Seoul Conference puts focus on the ‘how’ of post-2015 development goals

Oct 7, 2013

UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan speaks at a panel at the Seoul Post-2015 Conference, co-hosted by UNDP and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Photo: UNDP)

International experts tackled how new global development goals can best end poverty and protect the planet at a conference co-hosted by UNDP and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul.

The Millennium Development Goals, globally agreed targets to cut poverty and hunger, boost health, education and ensure gender equality, expire in 2015. The UN is coordinating a global process to define new goals to 2030.

"The people of the world want action. They want a universal agenda that is built on human rights and the universal values of equality, justice and security embedded not only as enablers but as outcomes," said UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan.

"It should poverty centered in the framework of sustainable development."

At the ‘Seoul Post-2015 Conference: Implications and Implementation’, 100 development experts from Governments, think tanks and academia provided analysis for inter-governmental negotiations that will finalise new goals in 2015.

"Korea has played an important role in the post-2015 development debate," said Rebecca Grynspan. "Today’s event has helped us focus more on how we partner better to ensure results and how we finance new goals," she added.

Cho Tae-yul, Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs called for a more inclusive post-2015 development partnership that "brings all involved in development together, to pool resources and capacity for maximum results."

Cho cited the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation as a "key tool that the international community can use to bring all involved in development together."         

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, conceived at a major international development conference held in Busan, Korea in 2011, brings governments, private companies, civil society and others together to ensure funding, time and knowledge produce maximum impact for development.

UNDP is running an unprecedented global conversation to flesh out new goals, in which people can help shape them through face to face consultations, an online poll and social media.

"Consultations have taken place In 88 countries, and through online engagement, over a million people have shared their vision for the future they want," UNDP’s Grynspan said.

A recent UN Report titled ‘A Million Voices:  The World We Want’ captures the essence of the global conversation.

"People are calling for a greater say in shaping their world," said Grynspan. "They demand that we tackle inequalities, particularly for poorer and marginalized people. They want us to focus on better governance and that we base the next framework on the universal values of equality, justice and security," she said.

A number of other global processes are underway to help shape new global goals.

The UN Global Compact, a forum for business to align around human rights, labour and environmental concerns, released a report in June 2013 entitled 'Corporate Sustainability and the United Nations Post‐2015 Development Agenda'.

The report highlighted eradicating poverty, boosting health and education, empowering women and girls and ensuring an enabling environment for business as priorities. It also outlines a strategy to further engage business for sustainable development.

An international working group on sustainable development goals was  created in response to recommendations from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or ‘Rio+20’, held in Rio de Janeiro, in June 2012. It will share recommendations with the UN General Assembly in September 2014.

A UN convened Expert Committee on Sustainable Development Financing also will deliver a report and recommendations in time for the September 2014 General Assembly.

These different streams will be pulled together throughout 2014-15 before final agreement on new global goals.

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