Post 2015 - Making Sense of The Process
By Caitlin Blaser
The global discussion on MDG achievement is looking ahead to a post 2015 development framework. But engaging in this conversation can be confusing and frustrating due to seemingly overlapping debates, dialogues and engagements.
GCAP is playing a leadership role in the process globally and we hope to support national coalitions and constituency groups connect to relevant parts of the debate. With this in mind, we'd like to briefly outline some of the primary spaces for engagement, starting with five ways to engage with the post-2015 process:
Thematic consultations. These global conversations focus on a range of issues, including inequality, governance and youth. GCAP is co-chairing some of these discussion and involved in others. We encourage you to share information about them with your constituents and participate in those that are of interest to you.
National consultations. Some of these conversations are organised by the UN, others by civil society. In some countries there are dual processes, in others just one. GCAP and Beyond 2015 are jointly leading consultations in thirty countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. CIVICUS and the Commonwealth Foundation are organising consultations in fourteen countries, the UNMC in six countries and UNDP in about fifty countries. GCAP coalitions are also taking a lead in consultations in at least three European nations. There may well be additional processes going on and we encourage you to let us know if there is something happening in your country.
The High Level Panel (HLP). Appointed by the UN Secretary-General, the HLP has 27 members including three co-chairs (the UK Prime Minister plus the Presidents of Indonesia and Liberia). The HLP has held meetings in New York and London and will meet next in Monrovia (28 – 30 January) and Bali (late March, possibly the 27th to 29th). The HLP has set up a secretariat in New York; former GCAP Campaign Director Lysa John is in charge of outreach. Stakeholder meetings and other civil society processes are also taking place in Africa and Asia. In Liberia, representatives of civil society met with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. GCAP and other campaigners have tried to set up a similar meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, but so far without success. The HLP is expected to present its recommendations to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by May. The UN will then consider the Secretary-General's report at the leaders' summit in September.
ONLINE: MY World and The World We Want 2015 website. These online spaces have been developed by the UN in collaboration with civil society. GCAP is playing a role in the TWWW2015 content group and we encourage GCAP's constituents and supporters to share inputs in these online spaces. In addition, you can conduct the “MY World” poll at your events – no matter how large or small – then share the results with us and we'll ensure that they are taken into account. Inputs from MY World and the TWWW2015 website will be shared with the High Level Panel during its meetings.
While much of the post 2015 thinking is linked to UN processes, CIVIL SOCIETY is also driving initiatives outside the UN sphere. In March, the Berlin Civil Society Center is holding a meeting on the post 2015 agenda. This is strongly linked to The World We Want meeting convened by GCAP and CIVICUS in 2010. Through these forums, we are developing a coherent civil society narrative that gives prominence to Southern voices and those most affected by development policies.
In addition to Post 2015 consultations, there is a parallel process that follows on the Rio+20 summit to draft Sustainable Development Goals. In January, the UN announced the members of an “Open Working Group”. While officially there are 30 slots, there are actually nearly 70 states participating in the group.
Some observers note that this Rio+20 process has more prominence within the UN system than the post-2015 process as it is inter-governmental. The High Level Panel, on the other hand, was appointed by the Secretary-General's office.
For GCAP's constituents, it's clear that the environment and development are intricately linked. The Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals conducted by the GCAP & the Feminist Task Force plus climate justice campaigns by our national coalitions have raised recognition among environmental and economic development actors alike that a unified framework is needed for people and planet to move forward together.
It's possible that the Rio+20 and Post 2015 processes will converge, perhaps even by year's end. There are a number of people both within and outside the UN system who believe this will be the best way forward, though this outcome faces political opposition as well.
CAFOD - the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, a British organisation and co-chair of Beyond 2015 – has produced a diagram that captures many of of these discussions. As it makes clear, the post 2015 process hopes to create a marriage of the Rio+20 SDG discussions with the MDGs, resulting in a more holistic set of goals for people and the planet.
These are fast-moving processes and new information is coming out all the time. We're aiming to keep you updated through our newsletters. In addition, there are several places where you can find additional resources related to the post-2015 campaign:
GCAP's Post 2015 Resource page features civil society declarations and voices as well as other updates.
Beyond 2015's website has research reports, position papers by INGOs and more.
High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda (official website)
Monrovia HLP (official website)
The UN also has a page with official documents (though as of this page's publication, the UN page has not been updated since August 2012.)