DEFINING THE SPECIFICS; FROM MDGs TO THE POST 2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA 101
The Millennium Development Goals were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. The MDGs, were 8 goals that were adopted at the summit to define course and focus for development for the world from 2000-2015. Given that it was the first time the world had set out to attempt to define development priorities in such a manner, there were a few critical discussions that came with the framework. The critique included; MDGs were not formulated in a consultative manner, the implementation bit of the goals was not very well thought out and hence this delayed beginning of action, the goals only targeted a specific section of the world(developing world) and they did not take into account the complexities of the world including the economic, social and environmental pillars of development. The point on the goals not being consultative also hampered the implementation and hindered country and sustainable ownership of the MDG framework.
By the end of 2015, the time-frame to reach the goals and targets set will run out, the 2010 MDG Summit requested the Secretary-General to initiate thinking on a post-2015 development agenda that would succeed the MDGs framework.The Post-2015 development agenda with its broad inputs, opens access and inclusivity such that people of all ages, gender and abilities particularly the youth and older people are no longer sidelined in the development agenda since they are in as much beneficiaries as they are actors. This process has evoked a lot of world wide, thematic and specific interest groups consultations. The onset of conceptualizing the post 2015 development agenda saw the Secretary general set up different streams, working groups and structures to feed into what would be the post 2015development agenda. These included the sustainable development scientific network (SDSN for scientists), the UN Task Force ( for the UN), the UN Global Compact for businesses, the High Level panel of eminent persons who included presidents and other individuals of high standing in society, it was led by President Sirleaf, David Cameron amongst others and finally the Open Working Group for the member states co chaired by Ambassador Kamau Macharia and Ambassador of Hungary to the UN together with various crowdsourcing facilities such as the World we want and my world survey amongst others
Beyond 2015, this new framework will replace the MDGs and set the agenda and policy-making processes in UN member states around major development issues such as poverty reduction, health, gender equality, education, environment, agriculture, food security, water among others. It is crucial that all people including young people, older people, people living with disabilities and other marginalized groups supported by the development actors come together, especially those working on various development issues at the community level, policy advocacy level and global advisory panel levels to discuss and contribute their voice to the global debate on sustainable development.
The post 2015 development agenda is currently defined by a set of 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets laid out in the open working group report. From the 2014 69th sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, it was agreed that the open working group would inform the intergovernmental negotiations. The intergovernmental negotiations started in January 2015, they are set to take place every month and are laid out thematically with a specific focus of the 4 streams that compose the post 2015 development agenda. The UN statistical commission together with member states will define the modalities of coming with indicators globally, regionally and nationally to measure the goals and targets which are yet to be polished, we expect to have as set of indicators ready by March 2016
The other parallel processes and streams of post2015 include the means of implementation primarily defined by the Financing for Development process that will climax at the 3rd international conference on financing to be held in July 2015 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Alongside the intergovernmental negotiations, there are also monthly scheduled discussions for the Financing for development
The other pillars of the post 2015 development agenda includes one on accountability to be discussed in May on the Follow up and review round of intergovernmental negotiations and the political declaration whose outline has been laid out through the elements paper for discussion concluded during the February negotiations. Climate Change is a pertinent discussion to have if we are to pursue sustainable development and take care of the fragile planet, the discussions on Climate change will be finalized in December 2015 in Paris leading to the adoption of the United Nations Framework and Convention on Climate Change.
The world has ably galvanized around the post 2015 development agenda and various issues have been discussed. Let us hope that the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda in September 2015 during the summit scheduled on 25-27th will welcome a new chapter for the world. Lets hope that the next 15 years we will have a new story to tell and that the goals will translate into something meaningful for the every girl, boy, woman, young person and everyone across the world. Also that the “ Leave No One Behind “ mantra will be translated into actionable interventions to eradicate inequalities all over the world.