In August the UN Secretary General’s report entitled “A life of dignity for all” was released. It is focused mostly on accelerating the MDGs, but contains encouraging language around the prioritisation of equality and a universal framework. There is a strong message that the future framework needs to build on MDG progress while simultaneously identifying new challenges. The last section on the post-2015 process calls for “Member States to adopt a universal post-2015 development agenda, with sustainable development at its core.”
Link to the report here.
UN General Assembly and Special Event
The focus for the post-2015 process during the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York will be around the September 25 Special Event towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The associated Outcome Document will be important, as it will include a political indication of the way forward for the Post-2015 process that will very likely include information on the context and potentially an indication of top line content. However, it is unsure the timing on when the Outcome Document will be finalised as there is currently still disagreement from a few strong member states that there should be one unified process towards a post-2015 framework.
In terms of CSO representation, the UN Special Event will feature eight civil society representatives who will participate in four round table sessions and an additional representative who will be the opening speaker. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) is in the process of preparing a background note for the roundtable sessions, which will have a strong focus on inequality.
During the High Level Week of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly a series of events are intended to substantively contribute to shaping the post-2015 development agenda. Major groups of Civil society will have an opportunity to engage in the inter-governmental processes, with limited access, as well as in a series of UN and/or civil society led events that will be open to all NGOs. In addition, governments and/or civil society are convening side events.
All events are posted and updated at: http://csonet.org
The Process After September
The main post-2015 process after September will be conducted through the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development (OWG). The series of four meetings to be held from November to February will be the continuation of an intergovernmental process that will culminate in a report in September 2014. Currently, the OWG is just at the beginning phase of discussing goals and progress, but the report next year will make significant progress towards reaching a set of goals.
The OWG has so far engaged with civil society through the Major Group structures, but has also put in place a process to ensure non Major Group Civil Society representation during the OWG meetings. Beyond 2015 is working to ensure that participating organisations are represented.
UN representatives emphasised the need for continued civil society representation and participation. They affirmed that they would continue to construct an architecture to bring in the voices of as many people as possible. In the next phase of the process they are hoping to develop a set of activities for CSO participation. They additionally reaffirmed the need for CSOs to engage in advocacy to influence decision makers at National and Regional levels as the process moves forward.
Information provided by Sara Mason, Beyon2015 Campaign