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Millennium Development Goals and post-2015 Development Agenda

Overview

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education – have been a milestone in global and national development efforts. The framework has helped to galvanize development efforts and guide global and national development priorities. While three of the eight goals have been achieved prior to the final deadline of 2015 progress has been uneven within and across countries. Thus further efforts and a strong global partnership for development are needed to accelerate progress and reach the goals by 2015. To learn more about the work of ECOSOC and the United Nations on the MDGs, click on the panel in the upper-right hand corner.

A global development agenda beyond 2015

The outcome document of the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs requested the Secretary-General to initiate thinking on a post-2015 development agenda and include recommendations in his annual report on efforts to accelerate MDG progress. The outcome of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development initiated an inclusive intergovernmental process to prepare a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs). There is broad agreement on the need for close linkages between the two processes to arrive at one global development agenda for the post-2015 period, with sustainable development at its centre.

Building on its success in reviewing progress on the MDGs through the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), the Economic and Social Council will play a major role in the preparations, implementation and follow up of a post-2015 development agenda. The ECOSOC strengthening process and the Council’s mandated role in the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development should also bolster the Council’s role as a monitoring platform in the post-2015 era. In addition, dialogue is being initiated through the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) on the possible features of a renewed global partnership for development, and characteristics of a monitoring and accountability framework. Representatives from governments, civil society, philanthropic organizations, academia and the private sector are being engaged in these conversations, which will also examine the broader implications – for development cooperation – of a post-2015 development agenda.

The Economic and Social Council will play a major role in the preparations, monitoring and implementation of a post-2015 development agenda. This will build on the Council’s success in reviewing progress on the MDGs through the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), as well as its broader support to advancing the UN development agenda. Dialogue is being initiated through the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) on the possible features of a renewed global partnership for development in the post-2015 setting, and characteristics of a monitoring and accountability framework. Representatives from governments, civil society, philanthropic organizations, academia and the private sector are being engaged in these conversations, which will also examine the broader implications – for development cooperation – of a post-2015 development agenda. The ECOSOC strengthening process and the Council’s role coming out of the Rio+20 Conference in the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development should further bolster the Council’s role in the post-2015 era.

The Secretary-General established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. Chaired by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme, the team brings together the efforts of more than 60 UN agencies and international organizations.

The Task Team is currently focusing its analytical work on the global partnership for development, monitoring and indicators and financing for sustainable development. Moreover, the Technical Support Team to provide inputs to the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on the SDGs has been established under the umbrella of the Task Team to ensure early convergence of the post-2015 and SDGs processes.
In its first report to the Secretary-General in May 2012, Realizing the Future We Want for All, the Task Team outlines a vision for the post-2015 development agenda and suggests four key dimensions of inclusive economic and social development, environmental sustainability and peace and security. Members of the Task Team also prepared a set of 18 think pieces that explore how different themes could potentially be reflected in a new framework.
The Task Team published a second report on A Renewed Global Partnership for Development in March 2013. The report provides recommendations on key dimensions and a potential format for a global partnership in the post-2015 era. It advises that the partnership should include universal commitments calling for actions from all countries, according to their national capabilities. It should build on existing commitments such as those reflected in the MDGs, the Monterey Consensus and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, but must also be broadened and strengthened to address the large array of global challenges we face today.

In July 2012, the Secretary-General launched his High-level Panel of Eminent Persons to provide guidance and recommendations on the post-2015 development agenda. The panel is chaired by the Presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Its 27 members include representatives from the private sector, academia, civil society and local authorities. The Panel will publish its report in May 2013.

National consultations on a post-2015 development agenda are under way in more than 70 countries. The United Nations Development Group has organized a set of eleven thematic consultations, on conflict and fragility; education; environmental sustainability; governance; growth and employment; health; hunger, food and nutrition; inequalities; population dynamics; energy; and water. A report with the preliminary findings from the national and thematic consultations was launched in March 2013.

ECOSOC Events

Further reading

UN Partners on MDGs