|The High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda has published its report “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development”.|
In July 2012 UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon tasked a twenty-seven person panel to make recommendations on the development agenda beyond 2015. The Panel was chaired by Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (President of Indonesia), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia), and David Cameron (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom).
At the launch of the report in New York on 30 May 2013, Ban Ki-moon said, “The post-2015 process is a chance to usher in a new era in international development – one that will eradicate extreme poverty and lead us to a world of prosperity, sustainability, equity and dignity for all… Let us continue to shape that world together and build the future we want.” The Report focuses on five key recommendations.
1. Leave No One Behind
“The next development agenda must ensure that in the future neither income nor gender, nor ethnicity, nor disability, nor geography, will determine whether people live or die, whether a mother can give birth safely, or whether her child has a fair chance in life. We must keep faith with the promise of the MDGs and now finish the job. The MDGs aspired to halve poverty. After 2015 we should aspire to put an end to hunger and extreme poverty as well as addressing poverty in all its other forms. This is a major new commitment to everyone on the planet who feels marginalised or excluded, and to the neediest and most vulnerable people, to make sure their concerns are addressed and that they can enjoy their human rights.”
2. Put Sustainable Development at the Core
“For twenty years, the international community has aspired to integrate the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability, but no country has yet achieved patterns of consumption and production that could sustain global prosperity in the coming decades. A new agenda will need to set out the core elements of sustainable lifestyles that can work for all.”
3. Transform Economies for Jobs and Inclusive Growth
“The Panel calls for a quantum leap forward in economic opportunities and a profound economic transformation to end extreme poverty and improve livelihoods. There must be a commitment to rapid, equitable growth – not growth at any cost or just short-term spurts in growth, but sustained, long-term, inclusive growth that can overcome the challenges of unemployment (especially youth unemployment), resource scarcity and – perhaps the biggest challenge of all – adaptation to climate change. This kind of inclusive growth has to be supported by a global economy that ensures financial stability, promotes stable, long-term private financial investment, and encourages open, fair and development-friendly trade.”
4. Build Peace and Effective, Open and Accountable Public Institutions
“Freedom from conflict and violence is the most fundamental human entitlement, and the essential foundation for building peaceful and prosperous societies. At the same time, people the world over want their governments to be transparent, accountable and responsive to their needs. Personal security, access to justice, freedom from discrimination and persecution, and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives are development outcomes as well as enablers. So we are calling for a fundamental shift – to recognise peace and good governance as core elements of well-being, not an optional extra.”
5. Forge a new Global Partnership
“A fifth, but perhaps most important, transformative shift for the post-2015 agenda is to bring a new sense of global partnership into national and international politics. This must provide a fresh vision and framework, based on our common humanity and the principles established at Rio. Included among those principles: universality, equity, sustainability, solidarity, human rights, the right to development and responsibilities shared in accordance with capabilities. The partnership should capture, and will depend on, a spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit.”
While asserting that civil society organisations can play a vital role in giving a voice to people living in poverty, the Report gives short shrift to the vital role played by communications and the media. Placing people at the centre of the new global partnership, the Report acknowledges that, “they need the freedom to voice their views and participate in the decisions that affect their lives without fear. They need access to information and to an independent media.” But that’s as good as it gets.
Clearly civil society organizations need a concerted plan of action with regard to communicating the views of women, children, people with disabilities, indigenous and local communities and members of other marginalized groups if they are not to be “left behind”. WACC has the answer: “Communication rights for all.”