December 12th, 2014 by Claudio Schuftan
The latest draft of the Secretary General’s Synthesis Report is just out.
Attempting a contribution, I have carefully read it.
With all due respect for the SG, and being an old development warrior, I chose to take a devil’s advocate view of it –-a sort of dispassionate reality check without any hype, primarily focusing on what I still see the Report’s serious shortcomings.
I went point by point and commented on the text itself using bold font for anybody’s quick review and easy reference.
I do recognize that my focus is biased in that I am primarily critical and do not give credit to the good aspects of the report. For that I apologize.
I do hope this is taken as a contribution to the still ongoing process of finalizing the post 2015 development agenda.
Here below the review for your perusal.
Claudio Schuftan, PHM, Ho Chi Minh City
The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet
Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda
New York December 2014, Advance unedited 4 December 2014 10:00 a.m.
Table of Contents
Rio+20 Outcome Document, The Future We Want
- A Universal Call to Action to Transform our World beyond 2015
- The year 2015 offers a unique opportunity for global leaders and people to end
poverty, transform the world to better meet human needs and the necessities of economic
transformation, while protecting our environment, ensuring peace and realizing human
rights. Why now and not before?
- We are at a historic crossroads, and the directions we take will determine
whether we will succeed or fail on our promises. Were we not before? With our globalized economy and sophisticated technology, we can decide to end the age-old ills of extreme poverty and hunger. Could we not before? Or we can continue to degrade our planet and allow intolerable inequalities to sow bitterness and despair. Our ambition is to achieve sustainable development for all.
- Young people will be the torch bearers of the next sustainable development
agenda through 2030. We must ensure that this transition, while protecting the planet,
leaves no one behind. We have a shared responsibility to embark on a path to inclusive
and shared prosperity in a peaceful and resilient world where human rights and the rule of
law are upheld. Only from now on? Not before?
- Transformation is our watchword. At this moment in time, we are called to lead
and act with courage. We are called to embrace change. Change in our societies. Change
in the management of our economies. Change in our relationship with our one and only
- In doing so, we can more fully meaning what? respond to the needs of our time and deliver on the timeless promise made at the birth of the United Nations. Were we not able before?
- Seventy years ago, in adopting the Organization’s founding Charter, the nations
of the world made a solemn commitment: “to save succeeding generations from the
scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of
the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for international law can be
maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger
- Building on this core promise, the Declaration on the Right to Development
(1986) calls for an approach that will guarantee the meaningful participation of all in
development, and the fair distribution of its benefits.
- Humankind has achieved impressive progress in the past seven decades. We
have reduced violence have we? and established global institutions, a code of agreed universal principles, and a rich tapestry? of international law. We have witnessed stunning technological progress, millions (upon millions) lifted from poverty, millions more empowered, diseases defeated, life expectancies on the rise, colonialism dismantled true?, new nations born, apartheid conquered in South Africa, democratic practices take deeper roots, and vibrant, economies built in all regions although at very different paces.
- Since the 1992 “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, we have identified a new
pathway to human wellbeing – the path of sustainable development and done enough about it?. The Millennium Declaration yes and the Millennium Development Goals not really… articulated in the year 2000 placed people at the center, generating unprecedented improvements in the lives of many around the world, but still leaving too many behind. The global mobilization behind the MDGs showed that multilateral action can make a tangible difference In many, but not all nations of the world.
- Yet conditions in today’s world are a far cry from the vision of the Charter.
Amid great plenty for some, we witness pervasive poverty, gross inequalities, joblessness, disease and deprivation for billions. Displacement is at its highest level since the Second World War. Armed conflict, crime, terrorism, persecution, corruption, impunity and the erosion of the rule of law are daily realities. The impacts of the global economic, food and energy crises created by? are still being felt. The consequences of climate change created by? have only just begun. These failings and shortcomings have done as much to define the modern era as has our progress in science, technology and the mobilization of global social movements. Yes!
- Our globalized world is marked by extraordinary progress alongside
unacceptable – and unsustainable – levels of want, fear, discrimination, exploitation,
injustice and environmental folly at all levels.
- However, we also know that these problems are not accidents of nature or the
results of man-made phenomena beyond our control. They result from actions and omissions of people – public institutions, the private sector, donors and others purportedly charged with protecting human rights and upholding human dignity.
- We have had the know-how and the means to address these challenges for decades now. But we need belated urgent leadership and joint action now.
- These are universal challenges. They demand new heights of multilateral action
based on evidence and built on shared values, principles, and priorities for a common
destiny. Which we do not have yet for ingrained ideological reasons.
- Our global commitments under the Charter should/must compel us to act. Our sense
of outrage, empathy and enlightened self-interest should compel us to act. Our responsibilities as stewards of the planet should equally compel us to act as de-facto duty bearers. None of today’s threats respect boundaries drawn by human beings – whether those boundaries are national borders, or boundaries of class, ability, age, gender, geography, ethnicity, or religion.
- In an irreversibly interconnected world, the challenges faced by any become the
challenges faced by each of us – sometimes gradually but often suddenly. However,
facing these vexed? challenges is not only a burden; it is far more an opportunity to forge
new partnerships and alliances that can work together to advance the human condition. Yes, but partnerships as equals –not as one partner always being a yes-man…
- The MDGs experience provides compelling evidence that the international
community can be mobilized to confront such complex challenges as long as actions do not change the balance of power among nations and among social classes. Governments, public interest civil society and a wide range of international actors coalesced behind the MDGs in a multifront battle against poverty and disease. They generated innovative approaches, vital new data, new resources, and new tools and technology for this struggle but failed to live up to the commitment of the MDDeclaration to make all processes human rights based. Transparency was often enhanced, multilateral approaches were strengthened maybe, but of what kind?, and a results-based approach to public policy was fostered to what avail, really?. Sound meaning what? public policies inspired by the MDGs, enhanced by collective action and international cooperation rarely human rights-based, lead to remarkable successes although not universally. In two decades since 1990, the world has halved extreme poverty, lifting 700 million out of
extreme poverty but leaving many millions behind. Between 2000 and 2010, an estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted, and 22 million lives were saved from fighting tuberculosis. Access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected people has saved 6.6 million lives since 1995 Q is: Could we have achieved more?. At the same time, gender parity in primary school enrolment, access to child and maternal health care, and in women’s political participation improved steadily.ii yes, but fast enough?
- We must invest in the unfinished/unaddressed work of the MDGs, and use them as a
springboard into the future we want – a future free from poverty (and) built on human
rights, equality and sustainability. This is our duty and it must be the legacy we strive to
leave for our children. …yes, better late than never.
- In our quest to shape a global sustainable development agenda for the years
beyond 2015, I have always asked why we have to wait till after 2015… the international community has embarked upon an unprecedented process that we (cautiously) hope will yield real results.
Never before has so broad and inclusive a consultation been undertaken on so many
matters of global concern. Have key inputs from the consultations been incorporated into this report? What kind of filters were applied? In two short years since the Rio + 20 Conference laid the
cornerstone for the Post-2015 process, all Member States, the entire UN system, experts,
and a cross-section of public interest civil society, social movements, business and—most importantly– millions of people from all corners of the globe, have travelled this crucially important journey. This, in itself, is reason for great hope. Why? Will they be given an active role as watchdogs of the commitments by member states being held up? The creativity and shared sense of purpose that has emerged from across the human family is proof that we can come together to innovate and collaborate in search of solutions and the common good. Careful that we do not get carried away by our wishes. The vested interests of nations and corporations may/will still stand in our way.
- Having now opened the tent? wide to a broad constituency, we must recognize
that the legitimacy of this process will rest in significant measure on the degree to which
the core messages that we have heard are reflected in the final outcome. Exactly what I mean. This is no time to succumb to political expediency, or to tolerate the lowest common denominators. The new threats that face us, and the new opportunities that present themselves, demand a high level of ambition and a truly participatory, responsive and transformational course of action. …The vested interests of nations and corporations may/will still stand in our way.
- This includes tackling climate change. As underscored by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change exacerbates threats. It makes delivering
on the sustainable development agenda more difficult because of reversing positive
trends, new uncertainties, or mounting costs of resilience. Look at COP20 in Lima. Does what happened there bode well for the post 2015 development agenda? This is what I mean.
- This enterprise can therefore not be business as usual. How true. But what are the prospects? ‘Paper commitments’ and then little to show for? We cannot leave out of the equation the fact that this synthesis report still primarily is a top-down exercise. Business will only change when forceful demands come from an empowered and organized grassroots movement demanding the needed changes.
- People across the world are looking to the United Nations to rise to the
challenge with a truly transformative agenda and actions that isare both universal and adapted to the conditions of each country, and that places people and planet at the center. Their voices have underscored the need for democracy, rule of law, civic space and more effective governance and capable institutions; Voice is not enough; it is now time for voice to move into real influence! for new and innovative partnerships of equals, including with
responsible needs qualification!!! business and effective they often are not thus the need for claim holders to demand local authorities; and for a data revolution meaning disaggregation by vulnerable groups?, rigorous accountability mechanisms by whom?, and renewed global partnerships Not PPPs as we are having them now with their flagrant conflicts of interest!. People are also stressing that the credibility of the new agenda rests on the means that are available to really implement it.
- Three high-level international meetings in the year ahead give us the opportunity
to chart a new era of sustainable development. (How) Will claim holder groups be represented in the same and actually in all these?? The first will be the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July, where a compact for a global partnership can be realized among whom? Will TNCs be part of it? Would that be acceptable?. The second will be the special Summit on sustainable development at the United Nations in September, where the world who exactly is that? will embrace the new agenda and a set of Sustainable Development Goals, which we hope true will mark a paradigm shift for people and planet. The third will be the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December hope for better than Lima?, where Member States have pledged to adopt a new agreement to tackle a threat that could
make it more difficult to deliver on the new development agenda.
- The stars are aligned for the world to take historic action to transform lives and
protect the planet how I hope this were true. We need much more than stars aligning... I urge Governments and people everywhere to fulfill their political and moral responsibilities. This is my call to dignity, and we must respond with all our vision and strength naming and shaming the powers that be that stand in the way of our noble cause.
- A Synthesis
“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” Albert Einstein
2.1 What we have learned from two decades of development experience
- There is much that is new, and, indeed, transformational in the global
conversation on the Post-2015 Agenda. Is there really? Has much not been known for long? But the roots of this conversation are deep, and extend to the experience of the development community in the last twenty years, and the visionary outcomes of the global conferences of the 1990s, the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Millennium Summit and the MDGs of 2000, the 2005 World Summit, the 2010 MDG Summit, and the lead up to the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. Did all these deliver on the commitments made? If they had, wouldn’t the post 2015 agenda be lighter and easier?
- The cornerstone for the current global process of renewal was established in Rio
de Janeiro in June of 2012, with the adoption of the outcome document of the United
Nations Conference on Sustainable Development “The Future We Want.” The
document described the lessons learned from two decades of development experience,
and provided an extensive assessment of the progress and gaps in the implementation of
the sustainable development agenda.
- While very insufficient, partial and uneven, progress has been (remarkable) made. Only two short decades ago, close to 40 per cent of the developing world lived in extreme poverty, (although this has dropped, what about poverty in absolute numbers now?) and the notion of poverty eradication seemed inconceivable (How wrong it has been, all along, to focus on poverty eradication instead of on disparity reduction! This has been the missed challenge all along. The cake is only so big and it has to be re-sliced). Following profound? and consistent gains, we now know that extreme poverty can be eradicated within one more generation. This was true long ago. The MDGs have greatly contributed to this progress, and have taught us how governments, business, and public interest civil society can but do not work together to achieve transformational breakthroughs.
- We have witnessed significant progress in several Least Developed Countries
(LDCs) in the past two decades. In the same period, some middle-income countries have
become new engines of global growth, lifting many of their own citizens out of poverty
and creating a sizeable consumerist… middle class. Some countries have shown real progress in reducing inequalities. Others have attained universal health coverage depending how we define it: NOT with minimum care packages for people rendered poor by an unfair system. Still others have evolved into some of the world’s most advanced and digitally connected societies. Wages have in some cases increased, social protection has in some cases been expanded, green technologies have in some cases taken root,
and education standards have in some cases advanced. Several countries have emerged from conflict and made steady gains on the road to reconstruction, peace and development other have fallen into protracted conflict. These wide ranging experiences demonstrate that vulnerability and exclusion can be overcome, and what is possible in the years ahead provided claim holders are empowered and mobilized the world over. This will require massive campaigns of human rights learning.
- New demographic trends are changing our world. We are already a global
family with many orphans of seven billion people and are likely to reach nine billion by 2050. We are an ageing world, as people live longer and healthier lives. We are increasingly an urban world, with more than half the world’s population living in towns and cities. And we are a mobile world, with more than 232 million willing or unwilling international persecution of economic migrants – and almost one billion when internal migrants are counted. These trends will have direct impacts on our goals and present both challenges and opportunities.
- We see how new technologies can open up more sustainable approaches and
more efficient practices. But technology is not a solution to this planet’s development problems. We know that the public sector can raise significantly more revenues by reforming tax systems, fighting tax evasion, correcting inequities, and combatting corruption. But the will of the haves who wield the power is simply not there. Look at the fate, so far, of passing a universal Tobin tax or of curbing capital flight by ending secret bank accounts. We know that there is an enormous amount of untapped and wasted resources that can be directed to sustainable development. We know that forward looking companies alas too few of them are taking the lead by transforming their business models for sustainable development, and that we have only scratched the surface of the potential for ethics-driven investment beyond lip service and glossy brochures by the private sector. With the right incentives, policies,
regulations and monitoring, great opportunities could abound. Opportunities for what? We know that a data revolution is unfolding, allowing us to see more clearly than ever where we are and where we need to go, and to ensure that everyone is counted. Not forgetting that we need such data revolution and transparency for TNCs activities. We know that although nascent creative initiatives across the world are pioneering new models of sustainable production and consumption that can potentially be replicated. We know that governance at both the national and international levels can be reformed to more efficiently and particularly more democratically!! serve 21st century realities. And we know that our world today is host to the first truly globalized, interconnected, and highly mobilized public interest civil society, ready and (able) committed to serve as an equal participant, joint steward, and powerful engine of change and transformation. Still missing though is their being invited/allowed to interact with UN agencies and member states on an equal footing in the pertinent decision-making processes.
- We have already begun to correct our course towards transformation. Have we, beyond plenty words?
- The discussion on the Post-2015 Agenda has stressed the importance of the
specific conditions of each country, an advance why? in perspective from the MDG framework.
Following sanctioned human rights principles, special attention was/is!! required for the most vulnerable, in particular African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and the small island developing States. Particular attention should/must also be given to the challenges faced by the middle-income countries and countries in situations of fragility and conflict where most of the worlds poor people live.
- Member States have emphasized that sustainable development must be inclusive
and people-centred. They have underscored the importance of ecosystems to people’s
livelihoods, their economic, social, physical and mental well-being, as well as their
cultural heritage – “Mother Earth” as it is known in many traditions. How much of this is genuine or just ‘to keep up with the Jonses’?
- Member States have also underscored the need to improve measures of progress,
such as a better distribution of (have they?) gross domestic product , in order to better inform policy decisions. …as written, this does not follow; not logic. While acknowledging the natural and cultural diversity of the world, they have also recognized that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to sustainable development. I do not see many of them doing this. Finally, they have called for holistic and integrated approaches to sustainable development that will guide humanity to live in harmony with the planet’s fragile ecosystems. Sorry, I do not see this. Does anybody?
2.2 What we have learned from the post-2015 process
- The international community has come a long way in its deliberation on the new
development agenda. In July 2013, further to a request by the General Assembly, I
submitted to the membership my report A Life of Dignity for All. In it, I recommended
the development of a universal, integrated and human rights-based agenda for sustainable
development, addressing economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship
and highlighting the link between peace, development and human rights – an agenda that
leaves no one behind. I called as well for rigorous review and monitoring, better and
more disaggregated data, and goals and targets that are measurable and adaptable. I
outlined a number of transformative actions that would apply to all countriesiii.
- Many voices have informed this debate, and there have been valuable inputs
from a wide range of stakeholders. But have we really ended up with a human rights-based agenda demanding greater equality? Together with many, I think no.
(a) People around the world aired their views through the unprecedented consultations
and outreach efforts of organized civil society groups as well as the global
conversation led by the United Nations Development Group on A Million Voices:
The World We Want, Delivering on the Post-2015 Agenda: Opportunities at the
National and Local Level, and MY World Survey. Millions of people especially
young persons, took part in these processes, through national, thematic, and on-line
consultations and surveys, as mirrored in the Global Youth Call and the outcome of
the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference. The direct and active engagement of
parliamentarians, business and civil society has also been critical. True. But have we really ended up with a human rights-based agenda demanding greater equality? Together with many, I think no.
(b) The leaders of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015
Development Agenda called for five “transformative shifts” that leave no one behind
by 1) ending extreme poverty wrong focus: needed is disparity reduction, 2) placing sustainable development at the core, 3) transforming economies for decent jobs and inclusive truly redistributive growth, 4) building peaceful societies as well as open, transparent, accountable governance, and 5) forging a new global partnership for sustainable development. Unfortunately not being clear about the risks of partnerships with the private sector allows in players with grave conflicts of interest.
UNACCEPTABLE TO SO MANY OF US IS HOW THE HLPEP LEFT OUT THE SHIFT TO A HUMAN RIGHTS-BASED AGENDA. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN #1. Note that this is a clear demonstration that the many consultations which insisted on this were simply disregarded. How are we expected to trust?
(c) The academics and scientists convened through the Sustainable Development
Solutions Network recommended the adoption of a science-based and not human rights-based: perhaps because scientists are a bit ignorant about HR…? and action orientedagenda, integrating four interdependent dimensions of sustainabledevelopment (economic, social, environmental, and governance).
(d) The key role of business in the post-2015 agenda was distilled in the report of the UN
Global Compact. Companies are ready to change how they do business and
contribute by transforming markets from within and making production, consumption
and the allocation of capital more inclusive and sustainable. Is it only me that thinks this is mumble jumble? What are they really committing to? Isn’t this typical double talk? Keep in mind that the Global Compact does have conflicted partners.
(e) The report of the Regional Commissions highlighted the importance of regional
efforts in adapting globally agreed goals and policy priorities to nationally specific
realities. Did they recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality?
(f) The experiences and expertise of the UN system were put forward in the report of the
UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 Agenda and the work of the Technical
Support Team (TST). Did they recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality?
(g) At the Principal? level, leadership and guidance was received through the UN System
Chief Executives Board for Coordination. Did they recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality?
(h) The members of the High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability recommended a
sustainable path to enhance human well-being, further global justice, strengthen
gender equity and preserve the Earth’s life-support systems for future generations. If I am not wrong, they did recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality, no? Was their recommendation heeded by the HLPEP?
- Throughout 2014, Member States exchanged views and consolidated their ideas
through the work of existing UN development entities. ECOSOC and its functional and
regional commissions, committees and expert bodies have identified the potential
elements of the post-2015 review and monitoring framework, and explored how to adapt
the UN development system and its operational activities to respond to changes in the
development landscape. I am sure they did recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality? Was their recommendation heeded by the HLPEP? The Development Cooperation Forum sorry, who are these? provided useful policy space for stakeholders to discuss the implications of a unified and universal agenda, the global partnership, modalities for more effective review and monitoring, and concrete actions by Southern development cooperation partners on common challenges. did they recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality? Was their recommendation heeded by the HLPEP? The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) has, from its inaugural session in 2013, turned its attention to the post-2015 agenda, with leaders calling for a coherent approach and noting the important role the Forum can play in reviewing and monitoring. did they recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality? Was their recommendation heeded by the HLPEP?
- Now, at the end of 2014, we positively note the completion of the
intergovernmental processes established by the Rio + 20 Conference.
- In a series of structured dialogues on technology in the General Assemblyiv,
possible arrangements were considered for a facilitation mechanism to promote the
development, transfer, and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound
technologies. As said, this is only part of the solution.
- The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development
Financing delivered its report on options for an effective sustainable development
financing strategy in August 2014.v The Committee proposed a basket of more than 100
options for policy makers, together with recommendations for a global partnership that
encompasses key aspects of aid, trade, debt, taxation, and financial market stability. It
recommended individual, country-owned financing strategies, rooted in enabling national
policy environments, and complemented by a reformed international enabling
environment enabling meaning exactly what?. It recognized that all sources of financing would need to be employed, public and private, national and international. did they recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality? Was their recommendation heeded by the HLPEP?
- Throughout 2014, the President of the General Assembly convened a series of
valuable gatherings. These included three high-level events on the contributions of
women, youth, and civil society, on human rights and the rule of law, and on the
contributions of North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, and Information
and Communications Technology (ICT) for development. Finally, HR are explicitly mentioned… did these gatherings recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality? Was their recommendation heeded by the HLPEP? Three thematic debates were held on the role of partnerships, on ensuring stable and peaceful societies, and on water,
sanitation and sustainable energy. These were followed by a Dialogue on Accountability
in the General Assembly and in each region under the auspices of the respective UN
Regional Commission. In September of 2014, the President convened a High-Level
Stocktaking Event on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.vi did it recommend a HR focus demanding greater equality? Was their recommendation heeded by the HLPEP?
- Importantly, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
delivered the results of its historic deliberations in July 2014, providing a narrative
grounded in the Rio+20 outcome document and emphasizing poverty eradication not disparity reduction?, environmental sustainability, inclusive growth, equality and a people-centred agenda for sustainable development. Not mentioning HR?
- Following more than a year of inclusive and intensive consultative deliberations,
the Open Working Group proposed 17 specific goals with 169 associated targetsvii, which it described as “action-oriented, global in nature, and universally applicable”, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development. It sought to combine aspirational global targets with country-specific targets to be set nationally. None of the 17 specific goals even mentions fulfilling human rights!
- In addition to reinforcing the commitment to the unfinished MDGs, the SDGs
break new ground with goals on inequalities, economic growth, decent jobs, cities and
human settlements, industrialization, energy, climate change, sustainable consumption
and production, peace, justice and institutions. The environmental dimension of the
agenda is articulated across the whole agenda. The SDGs are underpinned with a goal on
global partnerships for the means of implementation. Partnerships among who? On equal footing with public interest civil society and social movements? With conflicted TNCs?
- Mechanisms to review the implementation of goals will be needed, and the
availability of and access to data would/will need to be improved, including the disaggregation of information by gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location, and other characteristics relevant to national contexts. With a special role for public interest civil society to play the role of watchdogs.
- Finally, the recent report of my Independent Expert Advisory Group on the
Data Revolution for Sustainable Development called for the closing of key data gaps,
between developed and developing countries, gaps between information-rich and information poor people, and between the private and public sectors. It underscored the importance of increasing access to quality data, remedying inequalities in the areas of access to information, data literacy, promoting civic space and enhancing the sharing of data and
information. It also called for the strengthening of national institutions to provide
capacities for statistics and the interface with new technologies. Do not get carried away by thinking that better data will twist the will of decision-makers. They have their agenda and it is political. We have tons of data to do justice and demand equality that go unused.
2.1 3? Shared ambitions for a shared future
- Across all of these contributions and milestones, a common understanding has
emerged that there must be a universal agenda. Also human rights-based? Humankind faces the same global challenges; today’s problems transcend borders; even in the richest countries, there (can be) is destitution and exclusion. Universality implies that all countries will need to change, each with its own approach, but each with a sense of the global common good. Universality is the core attribute of human rights and intergenerational justice if so, why are HR not at the center of the agenda?? This report cannot be ambiguous about this; and many of us in civil society contend it is. It compels us to think in terms of shared responsibilities for a shared future. It demands policy coherence. Not a goal in itself unless we specify coherence for/about what. For top-down interventions? No.
Universality embodies a new global partnership for sustainable development in the spirit
of the UN Charter. WHICH IS HUMAN RIGHTS-BASED!
- All voices have called for a people-centred and planet-sensitive agenda to
ensure human dignity as the core of human rights (why not calling a spade a spade? Are we afraid of risking no consensus from the rich countries if we do?, equality, environmental stewardship, healthy economies meaning what?, freedom from want and fear …HR concepts, and a renewed global partnership among whom? for sustainable development. Tackling climate change and fostering sustainable, HR-based development agendas are two mutually
reinforcing sides of the same coin. To achieve these ends, all have called for a
transformational and universal post-2015 agenda, buttressed by science and evidence,
and built on the principles of human rights and the rule of law, equality and sustainability. Here it is…
- All contributions underlined that we should continue the march of the MDGs. But they have also stressed that Member States will need to fill key sustainable
development gaps left by the MDGs, such as the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty,
decent work for young people, social protection and labour rights for all. And development as a human right! They have asked for inclusive, sustainable cities, infrastructure and industrialization. They have called for strengthening effective, accountable, participatory and inclusive governance; for free expression, information, and association; for fair justice systems; and for peaceful societies and personal security for all. Some did ask for using the HR framework as a basis, no?
- All voices voices of whom exactly? have demanded that we leave no one behind, ensuring equality, nondiscrimination, equity and inclusion at all levels. We must pay special attention to the
people, groups and countries most in need. This is the century of women: we will not
realize our full potential if half of humanity continues to be held back. We also need to
include (the) people rendered poor by an unfair system, children, adolescents, youth, and the aged, as well as those rendered unemployed, rural populations, those made slum dwellers, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrants, those made refugees and displaced persons, (vulnerable) groups rendered vulnerable and minorities. These also include
those affected by climate change, those living in LDCs, landlocked countries, small island developing states, middle-income countries, conflict countries or in areas under
occupation, in places struck by complex medical and humanitarian emergencies or in
situations affected by terrorism. And they have called for an end to all forms of gender
inequality, gender-based discrimination, and violence against women, children and young
boys and girls.
- The public discourse has underscored the call for the urgent need to recognize
and address the understandable trust deficit between governments, institutions and the people. Providing an enabling environment meaning what? to build inclusive and peaceful societies, ensure social cohesion understood as… and respect for human rights and the rule of law will require rebuilding institutions at the country level to ensure that the gains from peace are not reversed.
- All want action to address climate change, to accelerate the reduction of
greenhouse gas emissions, and to keep the rise in global average temperature below 2
degrees Celsius on the basis of equity for present and future generations and in
accordance with common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
All also want to preserve our oceans, marine resources, terrestrial ecosystems and
- All call for meaningful transformations of our economies. They call for
making our patterns of growth more inclusive, redistributive, sustained and sustainable. People want decent jobs, social protection, robust small farmers’ agricultural systems and rural prosperity, sustainable human rights cities, inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and resilient infrastructure and sustainable energy for all. These transformations will also help tackle climate change. We have also (heard) received strong calls to reform international trade making it fair, ensure effective regulation of markets, TNCs and financial actors, and to take vigorous action to fight corruption, curb illicit
financial flows, combat money laundering and tax evasion, and recover stolen and hidden
- All inputs have underscored the need to integrate economic, social and
environmental dimensions across the new agenda. All meaning what they underscore? To make this happen, they want norm-based policy coherence at all levels exactly meaning what?, corresponding reform of global governance mechanisms I am sure not all agreeing on what reform…and that is the key, and a renewed effective global partnership among whom? And who left out? for sustainable development. These, they tell us and mean it?, should be based on solidarity, cooperation, mutual accountability, and the participation of governments as duty bearers and (all stakeholders…arrrg!) the respective claim holders. (The document has to consistently use HR terminology!)
- All have asked for a rigorous and participatory review and monitoring
framework to hold governments, businesses, and international organizations accountable
to the people for results, and to ensure that no harm is done to the planet. Really? all? Accountability? And they have called for a data revolution? to make information and data more available, more accessible, and more broadly disaggregated, as well as for measurable goals and targets, and a participatory mechanism …also to be made measurable for accountability purposes to review implementation at the national, regional, and global levels.
- Framing the New Agenda
3.1 Setting the stage
- At this moment, a truly universal and transformational course is being set. From
the 2010 Summit on the MDGs, to Rio+20, and the outcome of the Open Working
Group,viii a remarkably consistent vision has emerged. But still short on a HR vision.
- Because human dignity why not saying HR directly? and planetary sustainability cannot be reduced to a simple formula, because their constituent elements are so interdependent, and because sustainable development is a complex phenomenon, the proposal by the Open Working Group of such a far-reaching set of goals and targets is to be welcomed as a remarkable step forward in the international community’s quest for effective solutions to an increasingly complex global agenda. Is the ‘international community’ heavily skewed towards ‘development experts’? What about claim holders worldwide, were they sufficiently incorporated in the quest?
- As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I therefore welcome the outcome
produced by the Open Working Group (Table 1). I congratulate the leadership and all
who participated in its ground-breaking work. I take positive note of the decision of the
General Assembly that the proposal of the Group be the main basis for the post-2015
intergovernmental process. Sir, are you not a bit disappointed that the agenda is not sufficiently HR—centered?
- In the coming months, the Member States of the United Nations will negotiate
the final parameters of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. That Agenda
should include a compelling and principled narrative including HR principles?, building on the outcomes of the major global conferences , including the Millennium Summit, the 2005 Summit Outcome, the 2010 Summit on the MDGs, the outcome of Rio+20, and the voices of the people as conveyed in the post-2015 process. ‘the voices of the people’ demanding a HR focus do not seem to have been heeded… The Agenda should also call for full consistency with current political commitments and existing obligations under international law specifically including HR law. It should include concrete goals together with measurable and achievable targets. Do the former and the latter really guarantee sustainable development? Should we not be asking member states to prepare progressive long term realization of HR plans with annual benchmarks for processes that simply have to be set in motion to achieve the long term realization? This this being what? should demonstrate the important interrelationship between the goals and targets. Importantly, it must respond to the capacity challenges of countries with varying capabilities and weaker
institutions to do what?. Countries must not be overly burdened by an agenda that creates additional challenges rather than alleviate burdens. The Agenda will require serious commitments for financing and other means of implementation, including those to be agreed in Addis Ababa in July 2015 and Paris in December 2015 how much will be for the fulfillment of HR if this synthesis report is weak on this?. And it should include strong, inclusive
public mechanisms at all levels for reporting, monitoring progress, learning lessons, and
ensuring mutual accountability.
Table 1. Sustainable development goals omitted (Note that NONE of the 17 goals mentions human rights!).
- Success will equally depend on the power of the new agenda to inspire and
mobilize claim holders and duty bearers as essential actors, new partnerships, key constituencies, and the broader global citizenry to be empowered and mobilized to demand changes. For this, we will need an agenda that resonates? with the experiences and (needs) rights!! of people as claim holders, that can be understood, (and) embraced and applied. The agenda and goals (should) must also be received at the country level in a way that (would) ensures a (transition of) quantum leap from the MDGs to the broader and more transformative HR-based and sustainable development agenda and effectively become
an integral part of national and regional visions and progressive realization plans.
- In this regard, we must recall and take note of the mandate given to the General
Assembly by the member states at the Rio+20 Conference, where they declared that the
“SDGs should be action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number,
aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into
account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting
national policies and priorities” (Paragraph 247).
- Member States have agreed that the agenda laid out by the Open Working
Group is the main basis for the Post-2015 intergovernmental process. Have they already? We now have the opportunity to frame the goals and targets in a way that reflects the ambition of a universal and transformative agenda. I note, in particular, the possibility to maintain the 17 goals and rearrange them in a focused and concise manner that enables the necessary global awareness and implementation at the country level. But the human rights focus is missing in 17 the 1goals…
3.2 A transformational approach
- I wish to propose an integrated set of six essential elements, that taken together,
will aim to facilitate the deliberations of Member States ahead of the special Summit on
sustainable development in September 2015, and enable them to arrive at the concise and
aspirational agenda mandated by the Rio + 20 Conference.
- The essential elements underscore the urgency of a universal call to commit to a
set of principles that include human rights’ and that, applied together, can bring about a truly universal transformation of sustainable development. Thus, as we implement the new agenda, we must:
- commit to a universal human rights-based! approach, and with solutions that address all countries and all groups;
- integrate HR and sustainability in all activities, mindful of economic, environmental and
- address and resolve inequalities in all areas, agreeing that no goal or target be considered met unless met for all social, economic and otherwise marginalized groups;
- ensure that all actions respect, protect, fulfill and advance human rights, in full coherence with international (standards) HR law;
- address the natural and penalize the man-made drivers of climate change and its consequences;
- base our analysis in credible data and evidence, enhancing data capacity, availability,
disaggregation, literacy and sharing;
- expand our global partnership among whom? TNCs included? for means of implementation to maximum effect, and full participation of who? Claim holders?, including multi-stakeholder, issue-based coalitions most in civil society object these coalitions since they more often than not have TNCs involved.; and
- anchor the new compact a compact has not been defined yet in this report in a renewed commitment to international solidarity, commensurate with the ability of each country to contribute.
3.3. Six essential elements for delivering on the SDGs
- The following six essential elements should help frame and reinforce the HR-based, universal, integrated and transformative nature of a sustainable development agenda and ensure that the ambition or commitment? expressed by Member States in the outcome of the Open Working Group translates, communicates and is delivered at the country level (Figure 1). omitted
Figure 1. Six essential elements for delivering the SDGs
- Eradicating poverty through deliberate actions towards disparity reduction by 2030 is the overarching objective of the HR-based, sustainable development agenda. We live in a world of plenty, and in a moment of enormous scientific promise and social activism resurgence. And yet, for hundreds and hundreds of millions across the globe, this
is also an age of gnawing? deprivation. The defining challenge of our time is to close the
gap between our determination to ensure a life of dignity for all with full respect of HR on the one hand, and the reality of persisting processes that perpetuate poverty and deepen inequality on the other.
- While we have made important progress in recent years, addressing gender
inequality and realizing women’s rights remains a key challenge in all regions of the
world. It should by now be recognized that no society can reach its full potential if whole
segments of that society, especially young people, are excluded from participating in,
contributing to, and benefiting from development. Other dimensions of inequality such as? Neoliberal policies of globalization?… continue to persist, and in some many? cases have worsened. Income inequality specifically is one of the most visible aspects of the broader and more complex issue of neoliberalism, one that among other, entails inequality of opportunity. This is a universal challenge that the whole world must address.
The agenda must accommodate not only the voices of women, youth and minorities, but also their influence and seek the prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples, remove obstacles to and promote full participation by persons with disabilities, older persons, adolescents and youth, and empower people rendered poor by an unfair system. It
must not exclude migrants, refugees, displaced persons, (or) and persons affected by conflict and occupation.
- For reasons now well known, millions of people, especially women and children, have been left behind in the unfinished work of the MDGs. We must ensure women, youth and children have access to the full range of quality health services. We must ensure zero tolerance of violence against or exploitation of women and girls. Women and girls must have equal access to financial services, and the right to own land and other assets. All children and adolescents have a right to education and must have a safe environment in which to learn. Human development is (also) has the respect of human rights at its very core.
- The agenda must address universal health-care coverage publicly financed by taxes assuring affordable access to all without discrimination (affordability); end preventable maternal, new-born and child deaths and malnutrition, as well as preventable ill-health in all ages; ensure the availability of essential medicines to all; fully realize women’s reproductive health and
rights; ensure fully protective immunization coverage; (eradicate) bring malaria under control and realize the vision of a future (free of) where AIDS and tuberculosis cease to be public health problems; reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases including its nutrition- determined causes and including mental illness, nervous system injuries, road accidents, as well as promote healthy behaviours, including those related to water, sanitation and hygiene.
- Today, more than ever, the realities of 1.8 billion youth and adolescents represent a dynamic, informed, and globally connected engine for change. Integrating their needs, rights (to choice) and their voices and influence in the new agenda, (will be) is a key factor for success. How much have they already been included in the preparation of the post 2015 agenda? It is essential that young people receive relevant skills and high-quality education
and life-long learning, from early childhood development to post-primary schooling,
including life skills and vocational education and training, as well as science, sports and
culture. Teachers must be given the means and salaries to deliver learning and knowledge in response to a safe global workplace, driven by technology. ??
- Economic growth (should) must lead to shared prosperity. As such, the strength of an
economy must be measured by the degree to which it meets the needs of people in the lower quintiles of income, and on how sustainably and equitably it does so. We need inclusive growth with proven redistribution of wealth, built on decent, fairly paid jobs,
livelihoods and rising real incomes for those in the lower income strata (all and) measured in ways that go beyond GDP and account for human well-being, sustainability and marked greater equity. Ensuring that all people, including women, persons with disabilities, youth, aged, minorities and migrants have decent fairly paid employment, social protection, and access to financial services, will be a hallmark of (our) any economic success.
- Innovation and investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure,
settlements, industrialization, small and medium enterprises, energy and technology can
both generate fairly paid employment, and remedy and prevent negative environmental trends. An enabled?, properly regulated, responsible and still reasonable profitable private sector is critical for employment, fair living wages, growth, and revenues for public programmes. Transforming business models is indispensable for creating shared value that is vital for growing inclusive, redistributive and sustainable economies.
- The world’s richness of natural resources also provides a formidable economic
opportunity, if it is translated not only into GDP growth but into shared, redistributed prosperity. Sustainable approaches to landscape management (including agriculture and forests), industrialization (including small manufacturing and productive capacities), access to renewable energy and water and sanitation, are key drivers of sustainable production and consumption, job creation, as well as sustainable, redistributive and equitable growth. They who? can indeed drive sustainable management of natural resources and tackle climate change.
- To respect and protect our planetary boundaries we need to equitably address climate
change, halt worrisome biodiversity loss, and address desertification and unsustainable land use. We
must protect wildlife, safeguard forests and mountains, as well as our water sources and reduce disaster risk and build resiliencies. We must protect our oceans, seas, rivers and atmosphere as our global (heritage) common goods, and achieve climate justice defined how?. We must promote sustainable small-scale agro-ecological agriculture, artisanal fisheries
and local food systems; foster sustainable management of water resources, and of waste and chemicals; foster renewable and more efficient energy; decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, advance sustainable industrialisation and resilient
infrastructures; ensure sustainable production and responsible consumption in rich countries; and achieve sustainable management of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and land use with an emphasis of stopping the practice of land grabbing.
- Sustainable development is at risk as evidence proves that warming of the
climate system is now undeniable and human activities are its primary cause. We must
limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius if we are to avoid the worst
effects of climate change. Carbon dioxide is the largest contributor to human-induced
climate change. Fossil fuels usage and deforestation are its two main sources. Increasing
warming will make severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts more likely. The longer
we wait to take action towards sustainable production and responsible consumption, the more it will cost to solve the problem and the greater the technological challenges will be. Adaptation can reduce some risks and impact of climate change. Most urgently, we simply must adopt a meaningful, severe enough universal climate agreement by the end of 2015.
- Effective, truly democratic governance for sustainable development demands that public
institutions in all countries and at all levels be inclusive, participatory, and accountable to
the people as monitored by their living organizations. Laws and institutions must protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and there is a long way ahead to achieve this. All people must be free from fear and violence, without discrimination. We also (know that) must strive for participatory democracy since free, safe, and peaceful societies are both enablers and outcomes of development.
- Access to truly fair justice systems, accountable institutions of democratic
governance, measures to combat corruption and curb illicit financial flows, and
safeguards to protect personal security are integral to sustainable, redistributive development. (An enabling environment under) The rule of law must be secured for the free, active and meaningful engagement of civil society and advocates reflecting the voices and influence of women,
minorities, LGBT groups, indigenous peoples, youth, adolescents and older persons.
Press freedom and access to information, freedom of expression, assembly and
association are (enablers) part and parcel of sustainable development. The practice of child labor, early and forced marriage must be ended everywhere. The rule of law must (be strengthened) prevail at the national and international level, so as to secure justice for all.
- We need to rebuild and reintegrate societies (better) after crises and conflicts. We
must address state fragility, support internally displaced persons and contribute to
resilience of such people and communities. Reconciliation, peace building and state-building are (critical for) to be fostered in countries to overcome fragility and develop cohesive societies, and strong democratic institutions. These (investments) interventions are essential to retaining the gains of development and avoiding reversals in the future.
- A revitalized global partnership among whom? TNCs included? for sustainable development must be built on the foundations agreed in the Millennium Declaration and in Monterrey and Johannesburg. It must be effective in mobilizing the means and in creating the (environment) conditions to implement our agenda. Mobilizing the support of whom? to implement the ambitious new agenda will require political will and action on all fronts: domestic and international, public and private (free of conflicts of interest), through aid and trade respectful of human rights, private sector regulation, taxation and greater public investment.
- Implementation is not just about quantity. It is also about doing things together with whom?, uniting around the problem. Inclusive partnerships among who? must be a key feature of implementation, at all levels: global, regional, national and local. We know the extent to which this may be transformative, but also know some of the shortcomings. The sustainable development goals provide a platform for aligning the action of private actors and public policies. Transformative partnerships are built upon principles and values including no conflicts of interest, a shared vision, and shared goals arrived at by only placing people and planet at the center. They include the participation of all relevant claim holders and duty bearers including those duty bearers bound by extraterritorial obligations (stakeholders arrgg!). Mutual accountability is at the center, but must be monitored particularly by public interest civil society acting as watchdogs. This means principled and responsible public-private-people partnerships. Absolutely NOT! Very few are principled and responsible. Look at the reality.
3.4. Integrating the six essential elements
- Sustainable development must be an integrated agenda for economic,
environmental, political and social solutions. Its strength lies in the interweaving of (its) these
dimensions. Although certainly not automatically, this integration provides the basis for reinforcing human rights, equality and sustainability and for economic models that eventually benefit people and the environment; for environmental solutions that eventually contribute to progress, as well as for social and political approaches that add to (economic dynamism) wealth redistribution and allow for the preservation and sustainable use of the environmental common;
. Responding to all goals as a cohesive and integrated whole (all necessary, but not sufficient) will be critical to ensuring the transformations needed at scale.
- The agenda itself mirrors the broader international human rights framework No, so far it does NOT, including elements of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights, as well as the right to development. I cannot see this clearly spelled out. I see it more as a window dressing. My comments highlight this. Specific targets are set for disadvantaged groups. But this is not all. Indicators will need to be broadly disaggregated across all goals and targets. …only a start. What do you do with them then?
- The essential elements of what? are further integrated by the application of the principle of universality. In addressing them which? to all countries and all people we take account of environmental, economic, and social political? interdependence, while also recognizing the realities of differentiated national needs, capacities, restrictions and constraints.
- Finally, the new framework provides a much-needed opportunity to integrate the
broader United Nations agenda, with its inextricably linked and mutually interdependent
peace and security, development, and human rights objectives. The latter not fully, I contend.
- All of this will have important implications for the way that all partners and opponents pursue sustainable development, requiring transformations in approaches to leadership, key policies and policy coherence, strategies, and terms of possible collaboration. It will also have a beneficial unifying effect on the organization of work within the UN system at the global, regional and country levels.
- Mobilizing the Means to Implement Our Agenda
4.1 Financing our future
- Sustainable development is a complex challenge, with urgent requirements
which have resulted in enormous financing needs. The means to finance the goals agreed
will not be found in one solution, nor borne by one set of actors. All financing streams
need to be optimized? towards sustainable development, and coordinated for the greatest
impact on people’s rights. An integrated development agenda demands an equally synergistic financial framework. Governments (should) must work to better align the financing frameworks that developed out of two major strands of development debates – the Monterrey and the Rio processes. In addition, Government (should) must also be mindful of the need for coherence and alignment with climate finance?.
- The global conversation/negotiations on sustainable development finance is progressing. The Open Working Group has proposed a number of targets on means of implementation. The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing presented policy options, organized around different financing streams: domestic public, domestic private, international public, international private and blended finance. These streams address the public, private, national and international facets of the financing challenge to raise new and additional resources, reallocate existing ones and create a supportive enabling environment always weeding out partners with conflicts of interest. The establishment of new institutions of South-South Cooperation, such as the BRICS Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, present new opportunities to finance sustainable development investments. ix
- I welcome the policy options presented by the Committee and encourage
countries to (scale up ambition) de-facto commit and enhance specificity to meet the demands of the new agenda. To these ends, as Member States prepare for Addis Ababa, it will fall to them to set an agreed and ambitious course for sustainable development financing beyond 2015.
Figure 1. omitted
Flows of funds from international and national financing sources to sustainable development.
- All public funds must positively impact those made poorest and most vulnerable in all societies. Official Development Assistance (ODA) and other international public funds
will continue to play a central and catalytic role, particularly in vulnerable countries, as
will a strategic much more HR-based approach and systematic progress in funds utilization. Member States of the United Nations (should) must honour their commitments in full and in a timely manner. ODA must both respond to the unfinished business of the MDGs and address human rights in the transition to the new sustainable, redistributive development agenda. In the current debate on (modernizing?) reforming ODA, it is necessary to underscore the importance of more effective and better targeted ODA funding that leverages other resources and becomes HR-based. This must include more focus on Least Developed
Countries, Land-locked Developing Countries, Small Islands Developing States, and
countries in vulnerable situations.
- The political responsibility for raising the domestic public revenues necessary for the core economic and social functions – for example to ensure a social protection floor and to remedy ongoing human rights violations and exclusion – rests primarily with each national government. National laws and policies are to dedicate adequate and timely resources to these purposes, while public institutions are to act strictly in the public interest. This includes environmentally and socially sound policies, the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights, strong democratic institutions and the rule of law.
However, domestic efforts need to be complemented by a human rights supportive international environment.
- Urgent action is needed to mobilize, redirect, and unlock the transformative
power of trillions of dollars of untaxed private resources to deliver on sustainable development objectives. The enforcement of a Tobin tax, as well as long-term investments, including fairly negotiated foreign direct investment (FDI), are needed in critical sectors, especially in developing countries. These include sustainable energy, infrastructure and transport, as well as information and communications technologies.
The public sector will need to set a clear direction. Review and monitoring frameworks,
regulations and incentive structures that enable such investments must be retooled to
attract responsible, accountable investments that reinforce sustainable development. National oversight mechanisms such as supreme and public interest civil society audit institutions and oversight functions by legislatures (should) must be strengthened for this.
- Efforts to increase the HR focus and the effectiveness of development cooperation need to be enhanced based on human rights principles and country ownership, with a results focus, inclusive partnerships on an equal footing, transparency and accountability.
- Long-term decarbonization of our economies; access to energy, water and food;
and a sustainable agriculture based of food sovereignty, sustainable industrial models, rational infrastructure and transport will ultimately have to be achieved through the same investments. (at the project level). In addition, it will be important to consider that many of the investments to achieve the SDGs will take place at the sub-national level and led by local authorities.
- In addition, we must move, seriously and expeditiously, to correct the inequities
that have long plagued the international system, to the disadvantage of developing
countries. We need a more equitable and fair multilateral trading system that is critical of existing and upcoming free trade agreements, move towards the conclusion of a more equitable Doha round, and better access to appropriate technology, to essential medicines, and to long-term investments for developing countries. We need a much fairer representation of emerging and developing countries in international financial and economic decision-making institutions, as well as in the Security Council, better regulation and more stability in the international financial and monetary systems, and sustainable debt forgiveness solutions. We must continue to remedy the policy incoherence between current modes of
international governance in matters of human rights, equality, trade, finance, and investment on the one hand, and our norms and standards for labour, the environment, and sustainability on the other.
- As preparations for the Third International Conference on Financing for
Development in Addis Ababa get underway, there are high expectations for concrete
outcomes that (would) will finance sustainable development and set the stage for what is hoped a successful outcome of the COP21 in Paris.
- I urge Member States to (consider) commit and agree in particular to the following:
- All developed countries (should) to meet the 0.7% target and (agree) commit to concrete timetables to meet ODA commitments, including the Istanbul commitments to LDCs of 0.15% of GNI by 2015. It is important to ensure that the proportion of ODA going to LDCs does not decline in real terms, but continues to increase, be human rights-based, be better targeted, more efficient, more transparent, and that leverages additional resources. (Smooth) Transition of countries graduating from least developed country status is vital to ensure that these countries are eased onto a sustainable development path without any disruption to their development plans, programmes and projects. Provisions are to (should) be made to increase funding to facilitate capacities to implement progressive tax reforms and repealing regressive taxes, thus improving domestic resource mobilization. All other international commitments also (need to) must be met.
- Any effort to (modernize) reform ODA and measures of development finance (should) must now be considered in an open, equal and transparent forum with (the widest possible) participation of donor and recipient countries and other relevant (stakeholders arrgg!) claim holders and duty bearers.
- Levels of concessionality?? should take into account different development
stages, circumstances and multiple dimensions of poverty, wealth maldistribution and the particular type of investment to be made.
- All countries are (encouraged) to adopt their own national sustainable
development financing strategies that take account of all financing flows, based on
continuing dialogue among relevant government entities and (other stakeholders) genuine representatives of claim holders in different areas. Such strategies (should) must review and strengthen the domestic policy, the legal and institutional environment and the policy coherence for a sustainable, redistributive development focused on HR. All financing flows,
including climate finance, (should) must build stronger country ownership and lead to greater use of country strategies and systems geared to the fulfillment of HR. In order to be HR-based and effective, the component parts of sustainable development financing strategies must have associated investible pipelines??. National visions and plans and annual budgets and medium-term expenditure frameworks (should) are to be aligned with national sustainable, redistributive development strategies.
- Fiscal and macro-economic policies must include low carbon solutions for
sustainable development and the need to invest in adaptation and resilience. Carbon
pricing, through different approaches, (should) must be a key consideration. Harmful fossil fuel subsidies, both direct and indirect, (should) must be phased out. Agricultural export subsidies (should) must be removed.
- Stern regulatory frameworks, incentives and risk-return profiles that enable
private investments and business models, as well as public procurement policies, must be
aligned with the SDGs.
- All countries (should) must consider adopting policies to encourage responsible, conflict of interest-free and accountable investment of private finance in sustainable development, and requiring companies to undertake mandatory Economic Environment Social and Governance (EESG)? reporting, always accompanied with regulatory changes that ensure that investor incentives are aligned with sustainable development goals. Short transition periods and longer term technical support (would) will be needed to this effect, especially for small and medium enterprises.
- We (should) must work to ensure investment policies that are in line with the UN’s
Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, core labour standards of the ILO,
and United Nations environmental standards. It (should) must also adequately balance investor preferences with the needs of (the people) claim holders in countries in which they operate.
- Policies are needed to stimulate and support responsible entrepreneurship and to increase access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, including through the use of development banks and other financial intermediaries.
- Countries (should) must strive to provide universal access to financial services,
emphasizing inclusive access across income, gender, geography, age, and other groups.
Specific barriers to women’s access to finance (should) must be eliminated. They should expand financial literacy and establish strong consumer protection agencies.
- Blended financing platforms? (could) have a great potential, particularly where
there is a benefit to the public sector. Where they are considered, however, it is important
to ensure that these arrangements are subject to safeguards to verify that they contribute
to sustainable, redistributive development. They must not replace or compromise state responsibilities for delivering on social and human rights needs. Such policies also need to ensure fair returns to the public, while incorporating human rights, social, environmental, labour, and gender equality considerations. In addition, risk (should) has to be managed through diversification and the use of multiple simultaneous projects, allowing for gains in some projects to offset losses in others.??
- Member States may wish or not to call on the International Financial Institutions to
consider establishing a process to examine the role, scale and functioning of multilateral
and regional development finance institutions. This, with the explicit purpose to make them more responsive to a sustainable, redistributive development agenda.
- While the additional commitments which have been made for climate finance
(should) must be honoured, the use of these and other financing flows (should) must not lead to fragmentation, but rather to coherence and strengthened cross-linkages within the pillars of sustainable development. An expert technical group (should) can be tasked with developing
and presenting to Member States a coherent framework that accounts for climate
finance and a HR-based ODA.
- South-South cooperation and the significant efforts of solidarity by emerging
economies is encouraging. More countries will need to commit to increasing their
contribution to international public financing and set targets and timelines to do so.
In turn, South-South technical assistance and the sharing of experiences through
regional fora should be promoted.
- I also strongly encourage countries to consider using innovative ways to raise
additional resources to fund sustainable development at scale, drawing from a number
of options, including, inter alia, various tax (e.g., financial transaction taxes, carbon tax,
airline ticket levies) and non-tax (e.g., emission allowances) mechanisms.
- We must strengthen international coordination and regulation of macroeconomic policies of major economies and the management of global liquidity, and consider more
systematic issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for continued assistance, and
countercyclical macroeconomic management without unreasonable conditionalities.
- We must vigorously implement comprehensive and adequate financial
regulations in all countries, as the risk of another global financial crisis has not been
sufficiently reduced. However, the design of regulations needs to take into account their
impact on financial inclusion of whom? and incentives for investment in sustainable development.
- Effectively addressing illicit financial flows is urgent. We need more vigorous
implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, as well as measures to
overcome impediments to the return of stolen assets. Member States (should) are to consider measures to ensure information exchange, judicial cooperation and the establishment of an intergovernmental committee on tax cooperation, under the auspices of the United Nations.
- Let us also enhance international efforts to strengthen arrangements for
transparent, orderly and participatory sovereign debt forgiveness and restructuring. As an
immediate step, let us bring together relevant authorities and other stakeholders (here YES; lenders do hold a stake…) to develop an informal forum on sovereign debt, while continuing ongoing discussions.
- Efforts (should) must be intensified to reduce costs on the transfer of remittances, in
a manner fully respecting the rights of migrants. I welcome the commitment of G20
countries to reduce the global average cost of transferring remittances to five per cent. But more can certainly be done.
4.2 Technology, Science and Innovation for a Sustainable Future
- We live in a period of unprecedented technological innovation and change.
New technologies are unlocking possibilities for sustainable development. The solutions
that they can generate, and the levels of access that they can enable, will be crucial to our
vision for the world beyond 2015, noting that technology will not fix all the development problems at hand.
- However, access to vital and environmentally sound technologies is today
unevenly spread, both within and between countries, with the poor and many developing
countries essentially locked out. Large amounts of public resources are allocated to
military budgets, while comparatively infinitely less is spent on research and development for public goods. Public funding too often subsidizes private sector research, at times leading to the public being priced out of the benefits through disadvantageous licensing and patents.
This also leads to frequent subsidies of innovations that are not aligned with promoting
sustainable consumption and production patterns. Furthermore, we have a long way to go
to reach the necessary level of participation of women and girls in science, technology
(including ICTs), engineering, and mathematics for the world in the 21st century.
- A sustainable future will require that we act now to phase out unsustainable
technologies, to invest in innovation and the development of clean and sound
technologies for sustainable development. We must ensure that they are fairly priced, and
broadly disseminated and fairly (absorbed) adopted, including to and by developing countries.
- Developing countries, and LDCs in particular, will need the support that will
allow them to benefit from enhanced access to these technologies, and, ultimately, to
expand domestic innovation and the development of their own technological solutions.
- Historically, significant technological advances have often resulted from multistakeholder, solution-driven initiatives meaning exactly what?. Achieving our sustainable, redistributive development goals will similarly require solution-driven technology partnerships among a variety of actors.
- We must establish effective modalities for multi-stakeholder cooperation among who? and sharing the costs for the Research, Development, Demonstration, and Diffusion
(RDD&D) for new technologies across all (stakeholders) countries including the public and non-conflicted private sector, public interest civil society, non-conflicted philanthropic, and other sectors, and inclusive of indigenous knowledge. We must move to prepare concrete initiatives, including those leveraging? technology, ready to launch at the commencement of the new agenda and set bold technological goals and resource mobilization targets. And we must facilitate access to the benefits of technology for all, including those in the poorest quintiles, while ensuring that the intellectual property regime (creates the right) does not dis-incentivate the technological innovation needed for sustainable, redistributive development. The urgency is particularly great in the case of low-carbon technologies as part of our efforts to mitigate human-induced climate change.
- There are a number of ongoing international initiatives aimed at accelerating the
development, diffusion and transfer of appropriate, especially environmentally sound,
technologies. Thus far, however, ambition has not matched the challenges at hand.
- Having taken into account the recommendations of the structured? dialogues of
the General Assembly, I propose to establish an online, global platform building on and
complementing existing initiatives, and with the participation of all relevant
(stakeholders) researchers, practitioners and users, in order to: (a) map existing technology transfer facilitation initiatives, needs and gaps, including in areas vital for sustainable redistributive development, including agriculture, cities and health; (b) enhance international cooperation and coordination in this field, addressing fragmentation and facilitating synergies, including within the UN system; and (c) promote networking, information sharing, knowledge transfer, and technical assistance, to advance the scaling up of clean technology initiatives.
- At the same time, I call upon all Member States to (a) urgently finalize
arrangements for the establishment of the proposed Technology Bank and the
Science, Technology, and Innovation Capacity Building Mechanism for LDCs, (b)
significantly scale up cooperation for the sharing of technologies, strengthening
knowledge and capacity building for usage, innovation capacities, including ICTs,
(c) make the adjustments necessary in the national and international policy
frameworks to facilitate these actions, (d) substantially progress in the development,
transfer, and dissemination of such technologies and knowledge to developing
countries on favorable, concessional, and preferential terms; (e) ensure that our
global intellectual property regimes and the application of TRIPS flexibilities are
fully consistent with and contribute to the goals of sustainable, redistributive development (which it is not now); (f) make specific commitments to shifting public resources out of harmful technologies, and into our sustainable development goals; and (g) promote the acceleration of the innovation-to-market-to-public good cycle of clean and environmentally sound technologies.
4.3 Investing in capacities for sustainable development
- To achieve our goals, countries need to integrate them in national progressive realization of human rights planning, in policy, budgets, law, and institutions. They will require integrated institutions that are effective and human resources equipped with the skills and capacities to deliver a sustainable, redistributive development. Governments, in consultation with all (stakeholders) claim holders in different sectors, will need to review national progressive realization strategies and policies to support progress towards the goals, consistent with national human rights priorities.
- These strategies will also have to be reviewed, and implemented at the local
level, with the full engagement of local authorities and local claim holder groups. In many instances, subnational and local authorities, including mayors, are already leading the charge for sustainable but not necessarily redistributive development. Institutional and human capacities will, in many cases, need to be strengthened for effective implementation and monitoring. This includes bolstering capacities to assess (needs) ongoing human rights violations, collect data and formulate responses across sectors and
- Executive institutions, parliaments and the judiciary will need the capacity to
perform their functions in this endeavour. Also institutions of public interest civil society must have the capacity and be given the space to perform their critical, independent role.
- Many developing countries will need support for capacity building. LDCs and post-conflict countries will have particularly urgent needs. For this, the United Nations is
working to revitalize and improve its role in capacity development.x Here too, (ambition) commitment will need to be scaled up, especially in the immediate term, not only by the United Nations, but by all partners in the process.
- As we seek to build capacities and to help the new agenda to take root,
volunteerism can be another powerful and cross-cutting means of implementation.
Volunteerism can help to expand and mobilize constituencies, and to engage people in
national planning and implementation for sustainable, redistributive development goals. And volunteer groups can help to localize the new agenda by providing new spaces of interaction between governments and (people) claim holders for concrete and scalable actions.
- Finally, we must also mobilize the power of culture in the transformative change
we seek. Our world is a remarkable mosaic of diverse cultures, informing our evolving
understanding of sustainable, redistributive development. We still have much to learn from cultures as we build the world we want. If we are to succeed, the new agenda cannot remain the exclusive domain of institutions and governments. It must be embraced by people acting as de-facto claim holders claiming their rights. Culture, in different aspects, will thus be an important force in supporting the new agenda.
- Delivering Our Agenda: a Shared Responsibility
5.1 Measuring the new dynamics
- Progress in sustainable, redistributive development will depend on (vibrant?) fair economies and inclusive, redistributive growth to keep pace with growing populations and longer life expectancies, and to generate employment with fair wages, and revenues for universal social programmes. But for making our economies inclusive, redistributive and sustainable, our understanding of economic performance, and our metrics for gauging it, must be broader, deeper and more precise.
- We need to reconsider how to account for sustainable production and responsible
consumption patterns in national accounting. Measures that do not distinguish between
socially and environmentally harmful activities and violated HR on the one hand, and social goods and fulfilled HR on the other, that do not account for equity and the distribution of costs and benefits, and do not include impacts on future generations, will not help us to navigate to a sustainable future.
- Member States have recognized the importance of building on existing
initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that go
beyond gross domestic product but do not consider needed disparity reduction. Thus, work on developing alternative measures or progress, beyond GDP and towards fulfilling HR, must receive the dedicated attention of the United Nations, international financial institutions(!), the scientific community, and public institutions.
These metrics must be squarely focused on measuring social and HR progress, human wellbeing, justice, security, equality, wealth redistribution and sustainability. (Poverty) Disparity reduction measures (should) must reflect the multi-dimensional nature of poverty and the ongoing violation of HR. New measures of subjective wellbeing are
potentially important new tools for policy-making.
- To realize a sustainable, redistributive development agenda, we also need measurable targets and technically rigorous indicators. Plus the political determination to act on those indicators. Here too, Member States have advanced the process significantly, by proposing an array of targets, which bring a strong integrating effect, and
go a long way in defining the substance of what we need to achieve. How many on HR? However while many remain robust and responsive to the goals, others serve better the ongoing work of
developing indicators for the agenda meaning what?. A few of the targets are less ambitious than already agreed meaning what? and some better placed where commitments to policy change can be ensured.
- What is needed now is a technical and political review to ensure that each is framed in
language that is specific, measurable, achievable, and consistent with existing United
Nations human rights and other standards, covenants and agreements, while preserving the important political balance that they represent. To these ends, the (technical) experts of the United Nations System are available to review the targets, including on the means of implementation, and to compare and align the level of ambition and potential commitment represented by each to that of existing international targets, (commitments,) standards, and agreements thus strengthening the overall framework of the goals and making sure they advance HR. This will also contribute to coherence in the discussion on financing for development.
- In addition, where a proposed target is stated in measurable terms, but no
quantitative target has been specified, Member States may wish to seek the input of the
United Nations System, in consultation with its partners in academia and the
scientific community, on evidence for attaching specific global target levels.
- A set of applicable indicators will also need to be identified to allow us to
collect, compare, and analyse reliable data, to do so at the adequate level of
disaggregation, as of 2016. For this purpose, Member States may decide to task the
United Nations System, in consultation with other relevant experts and through a
multi-stakeholder? dialogue, to develop a draft set of indicators.
5.2. Lighting the way: the role of data in the new agenda
- We seek an evidence-based course for realizing a sustainable and redistributive development. For this, we must face the complex challenges this presents, and as a response to the varying country realities, capabilities and resistance attitudes.
- As indicated by my Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution
for Sustainable Development, the world must acquire a new ‘data literacy’ in order to be
equipped with the tools, methodologies, capacities, and information necessary to shine a
light on the challenges of responding to the new agenda. Enhanced national and
international statistical capacities, rigorous indicators, reliable and timely data sets, new
and non-traditional data sources, and broader and systematic disaggregation to reveal
inequities and especially HR inequalities will all be fundamental to implementing it.
- In all of this, we must maximize our commitment to public transparency,
information sharing, participatory monitoring and open data, while never compromising
on the obligation to protect the right to privacy. And we must significantly scale up
support to countries and national statistical offices with critical needs for capacities to
produce, collect, disaggregate, analyse, share AND use data crucial to the new agenda.
- To these ends, I recommend that, under the auspices of the UN Statistical
Commission, a comprehensive programme of action on data be established. This
includes the building of a global consensus, applicable principles and standards for
data, a web of data innovation networks to advance innovation and analysis, a new
innovative financing stream to support national data capacities, and a global data
partnership to promote leadership and governance.
- Specifically, we will carry out in close cooperation with country experts an in depth
analysis of the existing data and information gaps and, thus, determine the scale
of the investments needed to establish a modern SDG monitoring system. We will
catalyze a multi-stakeholder Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, to
mobilize and coordinate the actions required to make the data revolution serve sustainable, redistributive development, promoting initiatives such as the holding of inclusive ‘World Fora on Sustainable Development Data’. As said, collection of reliable data is, per-se, not a solution. We may end up chronicling the evolution of developments without changing them…
5.3. Gauging our progress: Monitoring, evaluation and reporting
- If we are to succeed, the new agenda must become part of the contract between
(people) claim holders, including the guarantee of public interest civil society, and responsible conflict-free business, donors and governments as responsible duty bearers nationally
and locally. Parliaments must be strengthened to deepen democracy and carry out their
constitutional mandates of oversight of the implementation of the agenda with a HR focus. All companies must pay their taxes, respect labour standards, human rights and workers rights in particular, and the be protective of the environment. Empowered public interest civil society actors, through action and advocacy, must rally to the cause, and contribute to a sustainable, redistributive, equitable and prosperous future.
- We must now embrace a culture of shared responsibility, one based on agreed
universal human rights norms, global commitments, shared rules and evidence, collective action, and benchmarking for the progressive realization of progress. The new paradigm of accountability that we seek is not one neither of North to South, nor South to North conditionalities, but rather one of all actors —governments, international institutions, private sector actors as duty bearers, and organizations of civil societies in all countries as claim holders. (to the people themselves). This is the real test of a people-centred,
- Such a model can only be built on national ownership, broad claim holder participation, and full transparency. To be effective, it must be aligned with the post-2015 agenda and its new goals centered on HR. To be efficient, it must be streamlined and employ existing mechanisms and processes. To be evidence-based, it must be grounded in the data revolution, and the indicators and data that emerge therefrom. To be truly universal, it must apply to all actors—in both the public and the private sectorsxi, at both the national and international levels. It must include opportunities for mutual review??, and mutual support at the regional and global levels.
- In recent months, United Nations consultations have emphasized the need for a
voluntary, state-led, participatory, evidence-based, and multi-tiered process to monitor
- Thus, a universal review process constructed on these principles should be
initiated at the national level, and should inform the national, regional, and global level
reviews. At all levels, review discussions should be public, participatory, broadly
accessible, and based on facts, data, scientific findings, and evidence-based evaluations.
The principal components (might) should include:
- A country-led, national component for accountability. In the overall
review process, this national segment, as that closest to the people as claim holders, (should) must be the most significant. It should be built on existing national and local
mechanisms and processes, with broad, (multi-stakeholder) claim holders/duty bearers participation, including national and local government, parliaments, public interest civil society, science, academia and conflict free business. It would establish progressive realization benchmarks, review the national policy framework with a HR lens, chart progress, learn lessons, consider solutions, follow-up,
and report AND act thereon. For this, a government report, a national (stakeholder) a civil society shadow report with contributions from national non-governmental actors, as well as a report compiling existing information and data from United Nations agencies and
international financial institutions, all based upon globally-harmonized formats, (would) will constitute the main written inputs on individual country progress or stagnation.
- A regional component for peer reviewing, tailored to regional and
sub-regional needs, and undertaken by existing mechanisms in a participatory,
(multi-stakeholder) process that includes claim holders representatives, to consider national reports, identify regional trends, obstacles, commonalities, best practices and lessons learned, and to generate solutions and mutual. (support and solutions). Regional reviews should incorporate and build on the experiences and successes of mechanisms such as
the Regional Economic Commissions, the Africa Peer Review Mechanism, the
Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, the ECE Environmental
Performance Reviews, and the OECD/DAC Peer Reviews.
iii. A global component for knowledge sharing, as a forum for
participatory (multi-stakeholder) and, importantly, universal review, will start at
the launch of the new agenda. This (would) will be convened annually under the
auspices of the high level political forum (HLPF). It would provide a periodic
occasion for individual countries to (voluntarily) present national reviews of
progress, to discuss lessons learned in each country’s implementation of the
agenda, and the opportunity to review both short-term outputs and long-term
outcomes of the impact on progressively attaining the goals. Member States should consider multi-annual reviews under HLPF in a five-year cycle.
- A thematic component is needed to chart global progress at regular intervals on
the sustainable development framework, to help to identify challenges and
bottlenecks, and to mobilize action to address them. While such thematic
reviews could be carried out under the auspices of the HLPF, they would rely
on relevant coordination and review “platforms.” These could include
existing specialized or functional commissions, councils, or committees that
convene United Nations and other multilateral entities, relevant treaty body
reviews and outcomes, as well as Member States, partners from public interest civil society, science, academia and no- conflict private sector, and would monitor and advance each respective thematic area. Existing partnerships should also be linked to such platforms, in order to ensure (efficient) prompt and effective action and accountability.
To support and complement the process, and to ensure continuous gauging of
progress, the United Nations would provide annual global thematic reports
aggregating available data, together with the Global sustainable Development
Report, mandated by Rio+20.
- A component to review the global partnership for sustainable redistributive, development. The essential element of an equal partnership and its mobilization of the
means necessary for implementation must also be kept under active review.
As they prepare for the Third Conference on Financing for Development in
Addis Ababa, Member States (should) must seize the opportunity to consider how
existing structures and processes can help review and strengthen the global
partnership for sustainable development, including the Global Partnership for
Effective Development Cooperation. An important additional role for the
review process under this component will be to address the respective
conference tracks targeting the special conditions and needs of LDCs, LLDCs,
- The current structure of our intergovernmental bodies can accommodate the
universal review process described above. The establishment of the HLPF, which meets
under the auspices of ECOSOC and the General Assembly, as well as the United Nations
Environment Assembly, were important institutional innovations emerging from
Rio+20. And the reform of ECOSOC has been another important step forward.
5.4 Making the UN fit for transformation
- This new, universal, sustainable development agenda requires an international
community that is “fit for purpose” in order to support countries to implement a new
generation of sustainable redistributive development goals. All who would be engaged in its
implementation will need to embrace its new parameters and its transformative elements.
The United Nations is no exception given its role in leading and shaping the sustainable
development agenda to 2030
- A UN system that is “fit for purpose” to deliver on the post-2015 agenda is one
that is relevant, innovative, agile, inclusive, coordinated and results-oriented. It is guided
by universal human rights and other international norms, integrates the UN’s normative
frameworks with its operational activities, and is responsive to the differentiated needs of
countries. It provides specialized advice when requested, and is equally adept at ensuring
an integrated approach, working across disciplines with relevant skill sets to better
support Member States in addressing complex multisectoral challenges. It forges effective partnerships to leverage external partners’ expertise, capacities and resources. Such a system requires shared goals, visionary and committed leadership, and a global, highly skilled and adaptable international civil service. And it must reach the highest standards of accountability, transparency and impact.
- In doing so, the UN system is committed to working more collaboratively to
leverage the expertise and capacities of all its organizations in support of sustainable
development. At the country level, UN Country Teams will provide coherent support to
national (stakeholders) actors to implement their new post-2015 development strategies while accelerating implementation of the standard operating procedures for “delivering as one” in order to achieve greater results for a sustainable and redistributive development. Emphasis will also be placed on using data and evidence more effectively and transparently and developing greater analytical capacity for really addressing inequalities, risk and vulnerability. The UN system will continue to pursue the development of more innovative and integrated (business) management models and the implementation of modern operational practices to gain efficiencies and enhanced impact.
- Ongoing efforts will also be deepened to ensure that a high-performing, mobile
and diverse workforce is in place to support the new post-2015 sustainable development
agenda. It must be able to leverage the respective expertise and specializations of UN
agencies to work across disciplines and functions to better address complex multi-sectoral challenges. An independent, highly skilled, engaged international civil service that can meet the ever-changing needs of the international community is our major comparative advantage. We will invest in attracting, retaining and deploying high-performing staff across locations, mandates and (business) management models.
- Critically, for the UN to be more “fit for purpose”, Member States must also be
more coherent in their support, in particular as it relates to governance and funding of the
UN system. Sustained development financing for longer-term support and that enables
pooling of resources and brings together development and humanitarian financing will be
critical as will more coherent UN funding mechanisms that unite rather than fragment the
development policy framework. Increased country cotizations to UN agencies is the key to independence from current non-transparent, conflict ridden PPPs.
- In this context, Members States (may wish) are to reinforce current actions being
taken as well as take initiatives to ensure that the UN system is “fit for purpose” to
support this new transformative agenda and achieve coordination and coherence of
development actors at country level.
- Conclusion: Together in a Universal Compact
- Today’s world is a troubled world; one in turmoil and turbulence, with no
shortage of painful political and human rights upheavals. Societies are under serious strain, stemming from the erosion of our common values, climate change and growing inequalities, to migration pressures and borderless pandemics. It is also a time in which the strength of national and international institutions is being seriously tested. The nature and scope of this daunting array of enormous challenges necessitate that both inaction and business-as-usual must be dismissed as options. If the global community does not exercise national and international leadership in the service of the inalienable rights of our peoples, we risk further fragmentation, impunity and strife, endangering both the planet itself as well as a future of peace, sustainable and redistributive development and, foremost, the respect of human rights. Simply put, this generation is charged with a duty to transform our societies.
- 2015 is hence the belated time for global action. During this single year we, once again, have the unequivocal opportunity and responsibility to adopt sustainable development, to clean up and restructure the global financial system in line with our needs, and to respond finally and urgently to the challenge of human-induced climate change. Although some problems have been with us for long, never before has the world had to face such a complex agenda in a single year. And this unique opportunity will not
come again in our generation.
- We must take the first, determined steps toward a sustainable and dignified
future. Transformation and a change of the development paradigm are our aims. We must transform our economies, our environment, and our societies. We must change old mindsets, behaviours, and exploitative and destructive patterns. We must embrace the integrated essential elements of Dignity, People, Prosperity, Planet, Justice and Partnership. We must build cohesive societies, in pursuit of international peace and stability, as well as the respect of HR. And, we must prioritise (good) fair international solutions through the prism of being in the national interest of every Member State.
- Such a future is possible if we collectively mobilise political will and the
necessary resources to strengthen our nations and the multilateral system. We have the
means and methods to meet these challenges if we decide to employ them and work
together. If the Member States now mobilise the world around action for a sustainable
and redistributive development – nationally and internationally – the United Nations will have proved its value as the primary universal body living up to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter with its three pillars.
- Overall, our work now is a sobering and inspiring challenge. We are on the
threshold of the most important year of development since the founding of the United
Nations itself. We must give meaning to this Organization’s promise “to reaffirm faith in
the dignity and worth of the human person” and to take the world forward to a sustainable
future. With this extraordinary process and the unprecedented leadership that it has
witnessed, we have a historic opportunity and duty to act, boldly, vigorously and
expeditiously, to turn reality into a life of dignity for all, leaving no one behind.