On 31 December, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released his synthesis report on the post-2015 development agenda in all six UN languages. “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet” outlines a vision for Member States to consider in negotiations leading up to the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2015 that will adopt the post-2015 development agenda.
Call for civil society responses to the report
The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and UN DESA Division for Sustainable Development (DESA-DSD) invite Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders to submit their official responses to the report to a central online repository via this online form: http://bit.ly/Submit-CSO-Response-SG-Synthesis.
Links to all submissions will be published live as they are received here.
UN-NGLS and DESA-DSD provide this mechanism to support review of these important perspectives by all stakeholders in preparation for the continued elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, beginning with the 19-21 January negotiating session at UN Headquarters in New York. A preparatory forum for stakeholders will be conducted on 16 January by DESA-DSD and UN-NGLS at UN Headquarters. More information about this forum is available here.
Synthesis Report Overview
Using the Rio+20 Conference outcomes as the cornerstone for the post-2015 process, the synthesis report brings together inputs from Member States, the entire UN system, experts, a cross-section of civil society, business and millions of people from around the world. It seeks a future free from poverty, built on human rights, equality and sustainability. The report urges that now is not the time to succumb to political expediency, or to tolerate the lowest common denominators. The new threats that face us, and the new opportunities that present themselves, demand a high level of ambition and a truly participatory, responsive and transformational course of action.
The report spells out the necessary four components for a realistic yet ambitious outcome from the UN Summit on Sustainable Development:
1. An inspirational vision made plain in a declaration;
2. A practical plan for that declaration, laid out in an integrated set of goals, targets and indicators;
3. Adequate means to implement the plan and a renewed global partnership for development;
4. A framework to monitor and review implementation to ensure promises made become promises delivered.
To bring about a truly universal transformation of sustainable development, the Secretary-General’s report makes a number of key recommendations, including the necessity to commit to a universal approach; to integrate sustainability in all activities; to address inequalities in all areas; to ensure that all actions respect and advance human rights; to address the drivers of climate change and its consequences; to base the analysis in credible data and evidence; to expand the global partnership for means of implementation to maximum effect; and to anchor the new compact in a renewed commitment to international solidarity.
The report identifies six essential elements to frame and reinforce sustainable development:
1. Dignity - to end poverty and fight inequalities;
2. People - to ensure healthy lives, knowledge, and the inclusion of women and children;
3. Prosperity - to grow a strong, inclusive, and transformative economy;
4. Planet - to protect our ecosystems for all societies and our children;
5. Justice - to promote safe and peaceful societies, and strong institutions;
6. Partnership - to catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development.
The importance of enabling civil society participation is highlighted in the report
Several paragraphs in the report draw attention to the need to ensure strong participation of civil society, including:
para 78: An enabling environment under the rule of law must be secured for the free, active and meaningful engagement of civil society, and advocates reflecting the voices of women, minorities, LGBT groups, Indigenous Peoples, youth, adolescents and older persons.
para 123: We must establish effective modalities for multi-stakeholder cooperation and sharing the costs for Research, Development, Demonstration and Diffusion for new technologies across all stakeholders: public, private, civil society, philanthropic, and other sectors, inclusive of indigenous knowledge.
para 129: Executive institutions, parliaments and the judiciary will need the capacity to perform their functions in this endeavour. Also, institutions of civil society must have the capacity to perform their critical, independent role.
para 145: If we are to succeed the new agenda must become part of the contract between people, including civil society and responsible business, and their governments, national and local. [...] Empowered civil society actors, through action and advocacy, must rally to the cause, and contribute to a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future.
para 149: National accountability: It would be built on existing national and local mechanisms and processes, with broad multistakeholder participation, including national and local governments, parliaments, civil society, science, academia and business.
A call to action
“The stars are aligned for the world to take historic action to transform lives and protect the planet,” the Secretary-General states at the conclusion of Section 1 of the report. “I urge Governments and people everywhere to fulfill their political and moral responsibilities. This is my call to dignity, and we must respond with all our vision and strength.” [para 25]
In early January 2015, the Secretary-General will formally present the report and further discuss it with Member States.