Civil Society statement on post-2015 High-level Panel
Civil Society welcomes UN High Level Panel on Post 2015 but where are the voices of People living in Poverty?
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7 August 2012
The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), CIVICUS, the Feminist Task Force, Oxfam International, Beyond 2015, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Article 19, ATD Fourth World, the World Movement for Democracy and Stakeholder Forum, welcome the appointment by the UN Secretary-General of a diverse High-Level Panel to advise on a post-2015 development agenda.
However, as networks comprising a wide range of civil society organisations at the local, national and global level, we are concerned the High Level Panel does not include the voices of people living in poverty, and their representative associations who deserve a seat at the table. We feel the current composition of the panel is largely ‘state-centric’ and should include greater civil society voices, particularly those of women, workers and other socially excluded populations.
We are pleased to see a balance of countries and regions and diverse perspectives represented on the High Level Panel (HLP). We welcome the appointment of Ms. Graça Machel to the panel, a former Minister of Education in Mozambique and a founding member of GCAP and CIVICUS, who was also proposed as a nominee to the HLP by Beyond 2015 and is a strong proponent of civil society. We also welcome the appointment of Nobel Peace Prize winning journalist, Ms. Tawakei Karman as a young leader. We further commend UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for appointing three co-chairs to ensure a variety of perspectives, in particular the recognition of African women in the appointment of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Moreover, we welcome the appointment of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post 2015, who has already met with representatives of citizens’ organisations and youth representatives. We are hopeful that this will create a precedent for continued engagement with NGOs and social movements in the process.
We recognise our planet and its inhabitants stand on a precipice facing multiple interconnected crises including, climate calamity, financial instability, increasing social inequality as well as deepening poverty and gender-based violence amongst other systematic human rights violations. The Secretary-General and this High-Level Panel must listen to the voices of citizens’ organisations and work with and support civil society to harness resources and mobilise the political will needed to build a sustainable and equitable future for all. In this respect, we are extremely concerned that there are no grassroots organisations represented on the High Level Panel, such as women’s associations, farmers cooperatives, indigenous groups, workers or organisations of the impoverished represented. We urge that such voices are represented as part of any effort to tackle poverty and in building a just, equitable and sustainable world. We affirm that it is communities living in the world’s most vulnerable places that best understand the multiple challenges facing people and the planet. We believe that the High Level Panel must ensure that it is listening to these voices and remains accountable to people living in poverty.
We look forward to working in partnership with the UN in the development of the Post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as we define the world we want beyond 2015. Towards that goal, we applaud the launch the ‘WorldWeWant2015’ digital platform as a partnership between Civil Society and the UN. We expect millions to mobilise online and in the streets and we will work tirelessly to ensure that these voices are heard loud and clear by world leaders. Mass-mobilisation and citizen engagement are critical to the post-2015 discussions. Without it, we will not have the political will nor the global collective action that is so urgently needed to eradicate poverty and inequality and save our planet.
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