People’s message to the UN: Governance essential for sustainable development post-2015

Feb 5, 2014

A group discussion session in Zè, Benin. PHOTO: UNDP/PNUD Benin/ Raphaela Karlen

New York -- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the High-Commissioner for Human Rights and the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Germany and South Africa presented today the findings from the global thematic consultation on governance and the Post-2015 agenda to the United Nations Member States.

The presentation was held during the last session of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, where Member States have been preparing the ground for an intergovernmental negotiation of the next global development agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015.

“Governance is only as good as the freedom and capacity of people to speak out, to access institutions and information and to hold government to account,” said Olav Kjorven, Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. “We must invest in institutions but also in the human resources and the capacity of people to claim their rights. Particular focus should be placed on populations who are often considered as marginalized but who may in fact lack power or voice.”

From October 2012 through March 2013, the Post-2015 Governance consultation provided a platform to discuss governance and accountability bottlenecks in the context of the MDGs. The consultation consisted of a series of regional meetings in Africa, the Arab region, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia, as well as an expert meeting on measurement, e-discussions, and a final meeting at the Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa. Throughout the consultation, a strong consensus emerged among participants on the relevance of governance as a foundation for sustainable development.

The event is also following up on the universal demand of people for improved governance as documented in the report “A Million Voices: The World We Want” which analyzed the results of workshops, interviews and online and offline polls engaging more than 1.7 million people in 193 countries.

The call for “honest and responsive government” ranks consistently as a top issue in the global MY World survey which is part of the UN-driven worldwide citizen engagement strategy.

The findings from the global thematic consultation on governance help inform the process of conceptualizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will be adopted by the Member States during a summit in September 2015.

 “The outcome of the post-2015 discussions will set the global sustainable development agenda for the years to come. Member States therefore need to continue to hear the voices from the streets and engage the global public in the final negotiations to determine collectively, the blueprint of the world we want,” added Olav Kjorven.

You can follow the discussions on Twitter under #Gov2015.

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