Volume 17, No.05 - May 2013

Global dialogue on development

Exploring ‘triple win’ approaches to sustainable development

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will hold an Integration Meeting on Sustainable Development on 13 May at UN Headquarters in New York

Building the future we want

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), world leaders acknowledged the vital importance of an inclusive, transparent, strengthened and effective multilateral system to better address the urgent global challenges of sustainable development.

In The Future We Want conference outcome document, world leaders also recognized the important role of the Economic and Social Council in achieving a balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. 

“In order to fulfill this mandate, it is paramount that the Council acts as an effective platform to discuss and define concrete measures to articulate this vision into an integrated agenda,” ECOSOC President Néstor Osorio said in a recent meeting.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is taking action. The Council organized a Special Ministerial Meeting on 24 September 2012 at UN Headquarters in New York. On 13 May, the ECOSOC Integration Meeting will bring together policymakers, key stakeholders and UN system to examine how science, technology and innovation can contribute to the integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development for triple-win solutions in the energy and agricultural sectors.

In particular, the meeting will explore the potential of energy and agricultural sectors in providing ‘triple win’ approaches to sustainable development. The meeting will seek to identify ways in which integrated policy actions, some of which may involve short-term trade-offs in one dimension, may result in longer-term benefits in all areas of development. It will also provide guidance on the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development for building the future we want.

For more information:
ECOSOC Integration Meeting

Designing sustainable development goals

The intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) on sustainable development goals (SDG) held its second session on 17-19 April and will meet again on 22-24 May

Designing sustainable development goals (UN Photo/Oddbjorn Monsen)

The working group, called for in the Rio+20 Outcome Document convened its second meeting at UN Headquarters, bringing together members of the OWG, other Member States, representatives from the UN system and Major Groups.

Chaired by the Permanent Representatives of Kenya and Hungary, Macharia Kamau and Csaba Körösi, the session focused on conceptualizing the SDGs, the SDG process and on poverty eradication. The Co-Chairs defined the task of the OWG as “gradually crafting the backbone of the transformative agenda.”

One of the many points made during the discussion on the conceptual aspects of SDGs was that any unfinished business regarding the MDGs must be concluded. They should be learned from, built on, and serve as point of departure, said Co-Chair Kamau. And while the SDGs would have to do justice to the complexity of sustainable development and integrate its three dimensions, thereby addressing a significant gap of the MDGs, they should also maintain a key MDG success factor, namely simplicity. The SDGs should be “tweetable”, as one Delegate put it. 

The discussion on poverty eradication was equally rich. Many countries saw this as core of the SDGs. There were varying opinions on whether the poverty goal should be a stand-alone goal, a cross cutting goal or both. But there was agreement on the multidimensionality of poverty and that this needs to be reflected in the SDGs. 

The next session of the OWG is scheduled for 22-24 May 2013, and is tentatively set to cover food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, drought, desertification, land degradation and water and sanitation.

Webcasts of all six meetings of the second session, a summary of the concluding remarks of the co-chairs, statements and presentations as well as other information can be found on the sustainable development knowledge platform.

For more information:
Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

ECOSOC addresses international tax cooperation

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will hold a one-day meeting to consider international cooperation in tax matters on 29 May

Inauguration of Newly Renovated ECOSOC Chamber (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)The Council will have before it a report of the Secretary-General on further progress achieved in strengthening the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters and its cooperation with concerned multilateral bodies and relevant regional and sub-regional organizations.

The meeting will also take a look at institutional arrangements to promote such cooperation, with participation of the representatives of national tax authorities.

The center piece of the morning session will be an official launch of the UN Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, followed by a panel discussion on “Transfer pricing challenges for developing countries”. 

The afternoon session will feature a panel discussion on “Capacity development in tax matters”, with the participation of major international organizations active in the tax area, such as the UN, IMF, World Bank, OECD, the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT) and the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF).

Subsequently, an interactive discussion will be held on “Current issues in countering international tax avoidance and tax evasion”, which will include the discussion of issues of tax base erosion and profit shifting. 

The ECOSOC meeting will be preceded by the Expert Group Meeting on Extractive Industries Taxation.

For more information:
Special Meeting of ECOSOC on International Cooperation in Tax Matters

Population Commission concludes 46th session

The Commission on Population and Development ended its session focusing on new trends in migration on 26 April

Opening of the 46th Session of the Commission on Population and Development (Photo: DESA/Cheryl Sawyer)

The Commission adopted a resolution on the session’s theme, “New trends in migration: demographic aspects”, that noted the increasing volume, scope, and complexity of migration since the adoption of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

The resolution recognized the contributions of migrants to the political, economic, social and cultural fabric of countries and called on states to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, both international and internal. It invited states to take practical measures to enhance the benefits of migration for development in both origin and destination countries, such as reducing the transfer costs of remittances, ensuring the portability of pensions and other social protections, and promoting circular and return migration.

The Secretary-General opened the Commission on 22 April, highlighting several goals in addressing international migration, including establishing safe, legal channels of migration; aligning migration policies to the demands of labour markets; addressing the problems faced by migrants with no legal status; and promoting integration of migrants into host societies.

In the Commission’s general debate, Member States reaffirmed their commitments to the goals and objectives of the ICPD Programme of Action and shared their national experiences with new migration trends. Delegates described a variety of challenges, such as dealing with large volumes of internal migration; providing services to rural-urban migrants; improving legal frameworks for emigration that regulate the placement of migrant workers overseas; large scale departure of health care workers; irregular migration; the vulnerability of migrants to crime, violence and exploitation; measures that criminalize migration or restrict the human rights of migrants; the cost of remittances; and efforts to engage diaspora communities in the development of their home countries. Delegates also stressed the positive impact of remittances for development and the quantitative significance of remittances at the global level.

Several delegations underscored migration as a key component of development strategies, highlighting the important role of the upcoming High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. They stressed the importance of taking into account and integrating population dynamics, including migration, in the context of the post-2015 UN development agenda. Delegations also stressed linkages between the post-2015 process and the continued implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, which the General Assembly extended beyond 2014 in its resolution 65/234.

The forty-seventh session of the Commission in 2014, which will be chaired by H.E. Mr. Jose Luis Cancela, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uruguay, will mark the 20-year anniversary of the ICPD and will be devoted to the theme “Assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development”.

For more information:
46th Session of the Commission on Population and Development

Partnering for innovative solutions for sustainable development

The Economic and Social Council held its annual Partnerships Forum on 24 April in preparation for its 2013 Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), in Geneva this July

ECOSOC Partnership Forum (Photo: UN Photo)

The event attracted over 350 senior representatives from the private sector and foundations, as well as from NGOs and academia. It considered ways in which to partner in support of the AMR theme of promoting science, technology, innovation and culture for sustainable development.

A number of CEOs and heads of foundations participated, including the CEOs of Starwoods Hotels, Vestergaard Frandsen (public health tools), the END Fund (neglected tropical diseases) and Sumitomo Chemicals, as well as foundations like Western Union and the Luce and Pritzker Foundations, to name just a few. 

The morning session included an inspiring address by Mr. Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, who stressed the importance of accountability amongst Governments for the fight against poverty and the achievement of the MDGs to be successful. Panel discussions examined ways for better use of technologies, innovation and knowledge sharing. The two policy dialogues discussed the importance of promoting partnerships to address issues such as job creation, food and water security, green growth and cleaner renewable energy technologies.

It was noted that a huge amount of innovation was already taking place to address sectoral issues, through mobile cash transfers and other innovative initiatives. Business opportunities needed to be created, especially for youth and women. Access to the internet needed to be recognized as a human right. The key role of education, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math, was stressed as paramount for sustainable development. 

The afternoon featured four Partnerships Clinics, organized by WIPO, UNESCO, UNICEF and ITU respectively. The ITU Clinic noted that up to 35% of live births go unregistered, a fact that has been described as the single most critical development failure of the last 30 years.

Every child needed to be counted, and the midwife was in the best position to provide critical health information and to make sure that births were properly recorded. Government regulators, service providers, software engineers and midwives were brought together in the Clinic to devise an effective platform for ensuring solutions for providing such critical information.

A white paper would be drafted and presented to the Every Woman Every Child Alliance, the mHealth Alliance and the next Broadband Commission meeting in September. The UNICEF Clinic focused on how to make Innovation and technology sustainable for education. It noted that innovation was not just about digital technology but also different ways of teaching or unusual partnerships. Risks needed to be taken as well as new approaches for meeting the many challenges that prevented children from getting a proper education. The main message emanating from the discussion was that there were no stumbling blocks – just stepping stones.

The WIPO Clinic highlighted the importance of addressing NTDs for achieving the MDGs, and that partnerships played a key role in helping eradicate them. WIPO’s role in making available, through an open innovation platform, the availability of unpublished scientific and regulatory data and know-how for research on NTDs. The Clinic highlighted the need for innovative approaches and stronger partnerships. It was proposed that a political declaration was needed, similar to the one for HIV/AIDS. A Special Envoy on NTDs was also needed to address the problems faced by 1.4 billion voiceless and faceless people suffering from NTDs.

Finally, the UNESCO Clinic emphasized the importance of culture, innovation and technology in the development and dissemination of design solutions to address extreme poverty. Understanding local cultures and partnering to create socially and economically sustainable design solutions was critical, as well as the creation of regional alliances and collaborative networks. Most importantly, the need for learning from communities that devise innovative design solutions with limited resources in a challenging environment was deemed essential.

For more information:
ECOSOC Partnership Forum

Foundations engage in shaping post-2015 development

The role of philanthropic organizations in the post-2015 setting was in focus for the second ECOSOC Special Policy Dialogue event on 23 April

"Foundations engage in shaping post-2015 development agenda" (Photo: UNICEF/Shehzad Noorani Haiti)At this special event, discussing the role of foundations in international development cooperation, philanthropic organizations agreed to further engage in shaping a shared vision of the post-2015 development agenda and the renewal of the global partnership for development.

The Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, in partnership with UNDP, the OECD Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) and the Worldwide Initiative for Grantmaker Support (WINGS), co-organized this special event with more than 60 Northern and Southern foundations, including Rockefeller, Gates, Mott and Sawiris. It is part of an ongoing effort to support philanthropic engagement in development and to accelerate MDGs implementation.

The event explored how the growing philanthropic sector, with its diverse innovative and risk-taking practices, can further leverage and increase its development cooperation activities, particularly by strengthening partnerships and helping shape the global development agenda beyond 2015. 

To complement long-term efforts by other stakeholders, philanthropic contributions to development should go beyond strategic investments to solve specific problems. “As for all development partners, it is crucial to ensure that philanthropic organizations’ activities align with national development priorities,” said Thomas Stelzer, DESA’s Assistant-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs.

Participants also observed that some forms of philanthropic engagement may be better suited than others to reach the poorest and most vulnerable populations. 

To facilitate a more structured engagement with foundations in the post-2015 context, and to fully harness their potential to effect change, it was suggested that good practices of multi-stakeholder partnerships and information on the work of foundations could be collected and more widely shared.

ECOSOC, with its biennial Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), was asked to play this role, as well as to address how foundations and member States can develop common ways of monitoring, sharing knowledge and accounting for results. 

The DCF was also identified as legitimate platform to discuss how a renewed global partnership for development could effectively engage philanthropic organizations, together with the broad range of other development cooperation actors.

forthcoming DCF High-level symposium in Addis Ababa (6-7 June) will provide an opportunity for foundations and others to feed their lessons learned – from successes and failures – in development into the discussion on the purposes, principles, features of a renewed global partnership for development and a monitoring and accountability framework for the post-2015 era.

The President of the Council will also convey key messages to Ministers attending the High-level Segment of the 2013 Substantive Session of ECOSOC. It will also feed into the Ministerial meeting of the Busan global partnership and discussions of the OECD netFWD initiative. 

For more information:
The role of philanthropic organizations in the post-2015 setting

ECOSOC, BWIs, WTO and UNCTAD attend spring meeting

The 2013 Special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the BWIs, WTO and UNCTAD addressed the overall theme of “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of financing for sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda” on 22 April

UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeThe central feature of the meeting focusing on the “World economic situation and prospects in the wake of the world financial and economic crisis”, was accompanied by debates on financing sustainable development, leveraging private capital, outcomes of the Rio+20 and global partnerships.

ECOSOC will play a crucial role in promoting dialogue among Member States on the post-2015 development agenda, including the issue of financing for sustainable development, and renewed commitment for the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration, underpinning the global partnership for development.

Challenges such as climate change, growing inequality in many countries, and continued risks posed by the financial sector have emerged. In particular, the financial crisis exposed flaws of the international financial system. Although efforts have been made to address those risks, additional efforts are necessary.

Improving the cooperation between the UN and BWIs through coordination on the ground in the area of capacity-building, democratic governance, statistics and gender equality is necessary in maintaining a global partnership.

The World Bank presented its perspective on the post-2015 development agenda and emphasis was placed on the need to enhance the impact of available resources and leverage additional funds, in particular from the private sector. The speaker pointed out that even though ODA declined in real terms, it continues to remain important in terms of leveraging other flows, especially in fragile states.

The President of the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD emphasized the importance of trade as an engine of development and highlighted the need for expeditious and successful realization of the development objectives of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.

The Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank reported on the outcome of the meeting of the Development Committee, held during the previous weekend. The Committee endorsed two goals: (i) to end extreme poverty within a generation and (ii) to promote shared prosperity.

In this context, the importance of cooperation between the World Bank and the UN was emphasized. The Deputy Secretary of the IMF reported on the outcome of the meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Director of the Development Division of WTO on the present state of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations and prospects for the forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia. He highlighted progress achieved on several issues, including trade facilitation, agriculture and specific issues for the LDCs.

The work of the Intergovernmental Committee on a sustainable development financing strategy will provide an important contribution to formulating a coherent mechanism. It was emphasized that the international commitments, especially those on ODA, should be met. Public resources will have to come from a variety of international, regional and national sources. However, given the size of financing needs for sustainable development, it is clear that official sources of financing will not be sufficient.

It was highlighted that FDI rose only moderately in 2013 and that the overall increase is slower than pre-crisis levels. At the same time, transnational corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash reserves. The challenge is to mobilize FDI for inclusive, responsible and green growth.

The post-2015 development agenda should be rooted in an effective and inclusive system of global economic governance. It is necessary to have greater accountability, cooperation and effective and coherent policy-making among Member States with regard to the framing, monitoring and implementation of the global partnership for development.

Strengthening the involvement of developing countries in international economic decision-making and enhance engagement and partnerships with non-state actors in activities and dialogue pertaining to development is imperative in moving forward. These efforts would ensure that the post-MDG 8 framework is anchored in a more inclusive, flexible and coherent system for global economic governance.

For more information:
Special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Harmony with Nature dialogue focuses on sustainable economic models and the rights of Nature

The Third Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature took place at UN Headquarters on Monday 22 April

Photo courtesy of Harmony with Nature website/Marianne Morin

This year’s discussion focused on different economic approaches to further a more ethical basis for the relationship between humanity and the Earth. Several participants stressed that both a new economic model as well as rights for Nature were necessary for sustainable development.

At the beginning of the dialogue, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon referred to it as a “chance to reaffirm our collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature.” He said we must confront the hard truth that our planet is under threat. “Unsustainable exploitation of natural resources – often driven by greed – is eroding our planet’s fragile ecosystems”, said the Secretary-General, pointing to loss of biodiversity, depletion of fish stocks and acidification of oceans.

But he also saw hope, referring to the millions of people around the world who are recognizing this problem as part of a growing movement for sustainable development. ”More and more governments are hearing their calls for action” he said, giving as examples Bolivia, which has adopted a legal framework that specifically protects “Mother Earth”, and Ecuador, whose Constitution recognizes the rights of Nature.

The President of the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, noted that “as we consume our natural resources at an increasingly faster rate than we can replenish them, we have unwittingly begun a massive experiment with the planet’s ability to support our continued existence.”

In the course of the interactive dialogue, Ms. Linda Sheehan, Executive Director at the Earth Law Center, California, Mr. Ian Mason, Principal at the School of Economic Science, London, Dr. Fander Falconi, National Secretary of Development Planning of Ecuador, and Dr. Jon Rosales, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at St. Lawrence University, New York, discussed a number of approaches to further harmony with Nature.

Mr. Mason stressed that humanity, when it comes to its relation with earth, needs to restrain the abuse of power and the worst excesses by recognizing rights for Nature and enforcing them through laws. “A simple duty of care for the Earth could apply to individuals, corporations and governments alike,” he said.

The importance of rights for Nature and a new economic paradigm were also highlighted by Dr. Falconi. He said that not only humans have rights, but other species as well: “Guaranteeing plants and animals the right of being perpetuated is central”. He noted that the deterioration of the planet’s physical condition is challenging mankind and that a new economics is necessary, one that results in prosperity and development without growth.

Traditional cultures that are already living within Nature’s limits were the focus of the bottom-up option for sustainable development outlined by Dr. Rosales. Many indigenous cultures whose subsistence activities are dictated by the cycles of Nature have existed for a long time and are already sustainable, he noted.

This kind of traditional knowledge and culture should be enabled and supported. “Such an approach offers relief from trying to find a grand solution to sustainable development – it focuses on what’s already working”, he explained.  

Ms. Sheehan said that our current economic paradigm needs to be rejected and the rights of the natural world acknowledged. She stressed that we currently try to “contort the environment, and increasingly ourselves, to fit within our economic model.” But we should instead recognize the economy’s place as servant to humans and the Earth, not the master of both, she said.

For more information:
Third Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature

Forest Forum ends endorsing measures that ensure priority to forest issues beyond 2015

The 197 country members of the United Nations Forum on Forests concluded their two-week session in Istanbul, Turkey, on 19 April

The session ended with an agreement on a series of measures aimed at improving sustainable management of forests and ensuring that forest issues will continue to have priority in the process to define the United Nations development agenda after 2015.

The Forum calls on national Governments to take a range of actions – from substantive data collection, measuring the full value of forest functions, products and services, and addressing the causes of deforestation and forests degradation, to improving participation of local communities, including indigenous peoples, in the management of forests. Countries also agreed, at the global and national levels, to mobilize additional resources to support sustainable forest management activities.

The outcome calls on countries to further integrate forests into their national development strategies and to strengthen legal frameworks and governance, including land tenure rights, in order to realize the full economic potential of the forests.

While recognizing that there is no single solution to meet all forest financing needs, the Forum agreed that multiple sources of financing, at the national, regional and international levels was needed from multiple sources, public and private, including consideration of a voluntary global forest fund.

There was also agreement that the option of establishing a new Global Environment Facility (GEF) focal area on forests should be considered and invited GEF to strengthen its support for forests in its next replenishment period, which starts in 2014.

The Istanbul session of the Forum follows a strong decision by countries at Rio+20, held last June in Rio de Janeiro, to support action on forests, recognizing that forests play a major role in promoting sustainable development, which supports economic and social development while protecting the environment.

Countries agreed that Member States should “fully integrate forests into the discussions on the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, taking into account the vital role and significant contributions of the conservation and sustainable management of all types of forests and trees outside forests for achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication.”

DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo said: “Countries came to Istanbul with the aim of halting deforestation and forest degradation and enhance sustainable forest management to increase economic, social and environmental benefits, to all of society. The results of the Forum show that countries are serious about implementing the agreements reached at Rio+20.” He added: “The outcome of the UN Forum on Forests is a major step forward in global efforts to implement sustainable development.”

“There is now greater recognition than ever before that forests are essential to economic development and sustainable development,” said Jan McAlpine, Director of the Secretariat for the Forum. “In this historic meeting, countries broke new ground and agreed to take actions that demonstrate the need to sustainably manage our forests so that they can continue to be a source of livelihoods, broader economic development, including clean air, clean water and biodiversity — all leading to poverty eradication.”

More than 130 countries attended the Forum, including at least 50 who were represented at the ministerial level.  All told, there were over 3,000 delegates, representatives of non-governmental organizations and civil society groups, press, and local staff participating in the Forum.

The Forum also featured the winners of the “Forests for People Awards”, which honoured “Forest Heroes” — five individuals who made outstanding contributions to forests and the communities that rely on them — as well as the winners of the International Short Forest Film Festival and the International Forest Photography contest.

“The Awards ceremony highlighted the idea that the discussion about forests is a discussion about people,” Jan McAlpine said. “People need forests and forests need people to act sustainably and responsibly.”

For more information:
United Nations Forum on Forests

Source: Press release of the UN Department of Public Information

Photo: International Forest Photograph Award winner Eka Fendiaspara, Indonesia

Southern partners agree to engage in more regular dialogue on development cooperation issues

A DESA-supported conference held in New Delhi on 15-16 April paved the way to strengthen dialogue on issues of common concern and interest among “Southern partners” – developing countries that provide development cooperation to other developing countries

UN Photo/Jawad Jalali

DESA and the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, with the support of the Government of India, co-organized the first South-supported dialogue in recent years on South-South development cooperation, entitled “Conference of Southern Partners: Issues and Emerging Challenges”. 

Jointly opened by Mr. Wu Hongbo, DESA’s Under-Secretary-General and Mr. Ranjan Mathai, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, India, the Conference brought together 11 governments including main emerging economies as well as lead southern think tanks with a view to identifying and addressing common challenges in promoting stronger impact of South-South development cooperation both on the ground and on global agenda setting. 

There was strong consensus that the growth in South-South development cooperation should not weaken the commitments and responsibilities of developed countries in global development cooperation, especially the continued important role of ODA. 

Good practices of South-South development cooperation discussed at the meeting revealed the scale of innovative practices and specific comparative advantages of this type of assistance, often inspired by a clear sense of priority for areas where partners have unique expertise to share and by the needs of beneficiary countries.

Global bodies were called on to take into consideration such practices in norm-setting activities. Referring to the principle of accountability and transparency, some Southern partners also made it clear that this principle should be tailored to their business models and applied at their own pace, rather than conceptually imposed by other actors. 

The event mirrored a growing appetite of Southern partners to get together in an informal setting to form common ground in major global development-related processes. The need to take a proactive approach in engaging in such global processes was recognized. Southern partners agreed to continue and deepen the self-driven and supported dialogue on South-South development cooperation with a view of concrete results. The United Nations was seen as the impartial actor that can facilitate such dialogue. 

DESA will continue to support the efforts of the Southern partner countries in strengthening their dialogue and cooperation in this area. As a follow-up to the Delhi Conference, DESA, in cooperation with the UN Office for South-South cooperation is organizing a meeting of Directors-General responsible for development cooperation in Southern partner countries at the DCF High-level Symposium in Addis Ababa on 7 June. 

For more information:
Conference of Southern Partners: Issues and Emerging Challenges”

Successful chat engages online community on global partnership

Almost 500 participants took part in the Facebook chat discussing the report “A renewed global partnership for development” on 4 April

Team of experts engages in successful chat on global partnership (Photo: Predrag Vasic/UNDESA)Questions addressed topics ranging from the sustainable development goals (SDGs); how to ensure government and private sector accountability, to safeguarding human rights and gender equality.

Launched by the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, the report focuses on the need for the global community to develop a renewed global partnership for development for the post-2015 era which fosters collective action from all countries to create an enabling environment for development. Based on the lessons learnt from the current global partnership for development, the report provides a set of recommendations on potential dimensions and format.

Nine experts from DESA’s Division for Development Policy and Analysis (DPAD) and the Division for Sustainable Development as well as UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy interacted with the online community, answering questions posted from users from all over the world. For example, there was one that especially caught everyone’s attention. It was a question posted from a primary school in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, asking how children can be better involved in international cooperation.

The more than 60 questions posted were related to human rights, gender equality, government accountability, inclusion of youth in development strategies, environment, sustainability, and other topics.

Diana Alarcon, Senior Economic Affairs Officer at DPAD responds to online questions (Photo: Predrag Vasic/DESA))

Diana Alarcon, Senior Economic Affairs Officer at DPAD, who also took part in the chat answering questions, highlighted the depth and specificity of the questions posted and also, the level of detail and familiarity that most of them had with the UN report and complementary information. “It was a high level discussion, with sophisticated, concrete and specific questions to our experts,” she stated.

“It is the second time we do a live chat for promoting our reports, and we are very happy about the way in which this new technology helps us to share our documents and reach all kinds of people,” said Diana Alarcon.

The first Facebook live chat, hosted by DESA and UNDP, took place on 27 November 2012 and it highlighted the UN System Task Team’s first report “Realizing the Future We Want for All”. It addressed the post-2015 development agenda more generally and provided some key recommendations on how to build on the successes of the MDGs beyond 2015.

The team in DESA is very positive about this tool for promoting the department’s reports and documents, because of its enormous possibilities of direct and open dialogue with the online community.

“Also, our team of experts has developed a taste for interacting with our followers in social networks and to discuss with them their work in the reports”, Diana Alarcon said.

For more information:

UNTT Report: A renewed global partnership for development

Facebook live chat: A renewed global partnership for development