ABANTU Commemorates International Women’s Day (IWD)

International Women’s Day (IWD) was, yesterday, commemorated with a stakeholder Consultation in Accra on the theme: ‘Staying on Track for Gender Responsiveness in Post 2015 Development Agenda’.
IWD is celebrated annually to honour women’s advancement while diligently reminding policy makers and critical actors of the continued vigilance and action to ensure that women’s advancement and gender equality become a reality in all aspects of life.

In Ghana, this year’s IWD is on theme: ‘The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum’ while that of the UN is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.

The Consultation, organised by ABANTU for Development, a sub-regional gender policy advocacy Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), in collaboration with Christian Aid Ghana, aimed to create greater awareness and provide a platform for harnessing efforts towards building a momentum in gender equality activism in the country.

Read more at Government of Ghana


Millennium Development Goals: Eliminating Violence Against Women- an Unfinished Agenda

On the 8th of March (tomorrow) we celebrate International Women's Day worldwide to pay tribute to women for their engagement in the development process. Once again we will be celebrating women's day but sure we are called upon to reflect whether we should really celebrate while millions of women are subject to inhuman treatment and violence which is a gross violation of human rights. While violence against women is universal, there is variation in its nature and manifestation across societies at different times, for different groups of women, and even for the same woman at different times in her life. Violence against women (VAW) is also an obstacle to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, despite progress made at the policy and political levels.

In 2013 in our modern world violence against women persists, unabated, in all parts of the world. Intimate partner violence is the most common type of violence against women, but VAW takes many other forms, as well. Violence against women also includes violence in times of war or when governance systems have collapsed ; the systematic use of physical, emotional, verbal, psychological and sexual violence to terrorize and antagonize the whole communities or ethnic groups. It is a scary feature of conflict and oppression that has been acknowledged by development partners.

Read more in LeMauricien.com


ECLAC- Economic Commission for Latin America: Equality and Environmental Sustainability Are at the Heart of the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

Today, authorities from several Latin American countries and international experts opened the Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20 , which is being held from 7 to 9 March in Bogotá, Colombia.

At the opening of the meeting, which is organized by the Government of Colombia and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and attended by all United Nations agencies in the region, participants agreed that a more ambitious post-2015 development agenda was needed to promote growth with greater inclusion, protection, social equality and environmental sustainability.

Read more at 4- traders


Millennium Development Goals Summit

From 29th to 30th of May 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, a Business focused Millennium Development Goals Summit  will be held to encourage increased communication between Government, UN organisations, NGOs and the private sector.

Themed: Sustainable Business Solutions That Deliver Change, this is set to be platform for all stakeholders to share ideas and also learn about new technologies and processes that contribute to the attainment of the MDG Goals. Over two days, the program will move through three broad topic areas…

Read more at The Partnering Initiative


The Declaration of the Millennium Development Goals

More than a decade after the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ample confusion persists regarding their genesis. In particular, many people misunderstand the relationship between the contents of the September 2000 UN Millennium Declaration and the original MDG Targets that were extracted from that Declaration. As recently as 2012, I have heard senior global policy figures state a belief that, “The Millennium Declaration did not establish any quantitative targets. Those were set afterwards.” This is not correct. All of the MDGs’ original formal Targets were established in the Millennium Declaration.

The roots of the misunderstanding probably lie in the U.S. government’s stance from mid-2001, when the MDGs were first used as a policy term, through September 2005, when President Bush first used the words “Millennium Development Goals” in public. During the interim period, U.S. officials would commonly state that, “The United States supports the goals of the Millennium Declaration but not the Millennium Development Goals,” or that “The United States supports Goals 1 through 7 but not Goal 8.” When looking at the actual contents of the Millennium Declaration and the original MDG Targets, neither statement is logical.

Read more at Brookings


The Post- 2015 Development Agenda: What’s at stake for the world’s women?

In 2000, world leaders promised to halve extreme poverty by 2015 with a global plan called the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2015, the agenda will come to an end with uneven results. Civil society activists and representatives, and UN member States, are now discussing priorities for a Post-2015 Development Agenda, and the battle to influence the agenda has begun. At a meeting at the CSW yesterday, members of the Post-2015 Women's Coalition - feminists, women's rights workers, women's development specialists, grassroot activists and social justice organisations - presented their joint effort to influence the post-2015 agenda.

They are asking for it to be shaped and grounded in human rights, asking for gender equality, and demanding that the agenda address structural factors perpetuating crisis, inequality, insecurity and the violation of human rights. They want the new agenda to be developed with the full participation and leadership of women, and to have strong mechanisms for accountability both within countries and at the international level.

Read more at 50.50 inclusive democracy


Strengthening the Pacific Voice in the Post- 2015 Development Framework

Although the Pacific shares a strong sense of vulnerability with other fragile states, it faces its own very specific set of development challenges relating to size, location and unmatched exposure to climate change, ocean acidification, natural disasters, and other external shocks.

Last year, during the Special Body on the Pacific Island Developing Countries at our annual ESCAP Commission Session, I said that Pacific concerns about the collective management of the ocean economy, as a global and regional common good must be incorporated into our regional and global development planning and strategies about resilience, climate change, and sustainability.

We need a mindset change from one which regards our island states as small and isolated, to one which sees them as the custodians of our large ocean of opportunity. I would like to repeat that message today as we discuss the MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda.

Read more at the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific


Nigeria: Health and the World the Want 2015 (part 2)

Last week I wrote on 'Health and the World We Want 2015' and I promised to comment in its part 2 'Health Priorities post 2015', 'Post 2015 guiding principle, goals and targets' and 'Implementation'.

I made reference to the 77 page report titled 'Health in the Post 2015 Development Agenda' that was released end of February 2013 as a result of the global consultation on health sector post 2015.

In the part one of the article I provided insight to the objectives of the health thematic consultation aimed at stimulating wide-range discussion at global, regional, and country levels on progress made and lessons learnt from the MDGs relating to health and also observed some of the weaknesses of the MDGs which do not capture the broader dynamic of development enshrined in the Millennium Declaration, including human rights, equity, democracy, and governance and the lack of attention to equity is widely regarded as one of the most significant shortcomings of the health MDGs and the process was also faulted that led to the emergence of MDGs from a technocratic closed-door process that was poorly specified, influenced by special interests, and lacked a coherent conceptual design or rigorous statistical parameters.

Read more at AllAfrica


Nigeria: Health and the World We Want 2015 (part 1)

In line with the post 2015 health agenda, on February 28th, 2013, a draft report was shared among development workers which reflected an extensive global public consultation, held from September 2012 to January 2013. The 77 page report is titled 'Health in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.'

As a rider to the issue in July 2012, the UN Secretary-General convened the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to advice on the global development framework beyond 2015. The Panel is co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and it includes leaders from civil society, the private sector, and government. Realizing the Future We Want for All is being used to help frame the work of the Panel, which will submit its report to the UN Secretary-General in the second quarter of 2013.

According to the draft report the Task Team for the Global Thematic Consultation on Health is co-led by WHO and UNICEF, in collaboration with the Governments of Botswana and Sweden, supported by a small secretariat and a UN interagency group that includes OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDESA, UNDP, and UNFPA.

Read more at Daily Trust


Development must be about freedom from fear and freedom from want

Rising inequality, abuses by transnational corporations and the global democratic deficit were key themes at last week's UN consultation on governance and the post-2015 development agenda, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The consultation was one of a series of expert meetings the UN is holding to debate what should replace the millennium development goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.

The demand for "honest and transparent governance" was the second most critical issue highlighted by respondents in the UN's global survey for a better world. Strong demands are being made by civil society for good governance to be viewed both as an issue to be considered across development as well as a standalone target post the MDGs, with clear indicators to measure levels of "participatory democracy".

There is huge pressure from financial institutions, big business and some world leaders, however, to ensure that the primary focus of the post-2015 development agenda remains on economic growth. Many civil society groups view the MDGs' assumption that there can be development without freedom as lop-sided. Although the MDGs have a strong focus on poverty reduction and some economic and social rights, they contain no mention of "good governance" and "Democratic and participatory governance based on the will of people" – both of which were clearly spelt out in the millennium declaration.

Read more at The Guardian


Are we making progress with building governance into the post- 2015 framework?

Momentum is building for governance and accountability issues to have a greater profile in the post 2015 framework, and there is a growing recognition that we cannot afford to ignore governance even if it is politically challenging to incorporate.

This briefing by Leni Wild and Gina Bergh, researchers at the Overseas Development Institute, provides an assessment of some of the main proposals on the table that have been gaining traction in the debate, as well as some potential risks in the direction that these debates are heading.

The research finds that there is a need for greater reflection on some of the developmental functions of governance, aside from particular forms of governance or institutions. Based on this assessment we propose ideas on which aspects of governance could usefully be built into post 2015 goals.

As the UN and partners host their final meeting within the global consultation on governance and post 2015 goals this week, we argue that the approach taken in this area needs to be ambitious. But it must also leave behind the policy prescriptions and blueprints of the past. We need to recast the conversation by opening it up to new actors and debates, and thinking creatively about how to develop targets and indicators.

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


Latin American and Caribbean Countries Assess Progress in the Sustainable Development Agenda

The Government of Colombia and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) will hold the Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20 on 7 to 9 March in Bogotá, with the participation of all United Nations agencies that work in the region.

At the meeting, authorities from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as international experts, will use a regional perspective to review progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda, as well as agreements adopted following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in June 2012.

On Thursday 7 March at 9.00 a.m. the meeting will be opened by María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Relations of Colombia, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, and Heraldo Muñoz, Chair of the United Nations Development Group - Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDG-LAC). During the opening ceremony a representative of the civil society will also address the audience.

Read more at Caribbean Press Release.com


Africa Wide Consultation on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda

Ministers, parliamentarians, policy-makers, members of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Agenda, as well as representatives from civil society, youth organizations and the private sector, will attend the third and final regional consultation to define Africa’s position on post-2015 development priorities, on March 11-12, 2013 in Hammamet, Tunisia. The first sub-regional consultative meeting on the Post-2015 development agenda was held in Mombasa, Kenya (October 1-2, 2012) and the second in Dakar, Senegal (December 10 -11, 2012).

Read more at StarAfrica.com


GSK Position Statement on the Post 2015 Development Agenda

As a science-led global healthcare company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has the opportunity to improve the health and well-being of millions of people around the world. We want to help people live healthy lives regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. GSK is playing an important role in addressing the health challenges of the developing world through innovative partnerships in wide-ranging areas such as R&D, disease elimination programmes, new business models, community partnerships, voluntary licensing and increasing the affordability of our products1.

As we approach the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, it is clear that the setting of clear goals has proven a successful strategy to drive progress, on a defined set of issues that posed the greatest challenge to poverty reduction and human development. The MDGs were simple and measurable as well as broadly understood by all development stakeholders, including the private sector. In some countries, some MDGs have been met ahead of schedule, whilst other countries are not likely to reach the targets by 2015. It is critical that we do not lose sight of completing the MDGs between now and 2015, but it is also essential that we begin to contemplate the next generation of the development framework.

Read more at Global Public Policy Issues


7 principles for the post- 2015 agenda

As ACTION participates in the consultation process for a post-2015 development agenda, I wanted to share some of our key principles for how we would want to see post-2015 development goals be shaped. Let us know what you think in the comments section!

Our Top 7 guiding principles for the post-2015 agenda include...

Read more at Action Global Health Advocacy Partnership


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




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