Civil society organisations challenge UN representatives and Member States to be more ambitious in defining a transformative post-2015 agenda.
‘The post-2015 agenda must aim higher.’ This was the message shared by civil society representatives from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Pacific, at an event held during the week of the 69th UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday 24 September 2014, organised by the Beyond 2015 global campaign, and hosted by the Governments of Bangladesh, Colombia, Kiribati and Sweden.
The current post-2015 proposal includes 17 goals and 169 targets to succeed the Millennium Development Goals. These will serve as a universal global agenda for the period 2015-2030.
Around the world, civil society organisations and community groups including those involved in Beyond 2015, are calling for world leaders to aim higher for an ambitious post-2015 agenda.
Particular areas where Beyond 2015 is urging for a higher level of ambition include human rights and equality, climate change, environmental sustainability, people’s participation, and peace and security.
Alessandra Nilo, Executive Director of Gestos, Brazil, said, ‘The framework is still lacking ambition, and needs to go further. Without addressing rights, we do not address discrimination, or access to justice. This is our responsibility to the future.’
Sugeng Bahagijo, Executive Director of INFID, Indonesia, added that higher ambition is needed with regard to peaceful and stable societies. ‘To design good societies, we need to have impartial and just governments which protect human rights.’
On climate change, Pelenise Alofa, National Coordinator of the Kiribati Climate Action Network, noted the importance of reinserting a target to hold global warming below a 1.5% increase. ‘Civil society has a place in implementing this – we are partners. Let’s work together in our international community to solve our problems.’
Beyond 2015 representatives also urged leaders to aim higher with regard to people’s participation in the design, implementation and monitoring of the post-2105 agenda. Rosette Mutambi of Participate, HEPS Uganda, and the Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development, said, ‘People must be given the opportunity to speak for themselves, and this must be based on rights. The success of the framework lies in including poor people in the decision-making.’
UN Member States, including the co-hosts, H. E. Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Prime Minister’s Delegation to UNGA and UN SG’s Climate Summit, Bangladesh, H.E. Kajsa Olofsgård, Post-2015 Ambassador, Sweden and Mrs. Marcela Ordoñez, Minister Counsellor, Colombia, discussed key civil society concerns, including the challenges around streamlining the 17 goals and 169 targets, how to implement the post-2105 agenda, and how to ensure the financial and non-financial resources are available to do so. Accountability was another feature of the discussion, and there was wide acknowledgement that more work is needed on this.
In response to civil society questions, Ms Amina Mohammed, the UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on post-2015 Development Planning, said, ‘I believe in ambition. It is already ambitious for 170 countries to come to an agreement. But I am also a realist. Put what you want in writing. Tell us what more ambition is. Tell us, and we will live up to that ambition.’
1. Beyond 2015 is a global civil society campaign, pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals. www.beyond2015.org, @Beyond2015
2. Created in 2010, Beyond 2015 is built on a diverse, global base including small community based organisations, international NGOs, academics and trade unions, including more than 1100 civil society organisations from more than 130 countries. Of these, 56% are Southern CSOs and 44% are Northern CSOs – in 41 countries in Africa, 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific, 35 countries in Europe, 2 countries in North America and 26 countries in Latin America.
3. The meeting on September 24, 2014, was organised by Beyond 2015, with CAN International, the International Forum of National NGO Platforms (IFP) and Participate. The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN NLGS), Bond (United Kingdom) and CEPEI (Colombia) also collaborated. The moderator was Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)