reducing inequalities in the years ahead.

Read more at Sustainable Development Policy & Practice

In Post- 2015 Debate, a Call to Mainstream Disaster Management

A key player in drafting a new global development agenda has joined the call to “mainstream” disaster management post-2015.
 
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono kicked off a two-day meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday (Feb. 19) by urging the international community to better incorporate disaster management in its planning. Yudhoyono co-chairs a high-level panel tasked by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with crafting a set of development priorities to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015.
 
“We must safeguard Millennium Development Goals gains from setbacks from natural disasters,” said Yudhoyono, one of the first heads of state to transform the international blueprint for disaster risk reduction into a national plan following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated parts of Indonesia.
 
Jordan Ryan, U.N. assistant secretary-general and director of the U.N. Development Program’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, praised Indonesia as a role model for others eager to connect disaster management with political solutions to conflict.
 
Read more at devex

High- Level Dialogue on Health in the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

The High-level Dialogue on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda is part of a United Nations led global conversation as to what development goals the global community should set after the 2015, the date set for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.


About 50 senior officials and experts are due to attend: Heads of United Nations agencies, including the WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Anthony Lake, and ministers of health from a number of countries as well as representatives from the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on Post-2015 development planning, global health partnerships, the private sector, civil society organizations and academia.


The Dialogue is the culmination of six months of face-to-face and online consultations reaching out to Member States, civil society, academics, and the private sector. A synthesis report has been prepared from three sources: background papers, the more than 100 papers submitted during the web-based consultation, and reports from the different stakeholder meetings, e-surveys and e discussions. The report is now available online for comments at public comments.


Read more at World Health Organization

Ahmad Alhendawi, newly appointed UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, on his new role

On 15 February 2013, the newly appointed Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, was sworn in at United Nations (UN) headquarters. A native of Jordan, the 29-year-old Alehndawi comes to this position with extensive experience working on youth issues at the local, regional and international level. On his second day in this new position, Mr. Alehndawi spoke with UNICEF’s podcast moderator Femi Oke about his role and the post-2015 development agenda.


The Secretary-General has identified “working with and for women and young people” as a major focus in his five-year action agenda.  In this context and as the Envoy on Youth, Mr. Alhendawi will work to address the needs of young people all over the world. Mr. Alhendawi is very excited at the opportunity of working with young people in this capacity, making sure that they understand the UN, how to participate and influence its programs and vice versa. “I will be acting as a bridge for young people to have their voice heard at the UN system…this is a golden moment for development in general and for young people to influence the new development framework, ” he said.

Read more at UNICEF

Own the Goals: What the Millennium Development Goals Have Accomplished

For more than a decade, the Millennium Development Goals -- a set of time-bound targets agreed on by heads of state in 2000 -- have unified, galvanized, and expanded efforts to help the world's poorest people. The overarching vision of cutting the amount of extreme poverty worldwide in half by 2015, anchored in a series of specific goals, has drawn attention and resources to otherwise forgotten issues. The MDGs have mobilized government and business leaders to donate tens of billions of dollars to life-saving tools, such as antiretroviral drugs and modern mosquito nets. The goals have promoted cooperation among public, private, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), providing a common language and bringing together disparate actors. In his 2008 address to the UN General Assembly, the philanthropist Bill Gates called the goals "the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that I have ever seen."

Read more at Brookings

The Millennium Development Goals and Gender Equality

The Millennium Development Goals are a UN initiative of eight goals to be achieved by 2015. As the deadline approaches, it is clear that they will not be achieved. I argue that the primary reason for this is the lack of progress in gender equality- that is not ‘gender’ in the strictest sociological terms, but rather based on biological sex. Women and girls are still ignored by most development policies and charities, and when excluding half of the world’s population successful development is not possible. The Goals will fail, and women and girls will still be ignored unless those committed to development acknowledge that culture-shift is necessary and make tangible plans to ensure gender equality.


Gender equality is culturally difficult to achieve because every culture has issues with inequalities between males and females that begin at birth and are reinforced throughout life. The fact is that countries with (at the very least) formal gender equality have better economies, better human rights, lower crime rates, and better lives generally for the majority of the population.


Read more at The New Political Centre

Millennium Development Goals Not Lost, Says Yughoyono

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on Indonesians not to write off the country’s hopes of achieving the United Nations-mandated Millennium Development Goals.

“I’m asking you not to be hasty in judging the country’s development progress as a failure,” he said on Wednesday at the opening of a meeting on post-MDG goals.

“I hope that people can be more realistic. It is true that there are many perspectives and theories on how development should be, but putting those into practice is a different thing.”

Yudhoyono said that development strategies and policies continued to evolve and therefore it was not easy to measure the country’s progress.

“Development is continuously growing. The essence is that all nations are going through their own development processes and can’t be compared to another nation in that regard,” Yudhoyono said.

Read more at Jakarta Globe

 

Why Language Matters for the Millennium Development Goals

“It is increasingly being recognized that progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is not happening equitably. Many of the low-income communities in which more progress is needed live in complex language situations. Choosing the best language in which to engage with these marginalized communities is key to achieving the remaining MDGs.


In the most challenging contexts for the MDGs, many people do not speak a national or international language. Yet, when development initiatives in these contexts are implemented in people’s first languages, communities often create appropriate, sustainable solutions. This 6 page briefing document outlines how the use of people’s first languages helps communities choose appropriate solutions to make sustained progress towards each MDG.”


Read more at e- Library UNESCO Bangkok

Give grassroots group a real say on what comes next in development

For 13 years international development policy has rested on a set of goals written in "relative casualness". So casual was the manner of the small team working out of a basement office of the UN in New York that they initially "forgot" to include an environment goal – what became millennium development goal (MDG) seven on environmental sustainability.


Those targeted by the MDGs, and from 2015 by their successor when the MDGs expire, do not forget the importance of the environment. More than 100 million people could die by 2030 from the impact of climate change without an immediate shift in our consumption and production. According to a report commissioned by 20 governments, 90% of those deaths would be in developing countries.


Read more at Poverty Matters Blog

UN calls on countries to ensure access to water and sanitation in development agenda

The United Nations and its partners today called on the international community to prioritize ensuring access to water and sanitation to vulnerable populations in the ‘post-2015’ development agenda, stressing this would help combat inequality and promote human rights and sustainability.


“The future development agenda must aim at tackling the most persistent of all challenges: inequalities in access to essential services to realize people’s rights,” the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, the Government of Finland and Water Aid, said in a joint press release.
“Crucially, among these essential services, it must aim for every person to have equal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Special attention should be given to women and girls, who are disproportionately affected by the lack of these services.”


The group stated that countries must build on the lessons learned working towards the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are set to expire in 2015. The eight MDGs set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development.’


Read more at UN News Centre

Justice and Development: Challenges to the Legal Empowerment of the Poor

We have made great strides in reducing poverty and enabling human development. Ever since poverty trends began to be monitored, the number of people living in extreme poverty and poverty rates declined in every developing region, including in sub-Saharan Africa. The global poverty rate at $1.25 a day declined in 2010 by less than half the 1990 rate. The first target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—halving the extreme poverty rate to its 1990 level—will have been achieved at the global level well before 2015.

Yet, while overall poverty has been reduced, we face considerable challenges in human development today, largely shaped by growing inequalities within countries.2 Bad governance, poor health, low quality in education, the impact of climate change and environmental degradation continue to be the catalysts for universal poverty. As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated: “Poverty is not simply the lack of material goods and opportunities such as employment, ownership of productive assets and savings. It is also the lack of intangible assets and social goods, such as legal identity, good health, physical integrity, freedom from fear and violence, organizational capacity, the ability to exert political influence, and the ability to claim rights and live in respect and dignity.”


Read more at UN Chronicle

Improving Education Governance and Financing: A Bigger Role for the Private Sector

What are the key obstacles in financing education? Who should be held accountable for ensuring that children receive a good quality education? These questions are at the heart of the debate going on in the post-2015 development agenda’s Global Consultation on Education, which is wrapping up this week. With a massive financing gap of $16 billion per year needed to achieve education for all by 2015, it is clear that more funding is needed. But increased financing is only one part of the equation: more effective and equitable aid is the other. Ensuring more effective aid isn’t a question of a public or private financing, but of working smarter and more collaboratively to bring the lessons of what works and what doesn't in both the public and private systems to the poorest of the poor, to places where neither government nor market approaches on their own are solving the education crisis.

Read more at Brookings

Q & A: Building a Post- 2015 Global Development Agenda

As the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, different United Nations agencies are beginning to discuss what the post-2015 Development Agenda will encompass.


The United Nations (U.N.) entity for women, U.N. Women, has been tasked along with the United Nations Children's Fund(UNICEF) to lead consultations on the topic of inequalities, which can be based on anything from gender and sexual orientation to race or socioeconomic status. Written submissions, e-discussions and an advisory group helped inform these discussions.


The consultations discussed gender equality and gender-based violence, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI), persons with disabilities, economic inequalities, indigenous peoples, young people, urban inequalities and minorities.


IPS correspondent Mathieu Vaas spoke with Saraswathi Menon, a senior manager at U.N. Women, about the post-2015 Development Agenda and what possibilities it may offer to fight inequality around the world.

Read more at Independent European Daily Express

Request for proposal: Design, development and technical maintenance support for the new CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) online platform (extended)

1a.       About CIVICUS

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS has a vision of a global community of active, engaged citizens committed to the creation of a more just and equitable world.

1b.      About CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness CPDE

Following civil society’s participation to the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea, and key role in shaping the multi-stakeholder outcome agreement, the two global CSO processes involved in aid effectiveness have mobilized to better respond to the emerging post-Busan development agenda.

Over the past year, BetterAid and Open Forum facilitated CSO consultations worldwide regarding the mandate and structure of a new and unified global platform for civil society development effectiveness work. This consultation process has come to a conclusion this December 2012, when the Global Council of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) met in Nairobi, Kenya, to finalize the new civil society strategy and working arrangements in the post-Busan reality.

The CPDE will act as the collective successor of BetterAid and Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, and will unite CSOs from around the world on the issue of development effectiveness, particularly in the context of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (BPd) and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC).

Request for proposal: Design, development and technical maintenance support for the new CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) online platform

1a.       About CIVICUS

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS has a vision of a global community of active, engaged citizens committed to the creation of a more just and equitable world.

1b.      About CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness CPDE

Following civil society’s participation to the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea, and key role in shaping the multi-stakeholder outcome agreement, the two global CSO processes involved in aid effectiveness have mobilized to better respond to the emerging post-Busan development agenda.

Over the past year, BetterAid and Open Forum facilitated CSO consultations worldwide regarding the mandate and structure of a new and unified global platform for civil society development effectiveness work. This consultation process has come to a conclusion this December 2012, when the Global Council of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) met in Nairobi, Kenya, to finalize the new civil society strategy and working arrangements in the post-Busan reality.

The CPDE will act as the collective successor of BetterAid and Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, and will unite CSOs from around the world on the issue of development effectiveness, particularly in the context of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (BPd) and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC).

New Lancet Series: NCDs and the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

The global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is one of the biggest threats to international health and development, confirms a major new Series in the Lancet today. These diseases – cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease and diabetes – are the most common cause of death and disability, accounting for 54% of all disability and 65% of deaths worldwide. Rising fastest in low- and middle-income countries and impacting disproportionately on disadvantaged communities; NCDs are threatening human and economic development.


Produced by some of the world’s most eminent scientists and academics, including from within the NCD Alliance civil society network, the Series provides the evidence for NCDs as a development issue and proposes cost-effective interventions to accelerate progress and avert millions of deaths worldwide. The Series highlights the urgent need to include NCDs in the post-2015 development agenda and the new development goals being devised over the next 2 years by governments and the United Nations (UN).

Read more at The NCD Alliance

Lag in Millennium Development Goals

The unachieved goals include poverty alleviation, improving literacy rate and ratio of girls in schools, bringing down infant and maternal mortality ratios, improving access to water and sanitation and funding of social sector programmes. The government has projected 16 targets and 33 indicators for achieving the MDGs latest by 2015.
These disclosures came from the UNDP draft report on key messages. The report will be submitted to the UN Development Group by March 30, 2013, which will then become part of inter-government processes for consultation in June-July 2013 before presenting it in General Assembly in September.

Read more at DAWN.com

The (Tangled) Road Map to September’s UN General Assembly Meeting on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

Preliminary results from a global survey asking people to choose the most important issues for a better world reveals education is at the very top of the list. While the survey’s online response to date has been dominated by respondents from high Human Development Index (HDI) countries, people from over 183 countries – including both low and medium HDI countries – ranked “a good education” as the highest priority, above other issues such as better healthcare, access to clean water and sanitation or better job opportunities. A summary of the findings was presented to the U.N. secretary-general’s High Level Panel last month during their meeting in Monrovia, Liberia. This global My World survey is ongoing, and a second summary of the results will be presented at the next High Level Panel meeting in Bali at the end of March. Ultimately the results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda.


But does this global prioritization among citizens guarantee a strong focus on education within the post-2015 development agenda? Not necessarily, since the roadmap to a debate on the agenda in the United Nations General Assembly this September – and beyond that to the eventual agreement on what the agenda will actually include in September 2015 – is much less clear. The United Nations Foundation has produced a useful graphic about this multilayered process:

Read more at Brookings

Public Dialogue and Leadership Meeting on Addressing Inequalities in the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

The Public Dialogue and Leadership Meeting on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda took place from 18-19 February 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Co-hosted by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women and the Governments of Denmark and Ghana, these meetings were the culmination of the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda and were held to review the final report and findings of the consultation.

The public dialogue, held on the first day, included three interactive discussions that focused on: the impacts of inequalities; the different dimensions of inequality that should be of greatest concern, the synergies among them, and the common factors that drive and sustain them; and the most effective ways to address inequalities and their driving factors in a new development agenda, as well as ways to assess and measure progress on reducing inequalities in the years ahead.
 

Read more at iisd Reporting services

Panel discussion: Towards a disability- inclusive post- 2015 development framework: Regional Perspectives

The United Nations General Assembly will hold a High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development with the overarching theme “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”. The meeting will take place at the level of Heads of States and Government on 23 September 2013, at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The High-level Meeting is expected to result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document, which would enable the international community to advance a disability-inclusive development agenda, in alignment with existing international commitments.

The Secretary General’s report submitted to the 67th session of the General Assembly discussed on-going progress made in the implementation of the MDGs in policies and programmes related to persons with disabilities and provided recommendations on priority areas for inclusion in the outcome of the high-level meeting, as well as in ongoing efforts to mainstream disability in the development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.

Read more at United Nations enable

 

Anyim, Okonjo- Iweala to lead talks on post- 2015 development agenda

As part of its efforts to develop an inclusive post-2015 development agenda, Precious Gbeneol, the senior special assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, has announced that her office in collaboration with the United Nations System in Nigeria is organising a stakeholders’ consultative forum.

The stakeholders’ meeting which holds at the Ladi Kwali Hall in Sheraton Hotels, Abuja on February 18 and 19, 2013 will be chaired by Anyim Pius Anyim, secretary to the government of the Federation, while a keynote address will be delivered by Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, coordinating minister of the economy and Member, United Nations High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Read more at Business Day

Health in the post- 2015 development agenda

As the deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, the UN is driving a global consultation around a new global development agenda post 2015. The People’s Health Movement (PHM) welcomes the prospect of a global compact which commits to sustainable and equitable development. However, the negotiators will need to go beyond the mere palliation of symptoms to confront the dynamics that are driving widening inequality, avoidable suffering and accelerated destabilization of the biosphere including global warming.

The UN documents on a post 2015 development agenda are neither addressing the looming crisis of capitalism, accelerated by the ascendant ideology of neoliberalism nor the unequal global power relations which both reflect and deepen the crisis.

Read more at Global Social Justice

Promise to mainstream disability in development agenda

The 51st session of the Commission for Social Development concluded at the UN Headquarters in New York yesterday.

The session adopted a resolution pertaining to mainstreaming disability in the development agenda.

In the closing statement, Chargé d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Nepal to UN, Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, said delegates in the session said the government has an essential role in creating an enabling environment to empower people by providing tools and capacity-building opportunities.

Nepal is the current chair of the Commission for Social Development.

Read more at The Himalayan

Challenges of post- 2015 framework

European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik spoke yesterday at the 27th Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme held in Nairobi, Kenya and addressed the critical issues of poverty and sustainability of prosperity. In his speech, he underlined that these are the two most pressing challenges the world faces today and they need to be addressed together by all countries.

As Commissioner Potočnik stated: “Following the pathway to sustainability is a must for all to pursue. Goals will guide and provide stimulus all along that pathway. Goals should be set on a 2030 timescale and address the overarching objectives of sustainable development: poverty eradication, changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns and protecting and managing the natural resource basis.”

Read more at News Europe

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