14 June 2011, New York
The General Assembly development dialogue mandated by GA resolution 60/265 establishes a “specific meeting focused on development, including an assessment of progress over the previous year, at each session of the General Assembly during the debate on the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome”. Having undertaken a comprehensive assessment of progress made in the achievement of the MDGs at the beginning of the 65th session of the General Assembly at the High-level Plenary Meeting on MDGs in September 2010, this year’s development dialogue will be an opportunity to discuss MDGs implementation and accountability, taking as an example the area of MDGs 4 and 5, and how to advance the UN development agenda beyond 2015.
An example of successful MDGs implementation and accountability
An important development in the implementation and accountability of MDGs 4 and 5 is the Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Since it was launched in April 2010, the initiative has substantially increased commitments and contributions, including financial contributions, towards advancing women’s and children’s health.
The initiative has also brought together all the key actors under one umbrella and integrated their objectives and programmes into one coherent approach to advance MDGs 4 and 5. A Commission on Information and Accountability has been established to track that resources for women's and children's health are delivered on time, are used appropriately and transparently, and that the desired results are achieved.
The progress made on the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health is in line with the commitment of Heads of State and Government in September 2010 to redouble efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality and to improve the health of women and children. As stated in the GA High-level Plenary Meeting outcome document, it is also a manifestation of greater transparency and accountability in international development cooperation, in particular on ensuring adequate and predictable financial resources as well as improving their quality and targeting.
Advancing the UN development agenda beyond 2015
Paragraph 81 of the outcome document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (A/RES/65/1) requests the Secretary-General to make recommendations for further steps to advance the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015. While a formal discussion on the MDGs beyond 2015 has yet to take place within the UN, this debate has begun in the form of academic writings and discussion papers as well as internal workshops and seminars among civil society, academia, donor agencies, and elsewhere.
Discussions that have taken place on a post 2015 development framework have mapped out the strengths and challenges of the current MDGs and explored elements for a future framework. One of the issues that have been highlighted among the strengths of the MDGs is the success of the MDGs as an iconic United Nations brand for global development. The MDGs have been able to translate the complexity of development into simple clear goals and language to be easily understood by the public. This has mobilized political support and focused economic resources towards the achievement of the MDGs, resulting in many global development successes, particularly in reducing global poverty.
The MDG framework, however, has certain constraints: The MDGs focus more on human development and some claim do not give enough attention to the need for general economic development; they lack explicit references to important dimensions of development such as quality of education, human rights, and good governance; and they have lead in some cases to donor-driven development at the expense of national approaches to development. These limitations have contributed, among other things, to the uneven development progress among countries and between the goals themselves.
Understanding the strengths and challenges of the MDGs will be essential in mapping out a path towards a future development framework. As the global community faces new opportunities and challenges and as new economic powers emerge, determining the shape of a UN development agenda beyond 2015 will require a thorough discussion of all the issues.
It is imperative to ensure that discussions on the MDGs beyond 2015 do not divert attention or resources away from international commitments and efforts to achieving all the goals within the existing MDGs framework. At the same time, it must also be recognized that building ownership for an international development framework post 2015 will take time. Therefore, a first informal discussion on this issue will allow Member States to interact with the current thinkers on advancing the UN development framework post 2015.
The development dialogue will take place on Tuesday, 14 June 2011, in Conference Room 2 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The meeting will consist of two formal General Assembly meetings and two moderated informal panel discussions with high-level panelists. Member States will be given the opportunity to participate, to raise questions and share their views and other perspectives during the panel discussions.
Panel I “MDG implementation and accountability: women’s and children’s health as an engine for progress”
The first panel will look at the Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and discuss the strategy as an example of a successful effort for “a concrete on the ground strategy” on MDG implementation and accountability. A Commission on Information and Accountability has been established to track commitments and ensure the timely delivery of services to the most vulnerable. Panelists may discuss the following issues:
- Key achievements and partnership successes related to the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.
- Present the Accountability Commission’s recommendations and offer these as examples of accountability efforts in the context of MDGs 4 and 5.
Panel II “Advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015”
The second panel discussion will inform Members States about ongoing discussions outside the United Nations regarding a possible development framework post 2015. The discussion is not intended to take away current focus from reaching the MDGs by 2015, but recognizes that preparing for a post 2015 framework requires adequate time. Panelists may discuss the following issues:
- Strength and impact of the MDGs on international development – success of MDGs as a development brand; ability of the MDGs to mobilize political and public support towards development, particularly addressing poverty.
- Challenges and opportunities – new development challenges facing many countries such as climate change, rising food prices, increasing populations, and increasing disasters. Opportunities include new emerging players in the development process and advancements in technology.
- Issues that have been raised in the context of a possible development framework post 2015 – bridging human and economic development; addressing uneven development; and incorporating a strategy and not just goals in the post-2015 development framework such as adopting sustained, inclusive and equitable growth as a global strategy.
Opening remarks by:
Informal Plenary Meeting
Panel Discussion I
Moderator: H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly
1.00 – 3.00 p.m.
3.00 – 5.00 p.m.
Panel Discussion II
Moderator: H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly
5.00 – 6.00 p.m.
Formal Plenary Meeting
Closing remarks by:
- Letter dated 7 June to all Permanent Missions and Permanent Observer Missions to the United Nations convening a General Assembly development dialogue meeting on 14 June 2011.
- Presentation by Hon. Juma Duni Haji, Health Minister of Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Presentation by Mr. Richard Manning, Independent Consultant on International Development
- Office of the President of the General Assembly: Mr. Arrmanatha Nasir <firstname.lastname@example.org>