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Public Accountability & Just Governance

UN General Assembly - Credit: AnnGav

All governments must fulfill their commitments.

They must be fully accountable to their peoples and transparent in the use of public resources. Governments, institutions, and civil society groups must ensure the causes of corruption are aggressively fought, including in the private sector. Governments are obligated under international law to enforce human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights. They must meet this responsibility by delivering economies that are equitable and work for the poorest people, delivering quality universal public services and ensuring decent work for all. In the formulation of bilateral or multilateral agreements related to aid, debt or trade and investment, governments should neither impose nor accept externally driven conditions making the implementation of the rights above impossible.

Governments should:

  • Ensure gender equality, social justice and stop all forms of violence against women and uphold women's rights including their political participation and access to resources.
  • Deliver comprehensive protection of children - legal, physical, social and economic
  • Enshrine mechanisms with existing and new policies and budgets to ensure equity such as land reform, progressive taxation and poverty reduction strategies.
  • Implement policies that ensure full and productive employment with special attention to youth employment.
  • Actively involve civil society, including the poor, women, children and socially excluded groups, including peoples with disabilities, dalits and indigenous peoples in formulation, decision-making and implementation of international and national development priorities, policies and plans.
  • Enforce and support freedom of expression including freedom of the press and freedom of association.
  • Develop pro-active national anti-corruption strategies consistent with international conventions on anti-corruption.
  • Ensure civil society participation on the budgetary process.
  • Ensure quality, universal public services for all (health and education, water and utilities) and stop privatisation where it causes deprivation and poverty.
  • Emphasize, in their health policies, preventive health, reproductive health and actively combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and diseases associated with poverty.
  • Ensure adequate housing.
  • Ensure young people are partners, not only targets, in development and decision-making.
  • Fully support effective peace-building and conflict prevention strategies and ensure that post conflict reconstruction programmes enshrine social and economic justice, poverty eradication and public accountability.

Governments must commit themselves to achieving and surpassing the MDGS and immediately develop National MDG-Based Plans.