What will it take for the world’s nations to agree and commit to the next set of development goals that are relevant for all? What are the lessons learned from the current MDGs? How can we ensure that the post-2015 agenda is rooted in the needs of the poor?
Focusing on the ongoing work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the UN process to formulate the new post-2015 framework, UNDP’s Nordic Office and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation are jointly organising a seminar series to stimulate the discussion on critical development challenges. Drawing on international experts and civil society organisations, especially from the Global South, we hope to inspire development actors in Sweden, and create a platform for international voices to be heard in the Swedish debate. The seminar series aims to shed light on the the processes and major events leading up to the final formulation of the new global development agenda. The series will run throughout 2013 and into 2014.
July 5 | Sweden and the Post2015 agenda.
Conversation between representatives of Sweden’s political parties.
May 16 | Beyond economic growth and global statistics – Measuring real development
What we measure and how we measure it is closely linked with the way we define and interpret development. A major strength of the current MDGs is their conciseness – with time-bound quantitative targets and measurable indicators. At the same time, the MDGs have been criticized for being too simplistic, neglecting social dimensions and inequalities in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and other variables.
Sakiko Fukuda-Parr was lead author and director of the UNDP Human Development Reports from 1995 to 2004. She is currently involved in a major research project on the MDGs, called “The Power of Numbers.”
Powerpoint | Podcast (25 minutes)
Mariama Williams, is Senior research fellow with the South Centre, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries. She presently works on climate change and the post-2015 agenda in particular.
Powerpoint | Podcast (29 minutes)
April 8 | Toward zero hunger and sustainable food production?
Global food security and nutrition in the post-2015 agenda
Halving the number of people who suffer from hunger by 2015 – the first MDG – is within reach. Yet, 870 million people are still chronically undernourished in the world. At the Rio+20 conference, the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, launched the Zero Hunger Challenge, envisioning a world of lasting food security and no hunger. This seminar will explore how this challenge can be met within the post-2015 agenda.
Lennart Båge was the President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development between 2001 and 2009. | Video (20 minutes)
Goals for the Rich – Making the next development agenda relevant and aspirational for all
Many people argue that the next set of development goals must be formulated for all countries and not – as the current MDGs – primarily focus on the developing world. With natural systems under severe stress and resource scarcity threatening the right to development of the world’s poor, is it time to devise goals involving the rich?
How can we build a new global development agenda?
What will it take for the world’s nations to agree and commit to the next set of development goals – relevant and aspirational for all? What are the lessons learned from the current MDGs? How can we ensure that the post-2015 agenda is rooted in the needs of the poor, avoiding a northern and technocratic makeup?
Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General,
United Nations. | Video
Charles Abugre Akelyira, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign in Africa. | Video
Anita Nayar, Executive Committee member, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN). | Video
Johanna Teague, Special Adviser to Development Minister Gunilla Carlsson on the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. | Video
Moreover, goals originally envisaged to be global have been interpreted as national goals, turning the MDGs into a one-size-fits-all model, with uniform numerical targets blind to country-specific conditions. For some countries this has set the bar too high, whereas others have lacked the incentives to act. And while many developing countries have made progress on several goals and indicators, this has often not benefited the poorest members of society.
Calls are now being made for a different metrics in the post-2015 framework. Many people maintain that the new goals should accommodate greater social diversity and a more complex approach to development and human welfare. This being said, many developing countries are hampered by a lack of the most basic data on key social and economic variables governing people’s lives.
As the High Level Panel on the post-2015 agenda recently concluded: “We need a data revolution“.
This seminar explores how to best measure development, looking ahead to the post-2015 framework:
- What lessons can be learnt from the current MDGs and how can we ensure the availability of better and more accountable data?
- Can money and economic growth be replaced as the main indicators for development? What other welfare measures should be deployed?
- How do we reconcile economic growth and environmental limits?
- Is there a risk that we formulate goals that are measurable rather than goals we really want to achieve?
- Does investment in measuring development always lead to better results?
Sakiko Fukuda-Parr was lead author and director of the UNDP Human Development Reports from 1995 to 2004. A development economist by training and currently Professor of International Affairs at the New School, Fukuda-Parr is a member of the Committee on Development Policy of the UN ECOSOC and of the High Level Task Force on the Right to Development of the UN Human Rights Council. Fukuda-Parr also serves on the Board of Centre for Economic and Social Rights. She is currently involved in a major research project on the MDGs, called “The Power of Numbers.”
Mariama Williams, PhD, is Senior research fellow with the South Centre, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries. She served on UNIFEM’s International Advisory Committee of Progress of the World’s Women and has been a member of the Director General’s Advisory Council at the World Trade Organization. A Director of the Institute of Law and Economics (ILE-Jamaica) and past managing partner with Integrated Policy Research Institute (IPRI), Dr. Williams is also a board member of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. She presently works on climate change and the post-2015 agenda in particular.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.4
Targeting hunger in the next development agenda
Attended by more than a hundred participants from notably government agencies, ministries, civil society, and academia, the seminar dealt with a range of critical aspects related to the future food security of the world and the challenges it brings, including population growth projections, increasing global food demand, global warming, and the growing burden placed on already scarce natural resources.
“We live in a world of change and the problem of hunger must be part of the wider debate on sustainable development,” said Lennart Båge, former Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “It’s not a question of production, we grow enough food to feed the world’s population, it is all about supply and distribution – which in turn requires political will.”
The seminar also hosted two other panelists, Richard China, Director of the FAO EU office, and Maria Elena Rebagay, Senior policy officer with the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA).
“Trying to eradicate hunger is not only to do the right thing, it also has political and economic benefits,” said Richard China. “A hungry man is an angry man, and not to deal with the problem can involve a high price for the next generation.”
All of the speakers emphasized the importance of strengthening women farmers who, despite their central role to agriculture, often lack the right to resources, such as water, energy and land.
Moreover, the speakers recurrently stressed the importance of smallholders.
“Because small-scale farmers play such a key role in the fight against hunger, it is important to also let them be part of the discussion,” said Maria Elena Rebagay.
The event was the third in a series of seminars on the post-2015 agenda, organized jointly by the UNDP Nordic Office and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. This particular seminar was also co-organized by FAO Nordic.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.4
Time to formulate objectives that include the rich
It is high time that we formulate development goals that apply to all, both developing and developed countries. The North-South division does not work anymore. If we – the rich countries – scrutinise what we have achieved when it comes to MDG number 8, we cannot say that we have succeeded. The next development agenda must be truly universal.
This message was put forward by Jan Vandemoortele, one of the main architects of the MDGs, at a seminar on the theme of “Goals for the Rich – Making the next set of development goals relevant and aspirational for all”, arranged by UNDP and Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation on February 14 in Stockholm.
The two other main speakers at the seminar were Sivan Kartha, Senior scientist at Stockholm Environment Institute, and Roberto Bissio, Director of Third World Institute and coordinator of Social Watch, an international network of citizen organizations from around the world.
A key question discussed at the seminar concerned the global environmental challenges that threaten the right to development for the world’s poor. The three speakers agreed that the next development agenda is a matter of justice in this respect.
– The North cannot say to the South that ‘our development has been completed, now it’s your turn,” emphasized Jan Vandemoortele.
Roberto Bissio, too, stressed that a rights perspective is crucial to the next development agenda:
– It really is about human rights for all people. We cannot put it more concretely than that.
The discussion among the three panelists focused to a considerable degree on the need for universal responsibility and equal rights for all.
– Goals that apply only to development aid and not, for instance, to trade policy are empty words, said Sivan Kartha.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.4
With only a few years to go to 2015 when the MDGs should be achieved, the process to set a new development agenda is already well underway, building on wide and inclusive consultations across the globe. At this seminar, representatives of the UN Millennium Campaign in Africa, civil society in the global south, and the Swedish government will discuss the challenges and opportunities of the post-2015 process.
The seminar aims to take stock of the successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses, of the MDGs and how this could feed into the next set of goals:
- Did the Millennium Development Goals address the right problems or do we need a radically different development agenda?
- What are the most critical topics discussed in the south and how can we ensure that the voices of the poor feed into the process?
- What are the pitfalls ahead and how can they be avoided?
At the seminar the UN Task Team Report, Realizing the Future We Want for All, and the Report of the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives, No Future Without Justice, will be discussed.
About the reports:
Realizing the Future We Want for All (2012) is the first report from the UN system on the post-2015 development agenda, outlining a system-wide vision and road map. It stresses the need for a more holistic approach and goals applicable to all countries, based on the core principles of human rights, equality, and sustainability.
No Future Without Justice (2012) was jointly issued by a group of CSOs from across the world. It takes as its point of departure the unprecedented coincidence of global crises – economic, social, and ecological – and concludes that it is time to fundamentally rethink conventional development concepts and goals.