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post 2015
The Millennium Development Goals outline specific targets to be accomplished by 2015 in the fight against global poverty. What happens after 2015, though? With all the work that has to be done to meet the 2015 goals, looking beyond next year is not at the forefront of many peoples’ minds.

The United Nations has attempted to begin a global conversation about a post-2015 agenda to follow the MDGs.

U.N. leaders trying to formulate a concrete set of post-2015 goals have found that conducting a global conversation is difficult. The United Nations Development Programme sent out an online survey to 1.44 million people from 194 different countries to inquire about what they would like to see included in future goals.

Emerging priorities include education, healthcare and an improved job market.

Despite the survey’s results, the main priority for post-2015 seems to be sustainable development goals. Current research is beginning to reveal how important sustainable development and the environment are to the alleviation of global poverty.

As highlighted at a recent conference in Britain, climate change should affect the discussion of post-2015 goals greatly. It is something that was not included in the 2015 MDGs.

The MDGs related to sustainable development include biodiversity loss reduction, improved access to safe and clean drinking water, decreased number of people living in slums and incorporation of sustainable development policies into more countries’ legal systems.

Climate change hits developing countries hard, especially countries with economies that depend on farming exports. Many citizens in developing countries also depend on farming as a means of personal survival. It also  causes weather-related natural disasters that can destroy communities that lack funds to rebuild.

Discussing climate change must be done sooner rather than later.

“Everything is related to everything,” said  Tom Bigg, head of partnerships at the International Institute for Environment and Development.

The Development Cooperation Forum will work with the U.N. to determine the best course of action beyond 2015. The Forum will look at global needs, as well as the people’s wishes, to determine where the world should focus its attention after the 2015 MDGs have passed.

Emily Walthouse

Sources: The Guardian, IIED, Thomas Reuters Foundation, UN 1, UN 2, UN 3
Photo: Free Digital Photos

2015_Development_Agenda
In a recent address, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President John Ashe stated that a framework of accountability is essential in the development of post-2015 goals and their success. President Ashe expressed that such a mechanism “must be inclusive, transparent and based on mutual respect; it must promote mutual learning; it will need to contain feedback and/or inputs from the national to the regional and global levels; and it must fully utilize the new potential of data and technology.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also recognized the possibility of failure if a system of accountability is not put into place, or if it is not implemented properly. “Any framework for accountability must apply to all, taking into account their different capacities and responsibilities. Accountability mechanisms and platforms should be nimble and decentralized.”

Established by the UN in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals were an attempt to increase development and meet the needs of a global community. The goals include:

1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger

2. Attaining universal primary education

3. Promoting gender equality

4. Reducing child mortality

5. Improving maternal health

6. Combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria

7. Ensuring environmental sustainability

8. Establishing a global partnership for development

The target date for the completion of these goals was set for 2015, and with less than two years left until the deadline, the UN and other global partners have begun discussing a post-2015 development agenda.

The Secretary General also stated in a report that four fundamentals must form the foundation of the post-2015 agenda: a far-reaching vision of the future firmly anchored in human rights and universally accepted values and principles, a set of concise goals and targets aimed at realizing the priorities of the agenda, a global partnership for development to mobilize means of implementation and a participatory monitoring framework for tracking progress and mutual accountability mechanisms for all stakeholders.

UNESCO released a document summarizing their own concerns of the future of the Education for All (EFA) goals after 2015. Their stated “thematic priorities” include:

1. Establishing early childhood care and education as the foundation of learning

2. Enhancing youth and adult literacy

3. Recognizing the central role of teachers for delivering quality education

4. Increasing emphasis on skills for life and for work

5. Strengthening of education for sustainable development and global citizenship

In their statement on the operationalization of a post-2015 agenda, UNESCO also recognized the need for an accountability framework that is flexible enough to account for different educational priorities across countries and adapt to changing global situations.

As development of the agenda has progressed, it has become clear that the intention is not to abandon the Millennium goals in favor of more easily attainable markers, but to continue their pursuit through more effective means.

– Kristen Bezner

Sources: UNESCO, UN General Assembly Report, UN News Centre
Photo: UN News Centre

un_foundation
In the face of toughest global challenges, the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) links problems with solutions to foster global peace, prosperity, and justice. It connects people, ideas, and resources to help the United Nations (UN) solve the most intractable global problems, such as energy access, climate change, global health, women’s empowerment, population, hunger, and poverty eradication. In fact, it literally reflects its motto, “Connecting You with the United Nations.”

Established by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner in 1998, the UN Foundation has been an advocate for the UN and helped the UN address pressing and far-reaching international issues through partnerships, campaigns, and fundraising.

A worldwide partnership between the public and private sectors is indispensable and very significant. The UN Foundation has a wide range of dynamic and win-win partnerships with corporations, organizations, and influences around the world. Since the UN Foundation was founded, it has established more than 300 organizational partnerships with over 40 UN agencies and more than 100 governments.

A great example of its corporate partnership is the collaboration between NBA Cares and the UN Foundation campaign Nothing But Nets, a global grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Not only does the message about malaria reach wide audiences via the platform provided by NBA Cares, but it also highlights the involvement of NBA Cares in the campaign. In this way, the UN Foundation offers its partners the ability to do good in the world while also promotes their corporate causes.

To strengthen the connection between the UN and influences, the UN Foundation supports the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) to run the UN Creative Community Outreach Initiative (CCOI), which acts as a liaison between the UN and top level content creators, such as directors, new media professionals, and writers. The initiative aims to inform people about the activities of the UN and its priority issues via TV, film, music, and new media.

Because of the approaching 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a blueprint accepted by all the world’s countries and leading development institutions, discussion over the Post-2015 Development Agenda has become one of the most important and influential conversations of this century. As a longstanding and strong supporter of the UN, the UN Foundation will convene informal meetings and workshops on thematic issues and facilitate global dialogues among developing country think tanks, thought leaders, civil society and private sector partners.

– Liying Qian

Sources: UN Foundation, UN Business, UN CCOI, UN Association
Photo: PR Web

drinking_water
According to UN reports, the post-2015 UN development agenda must address the issue of access to clean water and sanitation.

Various UN entities such as the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF,) UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Friends of Water, and the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation have released a joint statement saying “Member states must ensure that the post-2015 development agenda addresses inequalities that prevent millions of people from getting access to basic services.”

These UN entities have also stressed countries should “frame the new development agenda around the principles of equality and non-discrimination.”

The issue was raised this past Wednesday at UN Headquarters. The UN entities attended a panel in which the post-2015 development goals were addressed. The panel focused on eliminating inequality. In addition, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson emphasized that future goals, targets and indicators should include an explicit focus on the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups and individuals.

“I today join those who are calling for the post-2015 development agenda to address inequality. We need to dismantle the multiple and systematic barriers that marginalize the most vulnerable members of society so that we can achieve a life of dignity for all,” Eliasson said.

He further discussed inequality by ensuring that development in the coming years and beyond will focus on “marginalized peoples who have remained hidden within aggregate statistics, and who continue to have no access to basic services.”

The Deputy Secretary-General embodies what the UN is supposed to work towards- bettering the quality of life for people around the world. His plan to focus on inequality and clean water in the 2015 Development goals will likely ensure a better future for developing nations. If people continue to focus on access to clean water, the 768 million people who do not have access to safe drinking water most likely will.

– Stephanie Olaya

Sources: UN, Water World