This year, the theme of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly was: “The post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage.”
This year, the theme of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly was: “The post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage.”
In the context of this important debate, representatives of the 193 UN Member States adopted a final document on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The text recognised the progress made since the adoption of the eight development goals in 2000 and underlined the commitment to intensify action in the fight against poverty and to determine new development goals. The representatives of the Member States unanimously agreed to take bolder measures to combat extreme poverty, hunger and disease and undertook to do more to tackle the many challenges remaining and to speed up the necessary advances. The final document confirmed that with this new agenda, the uncompleted work of the MDGs would be continued.
It was decided to call a high-level summit in 2015 in order to adopt a new series of anti-poverty goals focused on the promotion of sustainable development, which would require achieving a balance between the pillars of sustainable development: economic transformation, eradication of poverty, promotion of social justice and environmental protection.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, stated that “the most urgent challenge is to make sustainable development a reality and a bolder agenda is needed, supported by a new partnership.” Following the high-level discussions and other thematic events of the 68th session, he declared that he was satisfied with the results obtained: since 2000, “poverty has been reduced by half,” but with the adoption of the final document “we must maintain the impetus created and draw up a bolder development agenda for post-2015.” This must be supported by a new partnership for development.
In the context of the high-level dialogue in New York, the world leaders had an opportunity to engage in an in-depth consideration of the issues relating to financing for development post-2015. Most of the participants and international experts were unanimous: “financing for development is the driving force of the whole process ensuring the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” and “the conceptual framework for financing development must be appropriate to meet the challenges and new realities.”
Until now, official development assistance (ODA) had been the chief method of financing development. But the experts pointed out that other sources of mobilisation of funds — public or private, national or international — were increasingly available. However, national resources played a key role: they must be used to optimal effect to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to support the future post-2015 development agenda. For most of the African representatives, given that the needs for finance for sustainable development exceeded the available public resources, it would in fact be logical to turn to the private sector and its investors to fill the existing gap.
Other participants also mentioned the need to create some flexibility in the international finance system so that it could reallocate a small part of global investments to sustainable development. They highlighted the fact that South-South cooperation was being called upon to play an increasingly important role: it must be used to complement the traditional sources of financing for development.
A number of delegations urged the use of innovative financing, such as the carbon tax and taxes on international financial transactions. On this topic, the representative of France mentioned the broad scope offered by these tools, ranging from incentives and guarantees to solidarity taxes levied on air tickets: these sources of finance had been able to bring in over one billion euros since 2006 to the benefit of the International Drug Purchasing Facility, UNITAID.
During the discussions, appeals were made for the Doha Cycle trade negotiations to be brought to a conclusion as quickly as possible. The representatives acknowledged once more that fair and equitable trade drove the creation of development resources.
These high-level discussions enabled most of the participants to express both the concerns of each side and a certain optimism regarding the capacities of the international community to overcome the problems of sustainable development. The discussions and exchanges were mainly focused on the concept of responsibility shared between the various players in development and unfulfilled pledges of development finance.
The African delegations highlighted the need to work on the post- 2015 scenario: they contributed to the consideration of a new action plan to guarantee sustainable development for all African countries.
In October the UN “African agenda” was noted in the remarks of the new President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita. “Mali is on its way back, Mali is on its feet and turning the darkest page in its history. Mali has recovered its sovereignty over the whole territory,” he declared, before informing the General Assembly of his meetings with the leaders of the armed groups of the North to remind them of the sacrosanct principles of respect for the territorial integrity of Mali and the secular character of the State. He proposed to hold an inclusive, frank and constructive political dialogue, “where everything will be up for discussion, with the exception of any form of independent autonomy.”
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailé Mariam Desalegn, in his capacity as the serving Chairperson of the African Union, welcomed the close cooperation between AU and UN. He stated that Africa was now experiencing a drop in the number of conflicts, improved democratic governance and strong economic growth as well as an expanding middle class. In his opinion “this new reality explains the new interest in Africa shown by the rest of the world.” He expressed his conviction that “the 21st century will be the century of Africa if we harmonise our efforts to maintain and accelerate this economic growth” and that an “African renaissance” was possible. Naturally, that required structural transformations which must be incorporated into the post-2015 development agenda. In this context, the Ethiopian leader informed the General Assembly that a High Level Commission of African Heads of State and Government had been set up to define a common position and to mobilise international support to ensure that the successes achieved with respect to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were sustainable and that the African development priorities for post-2015 were fully taken into consideration.
The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, mentioned the consensus on the Programme for Infrastructures Development in Africa (PIDA) at the last summit of the BRICS group, as well as of the G8 and the G20. In relation to this programme, Africa had identified 51 priority projects across the continent at an overall cost of 68 billion dollars for the period 2012-2020. Furthermore, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the Heads of State and Government of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Macky Sall called for the reform of international economic and financial governance and especially of the conditions governing access to credit and financing of economic and social development projects. In conclusion, he noted the profound changes in the world and in Africa and the need to reform the Security Council.
The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, spoke mainly on the consolidation of peace and security and the drafting of the post-2015 development agenda, which, according to him, should be “ambitious, universal, and able to respond to today’s immense challenges and lead to positive transformations, on the basis of shared but differentiated responsibilities”; it would also need to privilege the economic, social and environmental aspect of sustainable development. In addition, he highlighted the fact that his country had always operated on the principle of managing its natural resources taking into account the need to preserve its exceptional biodiversity: consequently, the proposed Grand Inga hydroelectric dam on the Congo River, which would be capable of producing 40,000 megawatts of electricity, would be able to fulfil the energy requirements of almost half of Africa.
The President of Chad, Idriss Déby Itno, particularly emphasised the security problem: according to him, “Chad has made a strategic choice to contribute to the establishment of security, peace and stability wherever it is necessary.” Almost 1, 800 Chadian troops were to join the members of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (UNMISS). Chad had also sent contingents to join the UN peacekeeping operations in Côte d’Ivoire, DRC and Haiti. Idriss Déby called on the Security Council to adopt a strong resolution providing for the modalities of logistical and financial support for the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and also requested that humanitarian assistance to the refugees and displaced persons of Darfur should be scaled up. Furthermore, he emphasised the fact that “our deep-rooted belief is that the military solution is not appropriate for every crisis”: a sustainable and definitive solution to these evils causing Africa’s development to be significantly delayed involved a constant struggle against poverty, marginalisation and youth unemployment.
The President of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, also stressed his country’s desire to contribute to strengthening peace in Africa and in the world: 2,500 Tanzanian Blue Helmets were taking part in peacekeeping operations in Darfur, DRC and Lebanon; Tanzania was the 6th country supplying troops to the Peacekeeping Organisations in Africa and the 12th at the global level.
Speaking of the situation in the Great Lakes region, the Tanzanian President deplored the continued suffering of its populations, especially in DRC. He put great faith in the initiative which led to the adoption of the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, concluded in February 2013, and stressed the need to take voluntarist measures to halt the proliferation of armed groups in DRC.
According to the South African President, Jacob Zuma, “there is a need to attempt to eradicate poverty through economic and social development and by fostering a sustainable environment.” In his opinion, the post-2015 development agenda should take into account the specific characteristics of each country. He called on the developed countries of the North to honour their commitment to devote 0.7 % of their GDP to development aid and stressed the crucial importance of investments in Africa for world stability.
The President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, stated that his country supported the definition of an agenda for development after the deadline of 2015; according to him, as the cut-off date of 2015 for the fulfilment of the MDGs approached, Côte d’Ivoire was experiencing a new impetus, thanks to the good performances of the national economy. Concerning the situation in West Africa, he welcomed the efforts made by the ECOWAS countries to restore and preserve peace in the region and also the re-establishment of Mali’s territorial integrity and the successful conduct of the presidential election. However, the region was still facing enormous challenges and consequently, the international community must learn from the conflict in Mali and support ECOWAS and the African Union in establishing a “coherent and proactive” security policy.
In the context of drafting the post-2015 agenda, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Congo, Basile Ikouébé, reiterated the continuing commitment of Brazzaville to the promotion of sustainable development at national, regional and international levels. After acting as the spokesperson for Africa throughout the Rio+20 process, Congo was continuing its commitment in the working group on the objectives of sustainable development. The head of Congolese diplomacy stressed the need to draw up broader, more substantial, deeper and more transformative objectives than MDGs: they should constitute the starting point of the definition of the sustainable development goals which, once identified, would require adequate financing.
Basile Ikouébé also noted that Congo had made significant progress with respect to education and maternal, infant and child mortality, but had experienced something of a slowdown in the fight against poverty and the promotion of decent jobs. If the national context allowed optimism that progress would be made by 2015, given the stability and consolidation of the democratic process in Congo, the National Development Plan for 2012-2016, focused on modernisation and industrialisation, would bear fruit, with expected growth rates of 12.3% in 2014 and 14.8% in 2015.
The high-level discussions and other special events in the United Nations revealed several examples of success in achieving MDGs and defining ways to accelerate the action and partnerships needed in this sector. The countries, the private sector and civil society organisations were able to present new commitments: for example, the UN, in partnership with the UNDP, had managed to generate some 2.5 billion dollars of pledged funds to stimulate the achievement of MDGs by 2015.
In his report to the General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon highlighted the achievement of the goal to reduce by half of the numbers of people living in extreme poverty and the provision of access to improved sources of clean water to over 2 billion people; but there was still much to be done in the spheres of sanitation and health services.
The post-2015 agenda would not only have to pursue the fulfilment of MDGs which were not achieved, but also integrate more general objectives such as the fight against inequality, strengthening of good governance and social responsibility. The Chairperson of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, John W. Ashe, from Antigua and Barbuda, summed it up as follows: “As we prepare to work on the post-2015 development agenda, the international community is launching into a process with the potential to transform the world. We are working on a framework which will tackle urgent global problems such as climate change and loss of biodiversity, conflicts, demography, inequality and job insecurity.”
Madagascar is exposed to recurrent climate risks which are affecting its economy and its population’s living conditions. The consequences of climate change have been felt for...
3 bonnes raisons de s'abonner
Share this page with your friends. spread the word
Informez vos ami(e)s automatiquement sur un article ou sur une publication.