Beyond 2015 response to HLP communiqué
Beyond 2015 is looking forward to the report of the UN HLP at the end of May 2013. In the meantime, we offer our comments on the communiqué from the HLP meeting in Bali, where global partnerships and means of implementation have been discussed.
We welcome the strong ongoing commitment to a ‘single and coherent post-2015 agenda’ which is mutually reinforcing with the Rio+20 outcomes. We also welcome the HLP’s clear support for a universal approach, and hope that inclusion of ‘shared responsibilities in accordance with respective capabilities’ means a commitment to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
Beyond 2015 co-chair Neva Frecheville welcomes that the “new development framework should be based on the principles of equity, sustainability, solidarity, respect for humanity and shared responsibilities, as it reflects the foundational values Beyond 2015 has identified of equity, environmental sustainability, global responsibility, and poverty eradication. However, we are concerned that human rights are not being given necessary prominence.”
Beyond 2015 seeks a stronger emphasis on human rights, with Beyond 2015 co-chair Mwangi Waituru commenting: "human rights will not be conscripted to the margins of a people's post-2015 development agenda. Human rights need to be the building block upon which global partnership is constructed and implementation of the framework will have to follow a human rights based approach, not a charitable one." For a new framework to be truly grounded in human rights, it should foster peace and security which is a fundamental prerequisite for people to claim their rights.
We agree that strong ownership of the agenda at all levels is essential, as recommended clearly by the national civil society deliberations conducted by Beyond2015/GCAP/IFP to ensure strong links between the global framework and national and local planning processes, specifically budgeting and participatory democratic processes which are essential for accountability.
The conversation on means of implementation has progressed and now includes a variety of options for financing, drawing on discussions already taking place in other fora – we particularly commend the Panel’s commitment in the Bali communiqué to regulate tax havens and illicit financial flows. However, this alone will not address aspects of the current economic and financial systems and multilateral institutions which are damaging to both people and planet. Further, we assume that ODA is one of the ‘other instruments’ envisaged to strengthen societies and we remind countries that, while financing for development in the post-2015 agenda should go beyond aid, we expect at least 0.7% ODA to remain an important element.
We are pleased to see that environmental protection and sustainable production and consumption are a high priority for the HLP. However, we need to be explicit that the changed behaviour of all countries must add up to a low carbon development pathway that remains within safe planetary boundaries. As a first step towards a planet-sensitive agenda, we recommend changing the focus from economic growth to inclusive economic sustainability as one of the three dimensions of sustainable development.
There is a high level of agreement from all stakeholders that inequality is one of the major global challenges to be addressed in the post-2015 framework. Given this level of consensus, we are surprised that the HLP has not reflected this issue and expect the final report to set a clear direction on reducing inequalities both between and within countries. This will ensure that action delivers for everybody, not only those easiest to reach, and addresses the increasing gap between the richest and poorest. As the Bali communiqué identifies, data disaggregation will be essential but the ‘data revolution’ must have a specific focus on those usually excluded.
We are pleased to see the Panel’s focus on improved global governance and we look forward to further clarification on the exact definition of good global governance in the Panel’s final report, and how it would improve current systems. We agree that improved accountability mechanisms require substantial investment, which should ensure accountability to people, based on clearly established responsibilities of different actors such as governments, multilaterals and private sector actors. The ‘global partnership’ needs to be a partnership of equals. Beyond 2015 co-chair Mwangi Waituru says “This should not and will not just be about equality, it is also about fairness and equity - both fair play and fair share."
Finally, we are pleased that the HLP has found the various inputs from civil society and other sectors useful, and that the Panel seeks to find ways to reflect the priorities they have heard, which is doubtless a difficult task. We look to continue civil society engagement as the process continues. We will analyse the final report, to assess the extent of agreement between civil society and the High Level Panel on those priorities.
Mwangi Waituru, The Seed Institute Neva Frecheville, CAFOD
Co-Chairs of the Beyond 2015 Executive Committee
 These groups should specifically include: age; Indigenous/ tribal groups; Religious and ethnic minorities; People with disability; Marginalized cast groups; Children, and specially children without parental care; Youth and adolescents; People living in remote areas; People living in conflict and disasters prone and affected areas; People discriminated against based on sexual and gender identity; People living with HIV/AIDS and other diseases generating stigma; Elderly; Migrant workers; Stateless People.