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Governance, accountability key to post-2015 development goals

16th January 2013

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

  

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Despite the significant advances made by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) initiative since its inception in 2000, much is still needed to build on the momentum created by the project and ensure sustainable development in emerging regions.

The United Nations has embarked on eleven global consultations to shape the post-2015 development agenda, to assess the lessons learnt over the past decade and to centre on what was required after the MDGs initiative came to an end in 2015.

The MDGs aimed to tackle eight challenges by 2015, namely poverty and hunger, universal access to education, gender equality, children’s health, maternal health, HIV/Aids, environmental sustainability and global partnerships.

The discussions assessed the achievements and success of the programme, and the reasons for and solutions to any failures. Further, what was required for the next step and how to source the required resources and funds would be examined, Pan-African Parliament president Bethel Amadi said on Wednesday.

The MDG 2012 report previously noted that significant strides had been made, including a reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty and increasing access to water sources, sanitation facilities, education and durable or less crowded housing.

However, the report indicated that by 2015, more than 600-million people worldwide would still lack access to safe drinking water, hunger would remain a significant challenge, almost one-billion people would have an income of less than $1.25 a day, the health of mothers and children would still be a hurdle and access to education would still be hampered.

The new development agenda would serve three main aims, namely building normative consensus, boosting neglected policy issues and strengthening accountability, with clear criteria to prioritise goals, targets and indicators, Amadi said.

As much as the MDGs initiative had progressed, there had been limitations to what had been achieved, said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bureau for Development Policy director of demographic governance Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, adding that governance and accountability had emerged as key strategies to push the post-2015 agenda further.

Accountability is Central

The Global Thematic Consultation on Governance in the post-2015 Development Agenda, to be held at the Pan-African Parliament’s offices, in Midrand, from February 27 to 28, was a response to an increasing demand from various parties to deal with gaps in governance and with accountability bottlenecks hindering the success of realising the MDGs.

A central focus would be on how global, regional, national and subnational governance and accountability could be integrated into the post-MDG development agenda.

The governance consultation would be hosted with the support of the South African government, the UNDP, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the German government.

Amadi noted that Africa’s economic growth had not directly reflected on poverty and hunger issues, nor had it produced sufficient jobs – mostly owing to the extensive inequality and uneven distribution of wealth.

He attributed this to governance, accountability and corruption challenges, saying additional transparency and solutions on how to grow and spread wealth were required.

Amadi further called for the empowerment of Africa’s people, urging them to demand accountability, human rights, fair distribution and governance.

The parties were inviting individuals, civil society groups, academics, stakeholders and participants from all regions to impart their views, opinions, suggestions and recommendations on what needed to be done.

Other thematic consultations dealt with inequalities, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education, conflict and State fragility, water, growth and empowerment, environmental sustainability and population dynamics.

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon appointed Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and UK Prime Minister David Cameron as co-chairpersons of a high-level panel tasked with advising on the global development agenda beyond 2015.

Following closure of the consultation period in March, the panel would examine the outcome and produce a report for examination by the UN secretary-general on what challenges were revealed, what had been achieved to date, and what strategies should be embarked on to ensure sustainable development. It was hoped that the entire process would be completed by 2015.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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