New Goals for Humanity after 2015
31 May 2013
A New Global Partnership
Today, at the UN, there was an event held that followed the submission of a report to Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the UN. The report is titled, “A New Global Partnership: eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development.” It is a 69 page report that was prepared by the High-Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The report can be read on http://www.post2015hlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/UN-Report.pdf
The First Step
This is a critical time at the UN as every effort is being made to define a new plan for sustainable development. The High Level Panel Report is the first major step in the process. In July of 2012, Ban Kin Moon announced 27 members of the High-Level Panel to advise on the global development framework “beyond 2015” as part of the Secretary General’s post 2015 initiative mandated by the 2010 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit.
The panel was co-chaired by the President of Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the President of Liberia, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, The Right Honourable David Cameron MP. Members included H.M. Queen Al Abdullah of Jordan, Gisela Alonso of Cuba, Fulbert Amoussouga Gero of Benin, Abhijit Banerjee of India, Gunilla Carlsson of Sweden, Patricia Espinosa of Mexico, Maria Angela Holguin of Colombia, Naoto Kan of Japan, Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, Sung-Hwan Kim of Republic of Korea, Horst Kohler of Germany, Graca Machel of Mozambique, Betty Maina of Kenya, Elvira Nabiullina of Russian Federation, Ngozi Okonjo-tweala of Nigeria, Andris Piebalgs of Latvia, Emilia Pires of Timor-Leste, John Podesta of United States of America, Paul Polman of Netherlands, Jean-Michel Severino of France, Izabella Teixeira of Brazil, Kadir Topbas of Turkey, Yingfan Wang of China, Amina J. Mohamed of Nigeria and appointed as ex officio.
Panel members at the meeting today included Tawakkol Karman, Amina J. Mohamed, Emilia Pires, and John Podesta.
The intention of today’s gathering was to directly engage panelists and to provide an opportunity for the community of attendees to share their views and their questions. It was an outreach event. The hope is in world citizens being able to use the recommendations presented in the High Level Panel’s report to strengthen their own engagements within their field of service.
The meeting was moderated by Femi Oke, a journalist who was born in Britain to Nigerian parents and has worked at CNN and Al Jazeera. She brought a vitality to the discussion and was able to demonstrate a mastery in moderating while keeping an eye on twitter. At the end of the meeting, she shared, “whoooh, we are trending on twitter!” A good thing in terms of reaching out. A connection was being made.
Five Transformative Shifts
The core of the story told today was around five transformative shifts taking place between the MDG’s and the recommendations being proposed. It was explained that we are at the end of the beginning. The HLP suggests 5 transformative shifts: 1) we can not leave anyone behind, 2) we must be sustainable, 3) we need to transform economies, 4) we need to build peace, and 5) we need to form new partnerships.
There is also an underlying shift in the way we will measure our achievement. The MDG’s were measured by averaging statistics. It is being recommended that in the future, the data is looked at in a different way with the focus being on achievement by everyone. We can not leave anyone behind. The equality between groups will also be taken into account. In building peace, we will need to come up with concrete measurements. Two suggestions offered as examples were fear from violence, and honest, effective government. The report states that, “Targets will only be considered “achieved” if they are met for all relevant income and social groups.”
Amina Mohamed suggested that two other shifts were taking place. One was that we were moving from the goals being defined on a social level to being also within a sustainable context. And the other shift was that we were moving from north/south development to universality.
Open for Discussion: The World We Want
And then, the outreach was invited. It was all open for discussion, directly engaging the panelists: Michael Andersen from the UK, Samuel Jackson from Liberia, Yanuar Nugroho from Indonesia, and Amina Mohamed, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning.
The transformation of the economy seemed to be the underlying current of comments and questions and discussion. The economic transformation needed to be inclusive, and sustainable, and equitable, calling for the development of an infrastructure to support it. It was suggested that all stakeholders be included. And toward that end, the new infrastructure would need to promote an intercommunity around the world. So, in effect, yet another shift was being suggested, within the discussion, from intergovernmental to intercommunity.
It was suggested that women were at the center of development and that they needed to be integrated and to have universal access and economic empowerment. Women and youth were seen as carriers of change. We need to have “good employment” and improve business by reducing corruption and inequality.
It was voiced that economic growth is not the solution, but can be the problem. We can’t have growth for the sake of growth, but it needs to be people centered. It can’t be business as usual. Our focus needs to be on well being and not on GDP growth. We need to have a human development index. The view was presented that the so called developed countries are not developed because there is not an aspiration to that quality of life. It may be of interest to note the link to UNDP Human Development Reports - http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/
Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, “the mother of the revolution” and a recipient of the Nobel peace prize, suggested that we need to measure transparency and accountability in order to have good governance. Peace is needed to drive development. She also sees a need for each of us to identify ourselves as global citizens. “Arab spring was for the world” She told us that it was good to dream and it is good to achieve our dreams. She shared that she had met with the Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon and that she told him, “Mr. President, your report has to be much stronger than this.” Her sharing met with applause.
The panel told us that the High Level Report is simply one step in the process of defining the development goals for humanity. Much more work is needed in determining how to measure accountability, and how to integrate the aging population. We were told the plan discusses people and not citizens because there are so many of us that are displaced, not being included in the system. In response to the question “where is the money to do these things?” we were told that we have enough money, “the money is just in the wrong place.”
It's Up To Us
We were reminded that the High Level Panel’s report was meant to inspire. It is not a treaty. We have big global challenges and the world needs to come together to solve them.
Homi Kharas who spent 26 years at the World Bank and is now a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director in the Global Economy and Development program of the Brookings Institute, told us that it is about the quality of growth. And in concluding the discussion, he told us that the goals need to be locally owned. It’s up to us to help create the world we want.
The High Level Panel is just one part of the process. We can continue to explore the world we want in terms of the trends and outcomes of gender, age, education and the overall human development index with the link - http://www.worldwewant2015.org/HLPREPORT