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A Red Flag for the Post-2015 High Level Panel

As the UN High Level Panel on Post 2015 meets in Bali, a broad and diverse coalition of civil society activists and organisations including the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, has presented the panel with a "Red Flag" consisting of eight issues that must be addressed if civil society is to support the panel's efforts to frame a new global sustainable development agenda. 
 
In particular, civil society organisations are deeply concerned about the direction the High Level Panel may take with regards to the roles of government, business and multilateral institutions in society.
 
"We need to urgently address the 'poison threads' in society," says Amitabh Behar, co-chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty.  "Corporate land grabs, mega-mines, unjust global trade rules, financial speculation, corruption and the privatisation of essential social services are heightening inequalities, ruining our environment and impoverishing communities across the globe."
 
"The poison threads in our society often fuel violence and conflict as well," adds Marta Benavides, co-chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and a convener of the Feminist Task Force.  "Greed, struggles for resources and a lack of decent work are behind so many of the world's wars.  No society can develop in an environment of fear and insecurity.  Real peace is an essential precondition for development and the High Level Panel must address it."
 
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who is a co-chair of the panel along with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, frequently talks about promoting the 'global threads' of society, like effective institutions and an enabling environment for economic growth.  However civil society leaders maintain that unless global leaders also address the 'poison threads', no new development framework will be successful.
 
Another High Level Panel member, former German President Horst Koehler, understands the importance of reform.  "We can not talk about food security without regulation of financial markets . . . poverty without (addressing) unfair trade, peace and security without small arms control, land degradation without talking of climate," Koehler told a civil society conference in Bonn.
 
The eight Red Flag issues raised by civil society include land and water grabs, the extractives development model, a disregard for planetary boundaries, a lack of gender justice, the current global economic and financial architecture, disregard of human rights, conflicts and violence and accountability and corruption.
 
Individuals and organisations are invited to endorse the statement.  You can read the full statement here:  http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/331092To sign it, click "Expand Post", enter your details and submit.
 
The UN High Level Panel is meeting in Bali, Indonesia from 25 - 27 March and is expected to present its final report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon by the end of May.  Their recommendations will help shape the next global sustainable development agenda, once the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.
 
The "Red Flag" statement, which was drafted during the Bonn civil society meetings on Advancing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, has been shared with the High Level Panel members and discussed during the Town Hall meeting there.  So far, we've received some very positive feedback.
 
Note:  An earlier version of this article was issued and distributed as a Media Release on 25 March 2013.