CAFOD response to launch of UN High Level Panel report
31 May 2013
Catholic aid agency CAFOD has welcomed the report from the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda as offering a credible steer on the way ahead and addressing some of the vital issues missed by the MDGs.
CAFOD Director Chris Bain said: “The report places people living in poverty at the heart of the post-2015 agenda and the panel should be commended for listening to their input and recognising their contribution as essential.
“But the next steps are vital. Ultimately, legitimate goals will hinge on a credible political deal, and global agreements are not easy. This report raises some vital issues which the MDGs missed such as climate, addressing inequality and good governance, but the work to bring them into a coherent, ambitious, achievable framework has to start right now. This was always going to be the hardest part.
“What does this mean for the UK? The UK has enhanced its reputation on development through meeting our 0.7% promise and must reach out to other countries to listen, champion and build alliances with other countries. The Prime Minister has personally thrown himself into this and, while there are detailed and perhaps difficult negotiations ahead, the ambition to eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime is one he has personally championed. Turning that into something real now becomes a hard-headed political project, and it's vital that he sees this through - all the way to 2015.”
Ensure good governance and effective institutions (Goal 10):
The inclusion of elements to radically improve people’s ability to influence decisions impacting their lives is a dramatic leap forward from the MDGs. Freedom of speech and peaceful protest alongside access to information are fundamental to the right of individuals to flourish. The panel has obviously learned that it’s not only addressing the symptoms but also the causes that will be key to eradicating poverty.
Climate change (mentioned in Goals 7, 12):
The report makes an admirable attempt at integrating development and environment in a way that was absent in the MDGs. But the target on holding global average temperatures below 2 degrees can only be meaningful if domestic action and global political negotiations deliver binding agreement. And the panel’s focus that onus for action rests first and foremost on developed nations is right. The focus on increasing renewable sources of energy and ensuring universal access to energy and reducing fossil fuel subsidies are all welcome and necessary measures.
Inequality (Goal 12, throughout):
The MDGs allowed many hard-to-reach groups to fall through the gaps in international development since 2000, but the report makes credible suggestions on how to ensure no one is left behind. This needs to be translated into practical steps that governments around the world can implement regardless of economic strength. MDG 8 on the Global Partnership for Development failed because there was no clear measurability, this must be addressed further by the post-2015 process.