Friday, 1 March 2013

European perspective on post-2015 goals

The European Commission has published a Communication this week, proposing a change to the EU’s global poverty strategy after 2015 by integrating environmental sustainability and poverty eradication efforts into a single agenda. With the Communication, entitled A decent life for all: Ending poverty and giving the world a sustainable future, the Commission is reclaiming a role in the ongoing debate aiming at a new generation of development goals for the time after 2015 when the MDGs expire. The document should ensure a unified EU positions in the negociations.

However, after the recent cuts in the development budget of the block NGOs remain sceptical. For CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, representing over 1,800 NGOs to the European institutions, the EU is is right to recognize that development and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin. Yet CONCORD Director, Olivier Consolo can find only few new proposals for “how we’ll actually achieve sustainable development that benefits everyone and especially the extremely poor”. “The Commission also wants an agenda whose goals apply globally, not just to developing countries, which is welcome” says CONCORD. “However more clarity is needed on what changes the EU and richer countries would have to make themselves to fulfil this agenda.” CONCORD believes the Communication is extremely light on accountability mechanisms to ensure leaders and countries fulfil their commitments. The poverty and sustainability challenges set out in the Communication need to be met with real commitment to the changes needed if the EU wants to be taken seriously by the international community.

In September 2013, a UN special event will take stock of the efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), discuss ways to accelerate progress until 2015 and start exchanges on what could follow after the MDG target year of 2015. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asked the UN High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda to which European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs is a member, to prepare a special report, to be presented by the end of May.

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