Korean civil society demands ‘bolder and more practical’ post-2015 development agenda

Jul 3, 2013

Kim Sung-hwan, Former Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and post-2015 High Level Panel Member briefs on the High Level Panel Report. PHOTO: Seoul Policy Centre

Korean civil society organisations praised the UN High-Level Panel (HLP) Report on the future of global development as a meaningful contribution, yet called for a ‘bolder and more practical’ post-2015 development agenda.

The ‘Post-2015 Korea CSO-led Policy Forum’ held at Seoul’s Yonsei University, saw civil society organisations share views on the HLP report on global priorities for after the Millennium Development Goals target year of 2015 with Kim Sung-hwan, HLP member and former Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The 27 strong panel was charged by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to produce a bold yet practical vision for a future global development framework in July 2012.

The panel was co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and the UN-HLP Report was submitted to Mr Ban on May 30, 2013.

The panel called it a universal agenda, which needs to be driven by five big, transformative shifts:

  • Leave no one behind 
  • Put sustainable development at the core 
  • Transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth 
  • Build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all 
  • Forge a new global partnership. 

They also suggested 12 illustrative goals and targets in the report. ‘Beyond 2015 Korea’ acknowledged that the UN-HLP Report compensates for current defects of the MDGs, and that is also contains meaningful suggestions that the UN should consider in shaping future development policies and goals.

They especially respected that the report reflects Civil Society’s suggestions very well. However, they concluded that the report has shortcomings in solving poverty and inequality problems which are worsening worldwide.

They emphasized that the inequality issue has to be a separate goal and securing financial resources through a Financial Transaction Tax and disarmament is required.

They also argued that obligatory mechanisms based on humanity, and equal, effective, responsible global partnership are needed.

Mr Kim stated that the CSO’s recommendations were largely in line with the views of Korean Government. He also emphasized the importance of Civil Society’s participation in shaping Post-2015 development goals.

UNDP agreed that civil society has a key role to play.

Alvaro Pinto Scholtbach, Director of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, highlighted the importance of strong partnership with Civil Society in his congratulatory remarks.

To illustrate the power of cooperation, he mentioned a well-known Korean proverb that loosely translates as: “even something as light as paper can be made lighter if we hold it together.”

The event was co-hosted by the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) Korea, Korea NGO Council for Overseas Development Cooperation (KCOC) and the Korea Civil Society Forum on International Development Cooperation (KoFID).