After nine months of consultations, the UN High Level Panel on determining the world’s post-2015 development agenda has issued a report calling for a path to sustainable development which will transform the lives of the very poorest.
Set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and co-chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Panel, in its report, elaborates a vision of how the world should develop and grow after the expiry in 2015 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
While praising the achievements of the MDGs, the Panel said they had failed, among other things, to reach out to the very poorest and most excluded people; to highlight the devastating effects of conflict and violence on development; and promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production.
Spurred on by the central idea to eradicate poverty by 2030, the Panel also said development needed to be driven by five transformative shifts: Leave no one behind; put sustainable development at the core; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all; forge a new global partnership.
The Panel recommends that almost all targets should be set at the national, or even local, level to account for different starting points and contexts.
Debby Guha-Sapir, director of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, told IRIN: “What is particularly encouraging is that it sticks its neck out and chooses priorities, instead of an all-inclusive menu that is virtually impossible to monitor, much less implement. The indicators listed are much more specific and better defined than the first phase of the MDGs and will therefore not only be actionable but also measurable. I was particularly heartened to note that comparable indicators, metrics and data are clearly mentioned which means we can look forward to more rigorous attention being paid for better data.”
On which topic the report’s executive summary calls for “a data revolution for sustainable development, with a new international initiative to improve the quality of statistics and information available to citizens. We should actively take advantage of new technology, crowdsourcing, and improved connectivity to empower people with information on the progress towards the targets."
“Targets will only be considered `achieved’ if they are met for all relevant income and social groups.”
For instance, on setting a universal goal to eradicate poverty, the Panel suggests each country could set its own target to bring the number of people living on less than US$1.25 a day to zero and reduce by x percent the share of people living below that country’s 2015 national poverty line. Each country would also set a target to increase by x percent the share of women and men, communities and businesses with secure rights to land, property and other assets; cover x percent of people who are poor and vulnerable with social protection systems; build resilience and reduce deaths from natural disasters by x percent.