CPDE challenges dev’t players: implementation should match ambition of Post-2015 agenda

The implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should match the level of ambition of the post-2015 agenda, asserts the CPDE, a global CSO platform on development effectiveness, in a response statement released last 17 August.

“Ultimately, the success of this agenda will be weighed by its ability to address the root causes of poverty and inequality, and ensure human rights and welfare across all dimensions,” the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) said.

The statement responds to the post-2015 outcome document approved through consensus by 193 member states last August 2 at the United Nations headquarters, New York. The post-2015 outcome document titled “Transforming Our World 2030” features 17 goals and 169 targets that will set the framework for global development in the next 15 years.


The draft will be formally adopted at the UN Summit this coming September. The CPDE response can be read below:

CPDE Response to the Post-2015 Outcome Document

CPDE recognizes the international community’s commitment to a people-centred post-2015 development agenda that pledges to leave no one behind. It is by far the most ambitious attempt of governments to come up with a holistic solution to the world’s problems that encompasses social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainable development. Following almost three years of negotiations, 193 member states approved by consensus the final outcome document last August 2 gathering inputs from a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society.

We acknowledge the positive elements in the final draft of the post-2015 outcome document titled “Transforming Our World 2030” that features 17 goals and 169 targets that will set the framework for global development in the next 15 years. We take note of the consistent reaffirmation of fundamental effectiveness principles including references to country ownership and leadership as well as on accountable forms of governance. However, we believe that the document falls short on the level of commitment required to deliver on such an ambitious agenda.

We believe that there should be a stronger call for the post-2015 development agenda to adopt a rights-based approach and support internationally agreed commitments on human rights, decent work, gender equality, environmental sustainability and disability. In this vein, we express disappointment on the deletion of migrant status, ethnicity and age from paragraph 19 that addresses issues of discrimination. We also urge governments to explicity recognize the Right to Development throughout the text.

A major point of contention as in most international negotiations is the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR). CBDR is a key Rio principle that recognizes differences in the countributions of developed and developing countries to environmental problems, and differentiates responsibility based on each country’s respective economic and technical capacity. The section on CBDR was dropped at the last minute and was not upheld throughout the SDG framework. We strongly reiterate that CBDR is a crucial goalpost and guiding principle that should be upheld beyond the confines of climate discussions.

The post-2015 outcome document will undoubtedly bear an impact on the upcoming climate negotiations this December. We express disappointment in the deletion of important references that address mitigation, adaptation, and support to developing countries. Furthermore, references to climate finance remain weak and fails to distinguish it seperately from ODA.

Means of Implementation (MOI), Follow-up and Review

Crucial to this agenda is a robust follow-up and review mechanism to take stock of progress and ensure the agenda’s effective implementation. In this light, we share below some key recommendations focusing on the Means of Implementation (MOI) and follow-up and review:

On Monitoring and Review:

  • The section referring to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) presents weak language that reinforces the voluntary nature of reporting and participation. The language on mandate for review at the global, regional, and national sections should be strengthened to emphasize inclusive and participatory approaches.


  • We maintain that while there are clear interlinkages, the Financing for Development (FfD) and the post-2015 are two distinct processes that should remain complementary rather than combined. The FfD has its own follow up and review process that is complementary to, and not integrated to the HLPF. This is a necessary distinction in order to ensure that the level of ambition is not diluted in both processes.


On Means of Implementation:

  • We reiterate that the MOI should be underpinned by the fundamental principles of development effectiveness – democratic country ownership, inclusiveness, and transparency.


  • The section on MOI overemphasizes the role of the business sector and puts misplaced trust on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) without considering its role in contributing to the multiple global crises.


On the Meaningful Participation of Civil Society:

  • We believe that any review mechanism that is based only on official government reporting will lack any political traction and support from relevant stakeholders. Despite repeated references to civil society, there is no clear mention of CSO’s involvement in the follow-up and review process as well as in the implementation of the agenda. The review process must meet the level of inclusion demanded by the agenda – including the meaningful participation of civil society in national, regional and global review processes.


  • Country-level reviews serve as the cornerstone of accountability for the post-2015 Development Agenda. National level review processes should provide a formal, structured space for inclusive and effective participation of civil society organisations and the people they represent and promote an ongoing dialogue between duty-bearers, rights-holders and other stakeholders.


Moving forward

Ultimately, the success of this agenda will be weighed by its ability to address the root causes of poverty and inequality, and ensure human rights and welfare across all dimensions. A step in this direction requires the implementation of the post-2015 agenda to be rooted in, and building on the principles of democratic country ownership, social justice, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and the right to development.

The challenge now lies in the global community to fulfil these commitments and measure up to the level of ambition required to implement the agenda effectively while adhering to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.

CPDE remains committed to engage and contribute meaningfully in the implementation of the agenda at the national, regional, and global levels. We will continue to assert our rightful space and advance a sustainable world for all.

The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) is an open platform working for better development. It unites more than 4,000 community organisations, trade unions, faith-based organisations, youth groups, feminist movements, indigenous groups and NGOs from around the world.

You can download the full document here.

Read the statement in French and Spanish

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