CPDE Response to the Post-2015 Zero Draft

CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE)

Response to the zero draft of the outcome document

for the UN Summit on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

CPDE appreciates the aspirational nature of the zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The document sets the tone for achieving an ambitious universal agenda by 2030 with an emphasis on three pillars of sustainble development, viz, environment, social and economic that can benefit both people and the planet. From a development effectiveness angle, we welcome the document’s recognition of country ownership, participatory, and accountable forms of development. We recognize this as a step forward in line with our vision of effective development – that which addresses the structural causes of poverty and inequality. However, several key elements are either missing or given insufficient weight to adequately address the challenges that await us.

First and foremost, we believe 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. These are the foundations of human development and should be reaffirmed consistently throughout the document.

Second, accountability is key to ensuring the success of the new agenda. Based on the experience of the Millennium Development Goals, there should be a clearer focus on the regulatory mechanisms that will be put in place to hold all development actors to account, including the private sector and other non-traditional stakeholders. Moreover, the document should state that accountability must not come at the expense of reducing or merging the number of SDGs and targets in the follow-up phase, as that may compromise their implementation. In addition, we reiterate that any accountability mechanism must put primacy on accountability to the people. For the private sector, this means adherence to standing international laws and standards (such as the ILO standards, the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the OECD guidelines on MNEs). For governments, this denotes recognition of extra-territorial obligations toward bridging the gap in the international human rights protection system.

Third, we believe the principles of effective development co-operation – country ownership, inclusive development partnerships, focus on results, and transparency and mutual accountability – should be explicitly recognised as an important step to effective development. There cannot be national responsibility without national democratic ownership of the development processes and without the global policy space that can allow each country to set its own path to development.

Fourth, for civil society organisations to fully support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda through their development effectiveness work at country, regional and global level, they need to be acknowledged as independent development actors in their own right. Building on existing international agreements, the final draft should reiterate the global commitment to providing an enabling environment for civil society organisations to maximise their contribution to development.

Fifth, including all development actors in follow-up and review mechanisms will be crucial to ensure the successful implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. In particular, the role to be played by civil society organisations in the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) should be supported by progressive inclusion of CSO inputs through decision-making.

We believe that integrating the priorities highlighted above into the revised draft will be crucial to reflect the changing development landscape and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda in the next 15 years. In line with CPDE’s core mission, we have included below detailed recommendations that focus on the sections of the zero draft outcome document on the Means of Implementation (II) and the Follow-Up and Review (III).

On human rights and rights-based approaches we recommend:

•Balancing the call for private finance and innovation with the respect of all human rights and sustainable development standards (II.5);
•Highlighting the relevance of human rights to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies (II.Goals 16a and 16b)[1];
•Ensuring respect for human rights, the rule of law and creation of effective and accountable institutions to acheive just and inclusive societies (II.8)
•Establishing a clear regulatory mechanism for the private sector (II. 10b)
•Recognize the rightful role of communities in development decision-making, implementation and monitoring results. (III. 2)
•Including the fulfilment of human rights – such as gender, labour and disability rights – and environmental standards as measures of progress and underlying principles guiding Follow-up and Review processes (III.3);
•Defining Member States as the primary duty-bearers and their citizens as rights-holders (III.3).

On accountability we recommend:

•Introducing mutual accountability reviews to ensure non-state actors, including the private sector and international financial institutions, are held to account (III.2);
•Including accountability of all development stakeholders as a core principle underpinning follow-up and review processes at national, regional and global level (III.3). Stronger calls to accountability should counter-balance the numerous references to the voluntary nature of the SDGs and targets;
•Underlining that country-level reviews should be the cornerstone of accountability for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. They should provide a formal, structured space for inclusive and effective participation of civil society organisations and other constituencies and promote an ongoing dialogue between duty-bearers, rights-holders and other stakeholders (III.4);
•Specifying review and reporting modalities through a comprehensive list of examples, including independent assessments by non-state actors (III.9).

On development effectiveness principles we recommend:

•Explicitly recognising the four principles of effective development co-operation (ownership, inclusive development partnerships, and focus on results and transparency and mutual accountability) as relevant to the systemic issues addressed by SDG 17 (II.Goal 17.13-17);
•Stressing the primary role of country leadership in monitoring the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda (III.4).

On enabling environment for civil society organisations we recommend:

•Underlining the primary responsibility of Member States in providing an enabling environment for the participation of people and their organizations in open, inclusive and transparent follow-up and review processes (III.3.c);
•Specifying what mechanisms should be put in place to safeguard the participation of all people, including civil society organisations, where Member States are unwilling or unable to provide an enabling environment (III.3.c).
•Fostering an enabling environment for civil society organizations and ensuring their rightful participation in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda. (II. 17)

On inclusiveness we recommend:

•Calling for an ambitious, inclusive HLPF that takes the views of non-state actors, including civil society organisations, into full consideration through regular, formal and structured modalities (III.14);
•Detailing the “meaningful contribution” of civil society to the follow-up and review processes in consultation with civil society organisations and other civil society actors (III.14);
•Stressing the inclusive nature of multi-stakeholder partnerships (II.17.16-17).
•Ensuring the functioning of an equitable and inclusive multilateral forum for policy dialogue and standard setting for sustainable development. Multi-stakeholder platforms, which are already in place such as the GPEDC and CPDE should be incorporated into the post 2015 negotiations in defining SDGs. (II. 17)
•Ensuring an institutionalized participation of civil society in the indicators formulation to measure the SDGs. (III)

On addressing existing commitments, we recommend:

•Developed countries should reaffirm and achieve their long-standing commitment of 0.7% of Gross National Income as official development assistance to developing countries. (II. 17.2)
•Explicitly prohibit the attachment of harmful conditionalities to ODA and other forms of financing by international financial institutions and provide for binding obligations of States to meet their commitments. (II. 17.2)
•States must move away from treating remittance as a proxy financial mechanism for development as it further encourages labor exporting as de facto state policy with the consequent commodification of migrants. (II. 10.c)
•Climate finance should be new and in addition to ODA and accounted for separately. (II. 13)

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.

[1] Language suggestion: “Respect for human rights, the rule of law and effective and accountable institutions are necessary to achieve just and inclusive societies.”

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