Olav Kjørven is United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy.
Follow him on Twitter: @olavkjorven
30 May 2013
A “single, universal development agenda” built around “five transformational shifts” sits at the heart of the report handed over on May 30th to UN Secretary General (SG) Ban Ki-moon by the President of Indonesia on behalf the 27-member independent High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda.
The panel, co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, was established by the SG to inform his thinking on a bold but practical vision for the world we want. For the past year, the panel has deliberated what that jigsaw puzzle could look like, and how best to put it together. The resulting 80 pages give excellent food for thought.
“It would be a mistake to simply tear up the Millennium Development Goals and start from scratch,” writes the panel in its report,“A New Global Partnership: eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development”, (PDF) recognizing the difference it has made to have eight, simple goals to which everyone can subscribe. There can be no stronger basis for a new framework than showing that the existing one delivers, which allows us to lay the ground for even more ambition.
The Report sets out five transformational shifts: ending extreme poverty; building a future around truly sustainable development; transforming economies for jobs and inclusive growth; forging a new spirit of partnership; and peace and accountability. This last point is critical, as freedom from fear, conflict and violence is the most fundamental human right, and an essential to building peaceful and prosperous societies.
Right now, the UN is engaging people around the world at scale to ask their perspective on the world they want. Nearly 750,000 people from 194 countries have tabled their views so far, which is quite a straw poll. I am hopeful that the messages of this High Level Panel Report will resonate with what we are hearing through these consultations.
Where there are gaps, or where there may be disagreement, it is incumbent on us all -- panel members, the international system, and, most importantly the leaders of Member States who will ultimately define this agenda -- to listen and learn.