CIVICUS urges Zambia to guarantee an enabling environment for Civil Society

Johannesburg. 8 February 2013. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation expresses serious concerns on the escalating campaign to silence independent dissent in Zambia, calling on the government to take immediate steps to protect media and civil society freedoms.

A number of civil society organizations advocating for greater civic engagement in Zambia’s ongoing constitution-making process have recently been threatened with deregistration. Moreover, in an apparent attempt to suppress voices critical of President Michael Sata and the ruling Patriotic Front, several journalists and political activists have been arrested on various charges including defamation of the President and operating unsanctioned media outlets.

On 26 December 2012, the Office of Registrar of Societies informed the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), a non-governmental organization established in 1992 to promote and strengthen democratic governance in Zambia, that their registration would be discontinued in 28 days. The letter, which was sent without prior notification, reportedly makes several unfounded allegations of organisational misconduct including “pursuing objectives contrary to the objectives for which [FODEP] was formed” and “failing to furnish [the Office of Registrar of Societies] of such duly audited accounts”. FODEP has since issued an exhaustive response questioning the validity of the Office of Registrar of Societies’ assertions.  

RI’s Reemergence through Summit Diplomacy

Early in February, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will join UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Monrovia, Liberia, in leading the third UN High-Level Panel Meeting for the Post 2015 Development Agenda discussions.

The discussions will continue in Bali in March, before a report is produced for the UN Secretary General in May, to serve as a basis for a new development agenda. Following the meeting in Africa, the President is expected to join the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit in Cairo to address the needs of the Ummah.

Later in 2013, he will join G20 leaders in St Petersburg to discuss economic inclusiveness and development at the premier forum for international economic cooperation.

Read more at The Jakarta Post  

Liberia: This is the time to act! Woods Cautions

Public Works Minister, Samuel Woods, II has told World leaders and partners that Liberians want action now and not words. Minister Woods said Wednesday when he made a welcome and opening remark at the occasion marking the Post 2015 Thematic Consultations on Water on the Margins of the Post 2015 High Level Panel of Eminent Persons that is expected to take place in Liberia.


"This consultation must be a call to action. This is the time to act; our women in the villages continue to suffer the excruciating perils associated with the lack of safe drinking water," Minister Woods said.
According to the Works boss, the growth, survival and development of the Liberian children continue to be impaired by lack of access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation. So "they want action, not words, these consultations must respond to their yearnings."


In furtherance, Minister Woods said, Liberia is eager to demonstrate to the world that it is committed to reforms, and its agenda for transformation is on course. "We want to show progress, we want to consolidate the gains of democratic transition, respect for the rule of law and good governance".

Read more at allAfrica

Youths adopt Post- 2015 Development Vision

Youths from different organizations and communities have adopted a powerful post -2015 development vision in a two-day consultation workshopheld in Freetown.The workshop was organized by Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in collaboration with Restless Development (RD) and Ipasas leading organizations from Sierra Leone to feed into the post Millennium Development Goal (MDG) agenda.


Outcomes from the consultation, according to the organizers, will be contributed to the framework that will be guiding future government policies not only in developing countries but also globally, on the ideas to ensure that any future development would recognize the role that young people play as assets and problem solvers.


One of the facilitators, Moses Johnson from YMCA said that the workshop was for youth to identify the issues and challenges in the MDG and see what gaps and how they could be addressed in the next development framework, which could be set after 2015.


He said young people will look at the MDG’s to see how far they can suggest alternatives that will replace them after 2015, adding that this workshop is among series of processes that various international organizations are undertaking to add youngpeople’s voice to the next development framework.

Read more at Awoko Business

Liberia: Time to Act is Now

"As we discuss, we should not forget that we still have two very important years left to consolidate the gains and accelerate our efforts to achieve the MDGs; in discussing about the future, we cannot forget that the time to act is now and that civil society has a critical role to play", Liberia's Gender and Development Minister has said.


Madam Julia Duncan Cassell told participants of the third High Level Penal (HLP) post 2015 Development agenda civil society preparatory meeting not to concentrate on the post 2015 development agenda, but should renew energy for greater action in the next two years of the climax of the MDGs.


According to her, the credibility of the post 2015 agenda depends largely on goals that are still achievable within the present MDGs.

Read more at allAfrica

UN’s Post- 2015 Development Agenda Under Discussion

On 30 January, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will take part in the second UN panel on post-2015 development agenda.


Mr Piebalgs commented, “the Millennium Development Goals have been instrumental in mobilising the international community towards key targets to fight poverty. As the 2015 deadline is fast approaching, we need to propose a new vision for the world to address key challenges ahead such as poverty, inequality or sustainable development.

The EU will remain at the forefront of this process and I hope to see post-2015 agenda more comprehensive and inclusive. This has to be an agenda that focuses on providing decent life for all people by 2030, irrespective of where they live.”  Moreover, Commissioner Piebalgs added, “I trust that this new framework will pave the way to empowering people so that they can lift themselves out of poverty once and for all.”

Read more at New Europe

Liberia buzzes at latest talks on Post- 2015 Development Agenda Begin

The bunting has been hung, there is a smell of fresh paint at the airport, and posters dotted around Monrovia suggest something big is happening in the city this week.


On Tuesday, the technical sessions of the UN high-level panel (HLP), which has until May to come up with a vision to shape the post-2015 development agenda, began. On Friday the Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and her HLP co-chairs – David Cameron, Britain's prime minister, and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia – are expected to offer a clearer idea of what that vision may be when they issue the panel's first communique.


What is it likely to contain? Job creation is expected to make an appearance. The World Bank's 2013 World Development Report, published last year, said more than 600m new jobs will be needed over the next 15 years, particularly in Africa and Asia. An estimated 200 million people around the world are unemployed, of whom more than a third are under the age of 25. There is concern among leaders about what to do with the "youth bulge" – the young people who have benefited from the millennium development goal (MDG) to get more children into school, but have few opportunities once their education is completed.

Read more at Poverty Matters Blog

 

The Millennium Development Dilemma: What to target after 2015

My country Liberia is about to play host to global leaders and thinkers, including the United Kingdom Prime Minister and the Queen of Jordan, as they discuss what priority issues to include once the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) expire in 2015. I could not think of a better place for this to happen.


Liberia has many lessons to teach on how to ensure past development mistakes are not repeated. The most important of these is the need to tackle corruption head on. We need with a new Millennium Development Goal that specifically calls for greater governance with a way to measure progress - such as access to information targets and open government commitments, a transparent way to follow the money - as well as obligations that specify and measure the enforcement of anti-corruption in each of the goals to fight poverty, hunger, maternal mortality, education and sustainability.


Liberia, which means "land of liberty", was founded by freed and former slaves thirsting for a better future. Yet more than a century of existence has been characterised by conflicts, entrenched public sector corruption and civil wars that destroyed this dream leaving us poor and angry. Our last civil war was in its final throes when the United Nations set the initial MDGs to tackle extreme poverty, hunger, health, equality and environmental sustainability.

Read more at Aljazeera

Minister Georges Chikoti highlights government’s commitment to Millennium Goals

The minister of Foreign Affairs, Georges Rebelo Chikoti, said Thursday in Huambo City that the Angolan government has been working in the last  years to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the increase in school and hospital infrastructures.
 
The minister made the statement at the laying of the first stone for the construction of the Amizade Angola-China School, being built at Lossambo land reserve, situated in the surroundings of Huambo City, at a space of 1.523 square meters.

Read more at Angop Agencia AngolaPress Society

Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015: A Strong EU Engagement

The European Parliament's Committee on Development held a public hearing called "Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015: A Strong EU Engagement" in Brussels on 22 January.


The hearing, chaired by Filip Kaczmarek (EPP), Michael Cashman (S&D) and Keith Taylor (Greens) examined the lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the scope of the post-2015 development framework with a strong European Union engagement.


Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator, presented the lessons learned and declared that, thus far, the MDGs are a success for "defining an explicit human development framework in terms of people's needs." She also stressed that progress has been uneven and must be accelerated especially in maternal health and environment in order to reach the goals in two years.

Read more at United Nations Brussels

Bringing the fight against corruption to the Millennium Development Goals

In a few days, an array of world leaders and thinkers – from politicians to Nobel Prize winners- will meet in Liberia to debate the state of the world’s development and where we are going.


They have been called together as part of a high level panel put together by the United Nations to set out the key priorities that must be tackled if we are to end poverty on the global and local level. In Liberia’s capital of Monrovia, panel members will discuss issues that will succeed those outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which will end in 2015.

When the MDGs were adopted in 2000, they set forth global pledges such as to collectively cut hunger, guarantee gender equality and get all children enrolled in elementary school. These aims grew out of promises outlined in the Millennium Declaration. More than 13 years later, too many of the declaration’s commitments are unlikely to be met. Much of this derailment is seen as the failure to address governance and corruption as part of the priorities- a point TI has been arguing.

Read more at Transparency International

Have your say on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

This January UNA-UK has been asking its members and supporters to participate in the UN’s My World survey – a global initiative allowing members of the public to feed their ideas into the process to devise the successor framework to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


Successfully creating a representative and inclusive post-2015 development framework will depend on the ability of the process to incorporate the views and opinions of people across the world. This initiative, spearheaded by the United Nations, provides a great opportunity for you to have your say in the post-2015 development debate.


The results of this survey will be shared with world leaders as they consider the world's future development priorities following the expiry of the MDGs in 2015.

Read more at UNA- UK

Who’s Talking About the Post- 2015 Agenda?

There are two sessions on the future of the Millennium Development Goals after 2015 at Davos this year - that’s the same number of sessions given to meditation and art walks.  The word ‘growth’ features in 11 of the agenda’s session headings, ‘human’ in 4 and ‘poverty’ gets no airtime at all.  Yet if the World Economic Forum is ‘committed to improving the state of the world’ this critical debate should be front and centre of everything we are talking about.
We have made huge strides in delivering on the MDGs: the World Bank estimates that the number of extremely poor people in developing countries will fall from 29% in 1990 to 12% in 2015; the number of children dying before their fifth birthday of preventable causes across the world almost halved from 12 million to 6.9 million in a decade.


But the world has changed since the MDGs were first agreed: six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries are African and once developing countries like China, Brazil and India have become major figures on the world stage, while historically powerful economies now face cuts and financial uncertainty.


Save the Children recently published our report on our aspirations for this new framework, aiming at (stretch-but-doable) zero targets for absolute poverty reduction, hunger, preventable child and maternal deaths and a zero target for those without safe drinking water and sanitation.  This is all possible, so to aim for any less is unconscionable.

Read more at Save the Children

WHO Executive Board Considers Health in Post- 2015 Agenda

The Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) met to consider a report outlining the framework for developing a health-related component of the UN's post-2015 development agenda. The Secretariat report proposes two interrelated components for a health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): universal health coverage and healthy life expectancy.


The report notes that even though progress towards health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been impressive in many countries, the post-2015 agenda needs to: ensure continuing progress towards these goals; sustain political and financial support; and maintain investment in tracking results and resources. It further states that SDGs should take into account the changing global health agenda, including through: increasing recognition of the social and economic impacts of noncommunicable diseases; a shift towards focusing on means that support health outcomes, such as health as human right, health equity, equal opportunity and addressing determinants of health; and increasing recognition of the mutually beneficial linkages between health and other sustainable development policies.

 

Read more at Sustainable Development Policy & Practice  

 

 

Liberia: Prioritize Women, Children’s Health


Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been urged to prioritize women reproductive health and children malnutrition in the post 2015 development agenda.


Professor Gita Sen said the role of civil society organizations in mainstreaming gender and women issues are cardinal to the post 2015.


Prof. Gita Sen spoke Monday when he served as keynote speaker at the opening of the third High Level Panel (HLP) CSOs preparatory meeting on the post 2015 Development Agenda.


The two-day Monrovia meeting is part of consultations with CSOs jointly organized by the Africa-wide post 2015 working group and the Liberia CSO post 2015 working group, the United Nations Secretariat outreach desk, the UN Secretary General Secretariat and representatives from other southern CSOs networks.

 

Read more at allAfrica

 

 

Mumbai Monolith Epitomises Need for Post- 2015 Agenda to tackle Inequality

Less widely recognised has been the impact of surging inequality on efforts to reach the 2015 millennium development goals. Widening gaps in wealth and opportunity have acted as a brake on poverty reduction and progress in child survival, nutrition and education. Yet inequality remains conspicuous by its absence from the agenda for the post-2015 development goals.


This week's meeting of the high-level UN panel framing the post-2015 goals provides an opportunity to change this. As one of three commissioners co-chairing the gathering in the Liberian capital Monrovia, Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, should be playing a leadership role in making the case for a strengthened focus on equity. After all, inclusive growth and equal opportunity are central themes running through the UK's Department for International Development's (DfID) aid programmes.

 

Read more at Brookings 

 

 

Caribbean Input on the Post- 2015 Global Development Agenda

Since the turn of the century the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have guided global efforts surrounding the eradication of poverty, diseases, gender inequalities and environmental crises. The goals will have reached their target date in two years’ time.
 
As such, the international community is currently in the process of negotiating the global development agenda to be put in place after 2015. In order to capture diverse perspectives on how HIV and health should be reflected in the period after 2015, UNAIDS is hosting an online consultation until February 3rd which is open to all people.

 

Read more at SKNVibes

 

 

Africa to Address Post- 2015 Disaster Resilience Agenda

Governments from over 50 countries in Africa will meet in Arusha, Tanzania from 13-15 February for the Fourth Africa Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (ARP) to address the challenges of building a disaster resilient society.


The Africa region is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting economic growth of 5.25% for sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, a rate that places the region second only to Asia's booming economies and well above a world forecast of 3.6%.


As the countries in this blossoming region continue to develop, this impressive growth could be undermined by exposure to disaster risks and a changing climate. A recent statement "Raising the African Voice" at the Eighth Annual Meeting of the African Science Academies, claims that climate change will impact Africa more severely than any other region in the world and that severe weather events such as droughts and floods are on the increase.

 

Read more at reliefweb

 

 

Pakistan fails to meet Millennium Development Goals

This was stated by deputy country director UNDP Pakistan, Jean-Luc Stalon, at a roundtable discussion on “Consultations on Post 2015 Development Agenda from a Pakistani Perspective” jointly organised by UNDP and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), here on Wednesday.  Dr Vaqar deputy executive director, SDPI, moderated over the proceedings.


Millennium Development Goals: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

 

Read more at Dawn.com Newspaper 

 

 

The Post- 2015 Development Agenda: Time to Learn and Connect

With the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) fast approaching, governments and organisations across the world are looking towards the next step. Introspection is a necessary part of the process as both the successes and failures of the original MDG agenda are being assessed and dissected, providing captivating accounts on both sides. The eLearning Africa news service has been following developments and taking notes.


The areas that have attracted our attention are, naturally, education and ICT infrastructure. Whilst impressive statistics concerning achievements under the MDG2 (achieving universal primary education) are abound, debates are also raging over what these numbers actually mean.

 

Read more at eLearning Africa News Portal 

 

 

Post 2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs


In supporting the implementation of the Rio+20 outcome document on Sustainable Development Goals and the Post 2015 Development Agenda, the  EMG senior officials in their eighteenth meeting in December 2012 agreed to provide a contribution,  within the existing processes and through the frameworks established by the Secretary-General,  providing the perspectives of the UN system agencies on the environmental sustainability dimension of the future development agenda.


The EMG contribution would facilitate the integration of the environmental dimension into sustainable development goals (SDGs), drawing on the information, assessment, and strategic views of EMG members. It would look into how the environmental goals and targets established by the multilateral environmental agreements such as on biodiversity and desertification could be integrated into the future development agenda.

Read more at Environment Management Group  

Global Post- 2015 Development Agenda Initiative (2)

The adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000 by all 189 Member States of the UN General Assembly was a defining moment for global development cooperation. In recognition of the need to translate this commitment into action, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted. Since their endorsement by the UN General Assembly, the MDGs have defined a common framework of priorities for the development community. In September 2010, a High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly convened to review progress on the MDG targets and agreed on a concrete action plan to accelerate progress towards their full achievement by 2015. It also called on the UN System to continue informing the global debate on development and to lead the international discussion on a post 2015 development agenda.


The 2011 Annual Report of the Secretary- General: Accelerating progress towards the MDGs: options for sustained and inclusive growth and issues for advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, lays out the broad principles of the post-2015 process. These include the need to foster an inclusive, open and transparent consultation process with multi-stakeholder participation, and to use established global, regional and national mechanisms and processes to ensure that such deliberations incorporate the lessons learned and experiences from all stakeholders. At the substantive level, the Report recommends drawing on the values and principles in the Millennium Declaration and on a thorough, broad based and inclusive review of the MDGs, which should be put in the context of the global development challenges ahead, as the starting point for the discussion of a new development agenda beyond 2015. 

Read more at United Nations Armenia

Map of the Day: The World You Want, After 2015


The United Nations and partners have launched an interesting exercise to poll the world’s citizens on their top priorities, policies and views as world leaders shape a global development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015.


They are calling this project MY World, and it includes an interactive web page, SMS, platform, telephone and offline survey to target as many people as possible around the world to weigh in on their top priorities. (It’s in all six official UN languages, naturally.)

Read more at UN Dispatch

 

The Battle for Water- Experts take Debate over Global Water Developments Goals to the Web

An inspired Facebook update or a 140-character tweet could play a key role in shaping global development plans.

Over the next few weeks, policymakers are seeking input from the public via social media channels as they craft a sustainable development goal to address global water-management concerns and ensure water is available in the future for food and industrial production, for drinking and for sanitation.

Experts hope the internet-based public water consultation will help them forge streamlined goals for the post-2015 development agenda by building consensus around three main aspects of water management: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); water resources; wastewater management and water quality.

The vox-populi process is part of a broader effort by the United Nations (U.N.) to collate views on 11 overarching consultation topics that would replace the eight anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2000, some of which are likely to remain unmet by the 2015 deadline.

 Read more at AlertNet

CIVICUS appoints new Advisory Group to champion youth participation in civil society

CIVICUS is pleased to announce the launch of a new Youth Advisory Group to promote youth participation across the civil society alliance and throughout its programming.

The Youth Advisory Group, whose initial term will last one year from January to December 2013, have been tasked with helping CIVICUS to mainstream youth across its programmes, with developing new activities and initiatives specifically supporting youth participation, and with building new partnerships and connections across civil society.

During an extensive and open selection process in December 2012 and January 2013, CIVICUS received over 100 applications from youth all over the world, with many high quality applications from outstanding candidates. After a number of difficult decisions, CIVICUS was able to identify the 10 youth leaders who will now champion youth participation in the alliance for the coming year.

The CIVICUS Youth Advisory Group
Alfonso Aliberti, Italy
Sanka Chandima Abayawardena, Sri Lanka
Aya Chebbi, Tunisia
Patrick Mpedzisi, Zimbabwe
Liam O’Doherty, Canada
Bukola Oyinloye, Nigeria
Ivana Savich, Serbia
Ponce Ernest Samaniego, Philippines
Brittany Trilford, New Zealand
Pauline Wanja, Kenya

Click here to read the full profiles of the new Youth Advisory Group

For more information about the Youth Advisory Group, please contact Natalie Akstein at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PH still lagging behind in Millennium Development Goals

The country is still lagging behind in achieving certain Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), specifically in attaining universal primary education, maternal health, but most of all in battling inequality, according to a civil society group.


Leonor Magtolis-Briones, lead convenor of Social Watch Philippines, explained to members of the House of Representatives how far President Benigno Aquino III has taken his “daang matuwid” (straight path) and what the government needs to address as the MDGs draw to a close by 2015.


The assessments Briones made were part of Social Watch Philippines’ report entitled “Breaking Through to Sustainability,” copies of which the group furnished the House of Representatives with on Wednesday.

Read more at Inquirer News

IDC Report: Women’s Participation Key to Post- 2015 Goal of Ending Extreme Poverty, says Volunteers Overcoming Poverty (VSO)

VSO today (22 January) welcomed the International Development Select Committee’s new report on post-2015 development goals, particularly one of its key conclusions: that advancing women’s rights is central to development and must be included in the post-2015 framework.


The International development organisation added that a commitment to tackling gender equality must be a key element of global efforts to end extreme poverty.


VSO Chief Executive Marg Mayne said: “The IDC is right to urge a post-2015 commitment to ending extreme poverty. But we must recognise that tackling the inequality faced by women and girls worldwide is essential if we are to achieve that goal.

Read more at Volunteers Overcoming Poverty (VSO)

The 2013 CIVICUS Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Awards

English | French | Spanish

The 2013 CIVICUS Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards will provide seed funding for innovative ideas emerging from CIVICUS members who attended the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly, and based on the theme of last year’s assembly, “Defining a new social contract – Making the future together.”

The CIVICUS World Assembly serves as the primary point of convergence for excellence – of ideas, perspectives, experiences, partnerships and commitments – aiming at enhancing citizen participation, civil society and civic rights worldwide. CIVICUS wants the World Assembly to be a true learning experience for all the participants, encouraging them to take actions forward.

If you have been inspired by the 2012 World Assembly thematic track on “Building partnerships for social innovation” to initiate a new and creative relationship or dialogue between usually non-connected organisations, actors and/or sectors to bring social change at a local level, we invite you to apply for the 2013 CIVICUS Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Award. This year CIVICUS will fund innovative multi-stakeholders discussions with eight award grants of USD 3,000 each.

Application Guidelines
Please submit your application through our online questionnaire.
Only complete applications will be considered. You may submit in English, French or Spanish.

Read the full announcement in English, French or Spanish.

People and Politics Must be Central to Post 2015 Development Framework Discussions

The UK parliament's international development select committee's report on post 2015 development goals has received a cautious welcome from IDS experts.


In their own evidence to the Committee, IDS fellows stressed that a focus on people and politics is crucial to the success of any new development framework.


Lawrence Haddad said:
"In the race to reach the 2015 finish line for the creation of a new development framework, we must not lose sight of the people and politics that will ensure its success. The select committee report makes some welcome recommendations, including one on how a new framework should reflect the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. The importance of meaningfully involving people in the design and implementation of whatever succeeds the Millennium Development Goals cannot be underestimated. Any new goals must articulate a global shared responsibility which is underpinned by targets that are set according to national priorities and to which citizens can hold their governments to account."

Read more at Institute of Development Studies

Nigeria: Post 2015, 10 Manifestos and Maternal Health

The atmosphere was pensive and highly emotional at the Professor Mahmoud F. Fathalla, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chair of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research was reciting the proposed 10 manifestos for maternal health post-2015.

Some couldn't control it, as tears dropped and the entire hall gave him a standing ovation at the end of the citation. It wasn't an ovation for the respected professor only but an ovation that depicts people's resolve to support the implementation of the manifestos.


It was the closing ceremony of the 2nd Maternal Global Health Conference which took place from January 15 to 17, 2013, with over 800 experts in maternal health that came together in Arusha, Tanzania, to present the latest evidence on improving the quality of care for women during pregnancy and childbirth.


Read more at allAfrica

Draft decision submitted by the President of the General Assembly

The General Assembly, recalling its resolution 66/288 of 27 July 2012, in which it endorsed the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled “The future we want”:

(a) Decides to establish the Open Working Group on Sustainable
Development Goals, in accordance with paragraph 248 of the outcome document;

(b) Welcomes the membership of the Open Working Group as designated by
the five United Nations regional groups and as listed in the annex to the present
decision.

Major Groups Recommendations for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement with the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

As part of the Rio+20 Conference follow up, governments stated that they would establish the 30 member inter-governmental Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by September 2012.


Member States will nominate representatives from the five United Nations regional groups, with the aim of achieving fair, equitable, and balanced geographic representation. In addition, paragraph 248 of The Future We Want, instructs the United Nations “to establish an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process on sustainable development goals that is open to all stakeholders”. Thus, in order to adhere to the requirements of The Future We Want and maximize its effectiveness, the OWG needs to ensure that it has recognized effective and on-going engagement of stakeholders.

 

UK Parliamentarians have their say on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

report on the debate about the development framework to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. The report wraps up the IDC’s ‘enquiry’ on the post-MDGs during which they heard from VIPs like Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Post-2015, as well as a range of academics and civil society actors, including written evidence submitted by the AfGH UK network.

The report is a departure from the usual work of the IDC holding the Government to account on their development work. Here they are informing and shaping the future agenda. There is much to welcome in the report. Critically for AfGH, the IDC has put its weight behind the potential of Universal Health Coverage as an important way to capture different health needs and interests in the next development framework. It notes that this needs to be done in such a way that the current MDG emphasis on maternal and child health is not lost and elsewhere that the vital unfinished business of the MDGs, which includes all of the health targets, is not forgotten.

Read more at Action for Global Health

MDGs: Making your Mark on the Post 2015 Agenda in 2013

Considering the MDGs deadline was still three years away, 2012 was a surprisingly busy year for the post-2015 agenda. We've seen the UN high-level panel (HLP) formed and its first meetings held in New York and London, alongside a flurry of policy talks and UN consultations on what the world wants from any new goals. Whatever happens in the final negotiations, it's already clear that much of the job to keep this agenda on track will have to happen much sooner – starting now.

So 2013 is an important year. It's the year the panel submits its recommendations to the UN secretary general, and the year that the finally established Open Working Group on sustainable development goals (SDGs) sets the direction of its work (with a mandate overlapping that of the HLP). It's also the year that the UN will have to wrap up as many as 11 global consultations to gather wider views on the emerging agenda.

Despite progress we might have made during the MDGs, there clearly remains a big job ahead for post-2015 goals. One which is very different to the one we might have imagined a decade ago when the MDGs were agreed.

Read more at The Guardian

Meaning of David Cameron’s Golden Thread must be untangled, MPs say

The international development committee (IDC) has called on David Cameron, the UK prime minister, to give a "clear and consistent" definition of what he means by the "golden thread" of development as he seeks to influence global policy on poverty reduction.

Cameron's influential role in determining what comes after the millennium development goals (MDGs) in 2015 makes the need for a plain explanation of the term important, the committee says in its latest report.

"The prime minister has defined the 'golden thread' in a number of different ways. We recommend that the prime minster give a clear and consistent definition of what he means by the 'golden thread' in response to this report given its im/portance in his thinking on the post-2015 framework and goals," said the IDC report, which made recommendations on what MPs believe should be considered in the post-2015 talks.

Read more at globaldevelopment

Young People and Inequalities: Recommendation for the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

Leading up to the year 2015, the United Nations and Civil Society are organizing a series of consultations to help shape the post-2015 development agenda. Part of this process is a Global Online Conversation, which provides a platform for people all over the world to share their visions for building a just and sustainable world free from poverty.  The following contribution was made by IWHC to the online thematic consultation on Inequalities, specifically within the sub-discussion on “Inequalities faced by girls”.

Young people all over the world face a range of unique challenges to exercising their rights.  Barriers to age-appropriate health services, meaningful education, and viable livelihoods opportunities are among the most pressing impediments to youth empowerment.

Read more at Akimbo

Uganda: UN Launches Online Debate on Aids Fight After 2015

The joint UN programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, has today launched a two-week online discussion (eDiscussion) to foster debate of how to tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic after 2015.

The thematic consultation is an open and inclusive online discussion targeting individuals, members of civil society, the academia, governments and the private sector to discuss the ways in which the global AIDS response can and should inform the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Read more at allAfrica

Achieving Sustainable Development Post- 2015 will Require Addressing Governance Challenges

Parliamentarians, civil society and academia have repeatedly emphasised the centrality of governance to sustainable development, taking into account capacity development needs of both people and institutions for good governance at different levels, from local to global.

The press conference held at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), discussed a wide-range of issues, including: the current international development agenda, assessment of progress on the MDGs, governance bottlenecks to the achievement of MDGs as well as the need to align the Post-2015 agenda with the needs and aspirations of global citizens. If sustainable development is to be achieved, “there is need to deal with bureaucratic bottlenecks” in our governance structures and systems  said Hon. Ebrahim Abrahim, South Africa’s Deputy Minister in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, is committed to taking a leading role in the Global Thematic Consultation on Governance and in shaping the post-2015 global development framework. Mr. Ebrahim cautioned that as important as it might be, the eradication of corruption alone is unlikely to lead to the full realization of MDGs as it was just “one of the many” governance problems the world is facing today.

Read more at United Nations South Africa

Post- 2015 Development Policy Must Put People at Its Centre

Civic “ownership” of the development agenda post-2015 is essential for ensuring that people in the developing world can lift themselves out of poverty and hunger, a leading development figure has said.


Speaking in the European Parliament on 22 January, Rebeca Grynpsan, UN under-secretary-general and UNDP associate administrator, said that the current UN millennium development goals (MDGs) are largely, “still a success, despite uneven progress”. However, she said that “what is today a success, could be a failure in three years time”.


Read more at New Europ

Update on National Consultations

National consultations for the post-2015 MDG agenda project, Breaking Point are nearing completion. The last in the series takes place in Samoa from 21-24 January.

The Foundation will then finalise all 14 national reports and have first drafts of cross-cutting thematic articles ready for the ‘Advancing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda’ civil society meeting on 20 March in Bonn, Germany and the UN High Level Panel meeting in Bali, Indonesia at the end of March. The aim of the national consultations is to validate and enhance a series of preliminary reports on civil society experience in contributing to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Read more at Breaking Point: The post- 2015 MDG agenda

Pioneer of the Millennium Development Goals

The Light Millennium and the College of Arts and Letters at the Stevens Institute of Technology will jointly present a conference on the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations and their relation to ideals advanced by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), founder of the Turkish Republic.

The conference will be held on April 19th on the campus of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Read more at Nation of Turks

UN Launches Global Survey on Development Agenda

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) has launched a global survey which will provide a more open and inclusive planning of the global development agenda post 2015.


The survey called MY World “The United Nations Global Survey for A Better World” will be available online in bahasa Indonesia later this week.


UNIC director Michele Zaccheo said Tuesday that MY World would allow as many people as possible to voice their opinions. This is a chance to tell decision makers what you want prioritized in the global development agenda post 2015. The survey will give them an accurate global picture of what citizens were thinking about, he added.


Take the survey at http://www.myworld2015.org/

Read more at The Jakarta Post

Post- 2015- Making Sense of the Process

The global discussion on MDG achievement is looking ahead to a post 2015 development framework. But engaging in this conversation can be confusing and frustrating due to seemingly overlapping debates, dialogues and engagements.

GCAP is playing a leadership role in the process globally and we hope to support national coalitions and constituency groups connect to relevant parts of the debate. With this in mind, we'd like to briefly outline some of the primary spaces for engagement, starting with five ways to engage with the post-2015 process…

 

Read more at Global Call to Action Against Poverty

Malawi consults for post- 2015- development agenda

National Chairperson for the Post 2015 Development Agenda in Malawi who is also a former Vice President of Malawi Dr Justin Malewezi told journalists in the capital Lilongwe that as countries approach 2015, there was need for nations like Malawi to provide a platform for debate to analyse and assess inputs and outputs on the global development agenda.

“We are requesting the public to provide their contributions and priorities in areas of education, health, climate change, good governance, gender equality and water sanitation among others,” he said.

Some of the questions include the most important thing for Malawi, what should be improved, and what should be done to improve the quality of life for people over the next ten years.

Read more at StarAfrica.com

Tracking Post- 2015 Opportunities for the Education Sector World Wide

To advance progress for children and youth worldwide, it is critical for the global community to recognize education as essential for human development. As Education For All and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) sunset in 2015, and the U.N. secretary-general launches Education First, the education sector has a unique opportunity to raise the profile of global education goals to ensure access plus learning becomes a central component of the global development agenda.

Online discussions for the global thematic consultations on education in the post-2015 development framework are now in progress, along with countless other meetings and events hosted by civil society, NGOs, development agencies and more. The official consultations, supported by UNICEF and UNESCO, include four phases of e-discussion that are taking place between December 2012 and February 2013 on the topics of equitable access to education; quality of learning; global citizenship, skills and jobs; and governance and financing for education. Each of the e-discussions will run for 2 weeks and each week will have a new set of questions to guide the discussion. Other key events during the consultation process will include a global meeting on education in Dakar, Senegal, on March 17, 2013, and the finalization of a synthesis report on March, 31, 2013 that summarizes input to the online discussions. Opinions gathered will be used directly by the U.N. and world leaders to plan a new development agenda.

Read more at Brookings

Let Your Voice be heard on HIV and the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

The international community is talking a lot about what development will look like post the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Of great concern to UNAIDS/us is making sure that HIV, and the response to it, remain a central feature in the Post-2015 agenda. Why? Because the global HIV epidemic remains one of the world’s leading causes of early death and is both a driver and consequence of inequality and social injustice. The AIDS response has also been a pioneer and pathfinder on many fronts, and the innovation, dynamism, community leadership and global solidarity that characterizes the AIDS movement can make critical contributions to doing health and development differently in the Post-2015 era.

To capture your voices and views on how AIDS and health should be reflected Post-2015, UNAIDS is hosting an online and open-to-all conversation that will be moderated by nine individuals with long-standing experience in HIV and health. This online conversation will run for two weeks, between 21 January to 3 February.

Read more at Global Equity Today

Post- 2015: Aim here

You’d be pretty foolish to propose a complete post-2015 development framework right now, wouldn’t you? What with the High Level Panel still to have their second substantive meeting (in Monrovia, following London last November and with the Indonesian fixture to follow), and the global consultations still running… You’d pretty much be putting up a target and inviting attack, wouldn’t you? Still, hard hats on, here goes!

Save the Children today publishes the modestly titled Ending Poverty in our Generation, which sets out a vision of how the successor to the Millennium Development Goals could look. Rather than try to summarise it here, I’ll suggest reading it instead – but you can get the gist of it from the contents page, which is reproduced at the bottom of this post. And Mark Tran at the Guardian has a very good (and kind!) piece up already.

Read more at ProBlog

UN Post 2015 Development Agenda

In year 2000, the Government of Mauritius has committed itself with the Sates of UN General Assembly towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

A Questionnaire has been designed to gather inputs and ideas for a global shared vision of the post 2015 development agenda.

Following a meeting of the National Coordination Committee of the MDG, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, all Ministries and Departments have been requested to post a copy of the questionnaire on their respective website. This initiative is to support the summit, create awareness and help collect maximum feedback.

Read more at Open University of Mauritius

UN Initiates Consultations in Vietnam for Post- 2015 Development Agenda

The United Nations (UN) in Vietnam has initiated a series of consultations with a broad range of Vietnamese citizens on the new development framework to be put in place in 2015, once the current Millennium Development Goals expire, Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper reported on Friday.

Pratibha Mehta, UN resident coordinator in Vietnam said the UN wants to ensure that a diversity of voices is heard in determining the new development goals post-2015. A wide range of people, including eight target groups, are asked about what kind of world they want.

The national consultations are an excellent way to identify how we can best address the new development challenges we are facing, and how to build a world beyond 2015 where all people can enjoy a life of prosperity, equity, freedom and dignity, said Pratibha Mehta.

Read more at NZweek

2013 Global Human Rights Essay Contest on “Human Rights City”

The 2013 Global Human Rights Essay Contest on “Human Right City” (Hereafter HRC Essay Contest) is a joint initiative  of the Human Rights Center of Seoul National University, the May 18 Institute of Chonnam National University, and the Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF) with support of the Metropolitan City of Gwangju in connection with the 3rd World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) which will be held from 16-18 May 2013 in Gwangju, South Korea.

It is co-sponsored by the following partner organizations; UNESCO Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) - Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Its primary goal is to promote university students and youth participation in the building of a human rights city through the articulation of their visions and experiences of a human rights city. The ideas and proposals contained in the essays are expected to be used for the promotion of a human rights city as a means to localize human rights in the context of glocalization (globalization + localization) and glurbanization (globalization + urbanization), in particular, for the implementation of the 2011 Gwangju Declaration on Human Rights City and the 2012 Gwangju Statement of the WHRCF, Global Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City of the UCLG, and research on local government and human rights of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee (HRCAC).

Three semi-finalists will make presentations and compete for first place on 15 May 2015 prior to the WHRCF in Gwangju, South Korea.

Open Invitation 2013 WHRCF HRC Essay Contest

ToR 2013 WHRCF HRC Essay Contest

 

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