Post-2015 development agenda an ‘historic’ opportunity to eradicate poverty – UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) receives report of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda from co-Chair President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia. UN Photo/Mark Garten

30 May 2013 – The world has an historic opportunity to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve sustainability and equality for all through the new post-2015 development agenda, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, launching a report that outlines a new framework to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“We are at the beginning of an historic journey,” Mr. Ban told the General Assembly after receiving the report, compiled by the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The report sets out a roadmap to fill key gaps in the MDG process, such as building institutions “that are honest, accountable and responsive to people’s needs,” he said

“The post-2015 process is a chance to usher in a new era in international development – one that will eradicate extreme poverty and lead us to a world of prosperity, sustainability, equity and dignity for all,” the UN chief declared.

Entitled A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development, the report sets out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. It also emphasizes that the new development agenda must be universal – applying to countries in the global North and South alike – and be infused with a spirit of partnership.

The report was delivered to Mr. Ban earlier today at a ceremony attended by Panel co-Chair President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia on behalf of his fellow co-Chairs, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. The UN chief expressed his gratitude to the co-Chairs for their leadership and to the Panel’s members for their diligence and commitment.

Watch the handover ceremony of the High-Level Panel Report on Post-2015

In the report, the 27-member Panel calls for the new post-2015 goals to drive five major transformational shifts: move from “reducing” to ending extreme poverty, leaving no one behind; putting sustainable development at the core of the development agenda; transforming economies to drive inclusive growth; building accountable institutions, open to all, that will ensure good governance and peaceful societies; and forging a new global partnership based on cooperation, equity and human rights.

Commending this transformative roadmap, the Secretary-General emphasized that sustainability is not just an environmental matter, but an approach that would integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development, as agreed last June at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20.

Vuk Jeremić, President of the General Assembly, expressed the hope that the Panel’s recommendations will serve as a wake-up call, “for we are not doing enough to meet the fundamental challenges of our time: to end extreme poverty in this generation and significantly narrow the global gap between rich and poor, without inflicting irreparable damage to the environmental basis for our survival.”

“I am truly convinced that we must act now to slow the alarming pace of climate change, which poses an unprecedented threat to humanity. And we must act now to profoundly transform the ways our economies work,” he continued, urging Member States to formulate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in accordance with the criteria set out in the Rio outcome, namely that they be “action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate; limited in number; aspirational; global in nature; and universally applicable to all countries.”

Watch the launch of the High-Level Panel Report on Post-2015

The High-Level Panel’s report is intended to build on the eight MDGs, agreed on by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, which set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a Global Partnership for Development – all by a deadline of 2015.

“We also need to address the question of how to make a smooth transition from the MDGs to the SDGs – a critical issue on which there was no agreement reached in Rio,” Mr. Jeremić said.

Therefore, he believed that Member States should attach great importance to the forthcoming Special Event to Follow-up on Efforts towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals, set to be held on 25 September, during the High-level Segment of the General Debate of the 68th Session. That would be the final occasion for world leaders to decide on actions that need to be taken to complete the MDG process, he said.

For his part, the Secretary-General said that as multiple processes unfold and broad and inclusive consultations continue, “I trust that today’s report will help us move closer to a new framework that can build and expand on the MDGs, as well as the progress made in Rio, and make a difference for generations to come.”

The Panel began its work in September and has held consultations with more than 5,000 civil society groups from 121 countries across every region of the world to produce the report. Panel members also spoke to experts from multilateral organizations, national governments, local authorities and the academic and scientific communities, as well as 250 companies from the private sector.

Mr. Ban, who established the Panel in July, will draw on the report’s recommendations for his own report to the UN General Assembly in September.


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