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High Level Panel Releases Post-2015 Development Framework

By Anjali Bean (Research and Policy Associate, IHC)
June 5, 2013

Last week, the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda released its recommendations for the framework of the next global development goals. The culmination of more than a year’s work, the framework and accompanying commentary attempts to create a roadmap for eventual specific goals and targets for the world to meet by 2030. The paper discusses two major sets of framing topics: Priority Transformative Shifts and Illustrative Goals and Targets.

First, the panel sets out five shifts in global development that need to be achieved by 2030 through the combined success of any new goals and targets:

  1. Leave No One Behind
  2. Put Sustainable Development at the Core
  3. Transform Economies and Jobs for Inclusive Growth
  4. Build Peace and Effective, Open and Accountable Public Institutions
  5. Forge a New Global Partnership

In the commentary, these shifts take into account many priority issues for the global development community such as urbanization, income inequality, gender discrimination, corruption and economic development. The report also highlights each shift is a cross-cutting issue and cannot be achieved through one specific goal.

The panel members acknowledge that the UN decision making process is complex and that they are only one of many voices that will be heard in the coming months. Therefore they couch their suggested goals as just that: an illustrative example of how the priority shifts might be achieved within a framework of concrete and measurable goals. The panel suggested a set of 12 goals, each with multiple targets:

  1. End Poverty
  2. Empower Girls and Women to Achieve Gender Equality
  3. Provide Quality Education and Lifelong Learning
  4. Ensure Healthy Lives
  5. Ensure Food Security and Good Nutrition
  6. Achieve Universal Access to Water and Sanitation
  7. Secure Sustainable Energy
  8. Create Jobs, Sustainable Livelihoods and Economic Growth
  9. Manage Natural Resource Assets Sustainably
  10. Ensure Good Governance and Effective Institutions
  11. Ensure Stable and Peaceful Societies
  12. Create a Global Enabling Environment and Catalyze Long-Term Finance

While we are disappointed that there is no direct mention of urban slums or housing, we are pleased to see the right to own land and property, as well as urban access to water and sanitation and disaster risk reduction mentioned at the target level.

While the response to the report has been generally positive, the biggest criticism has been the lack of a goal on inequality. Many feel that the rapidly widening gap between rich and poor is an indication that the poor are being left behind amid strong economic growth, and that eliminating extreme poverty will be impossible without a direct focus on inequality.

Read more comments and reactions from the BBC, Oxfam, the Guardian, Reuters, the Economist, and InterAction.

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