Helen Clark's Opening Remarks at the Global Thematic Consultation on Post 2015 and Governance
At the Pan-African Parliament, Midrand, South Africa
My thanks go to South Africa for hosting this thematic consultation on Post 2015 and governance in South Africa. I also thank the German Government for making this meeting possible, and for sponsoring the range of activities contributing to the whole global consultation on the role of governance in the post-2015 development agenda.
UNDP is very pleased to be a co-facilitator of this consultation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. I regret that I can’t be with you in person because I have come to Colombia for a global conference on accelerating progress on the Millennium Development Goals. At UNDP we believe that the post-2015 development agenda will be taken even more seriously if the international community is seen to have made every effort to achieve the current set of MDG goals and targets.
By focusing global attention on clear and measurable human development outcomes, the MDGs have helped improve the lives of many. The agenda which follows them must build on these achievements, and be even more ambitious in seeking to build a better future for all. In this consultation, you are focusing on the role governance can play in delivering on that ambition.
The Post-2015 development agenda can be seen as the next step in implementing the full vision of the Millennium Declaration of 2000, to advance human rights, democracy, and good governance as intrinsic to development.
Governance impacts greatly on development outcomes. We hear an increasing demand from civil society to discuss ways of including governance and accountability in the global development agenda, both to ensure the legitimacy of development policies, and as central to achieving human dignity and justice to all.
The feedback from the UN’s global consultations to date suggests that capable, fair, and accountable governments are seen as essential for driving development forward. In the poll conducted through the My World website, honest and responsive government is receiving the second largest number of votes, behind education, as the most important issue people want tackled in the Post-2015 agenda.
For UNDP, governance is not just about institutions. It’s also about people being empowered to engage with institutions and hold them to account. Governance in this broader context – local, national, and global, based on the rule of law, compliance with international law, and principles of inclusion and participation, will be an important driver of success across all dimensions of the next global development agenda.
The Post-2015 consultations suggest that while the provision of education, clean water, and health services is rightly seen as very important, lifting human development also requires a focus on other areas. The global jobs crisis, growing inequalities, natural resource scarcity, and climate change are frequently raised as requiring effective responses from governments. There is interest in finding ways of developing indicators for governance, equality, and peace and security – all referenced in the Millennium Declaration. But the jury is out on exactly how such areas should be incorporated in the Post-2015 agenda – whether through general principles, broad goals, and/or specific goals and targets at the global and/or national levels.
This meeting will inform the Member States of the United Nations as they reflect on the shape of the post-2015 agenda. I thank you all for your willingness to participate in shaping that agenda through your deliberations in South Africa this week.
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