18 June 2014
Civil Society Groups Provide Inputs on SDGs, Post-2015
story highlights

Numerous civil society groups have recently published papers and launched tools related to the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) processes.

Many of the recent interventions provide reactions to the Open Working Group (OWG) on the SDGs' ‘Zero Draft,' proposing additions to text and ways to reduce the 212 targets.

owgJune 2014: Numerous civil society groups have recently published papers and launched tools related to the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) processes. Many of the recent interventions provide reactions to the Open Working Group (OWG) on the SDGs’ ‘Zero Draft,’ proposing additions to text and ways to reduce the 212 targets.

Beyond 2015 issued a letter explaining its reaction to the Zero Draft and an annex with specific textual recommendations on targets. In the letter, Beyond 2015 welcomes: the re-inclusion of a goal on reducing inequality within and among countries; progress on the human rights-based approach; and the continued presence of Goal 16 on ‘Peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions.’ Beyond 2015 also, inter alia: suggests including more concrete and ambitious targets on climate change, including a target to not exceed global warming of 1.5°C; and recommends goals and targets apply to all countries with appropriate differentiation and international support according to their country context. Cautioning that a full year remains to resolve issues, Beyond 2015 recommends the OWG prioritize a report encompassing the breadth and diversity of issues “rather than seeking to streamline too early, at the expense of a transformative post-2015 sustainable development agenda.”

Biovision and the Millennium Institute, on behalf of the Food and Agriculture Cluster of the NGO Major Group, issued a reaction to proposed Goal 2 on ending hunger and achieving food security and nutrition. It proposes merging targets and makes suggestions on proposed targets, including referencing “the progressive realization of the right to food” and reflecting the need for sustainable food systems to produce enough food for present and future generations. The Cluster also prepared a glossary on ‘Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition.’

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), the North-South Institute (NSI) and Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals launched the Post-2015 Data Test, which examines how the post-2015 agenda can be applied and measured across a variety of country contexts. The Test examines country priorities and challenges on accessing data and measuring progress in seven areas: poverty; employment and inclusive growth; governance and human rights; environmental sustainability and disaster resilience; energy and infrastructure; education and global partnership for sustainable development.

The Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus launched the Human Rights Post-2015 Litmus Test to evaluate whether proposals for the post-2015 framework respect and reflect human rights commitments and norms. It includes eight tests, supported by a question and criteria. For instance, Test One focuses on whether the framework supports human rights comprehensively and its criteria include universal application to all people in all countries and concrete targets to protect civil society and political rights.

Members of the Mountain Partnership have written to their governments and UN representatives in New York to urge recognition of the role of mountain ecosystems in sustainable development. According to the Mountain Partnership, 56 governments requested attention to mountain ecosystems during OWG 11, and there have been over 100 interventions on mountains throughout the OWG process.

Oxfam released a paper proposing 11 goals in the post-2015 framework. The proposed goals are organized around: building more equal societies, with goals on ending extreme economic inequality and poverty, gender, universal health coverage, quality education and lifelong learning; building resilience in a warming world, with goals on climate-resilience and low-carbon development, hunger, access to water and sanitation and reduction of global risks; and enabling the framework, which includes goals on inclusive governance and financing.

Saferworld made suggestions for refining and consolidating the draft targets under proposed Goal 16. Noting that 12 out of 17 targets under Goal 16 focus on capacities and mechanisms, Saferworld recommends focusing on “outcomes that matter to people” and will motivate action. It also, inter alia: urges framing all targets to support equality of development outcomes for all social groups and recommends consolidating targets.

The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) has invited comments on its Results Framework on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport. The Framework outlines how transport can be mainstreamed across goals, and calls for targets to improve rural, urban and national access and regional connectivity in combination with targets to reduce road crashes, air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In ‘Paying for Zero,’ the 2013-2014 Global Agenda Council on Post-2015 Sustainable Development, organized by the World Economic Forum, discusses financing a post-2015 agenda. The paper emphasizes that: domestic resource mobilization across all countries is crucial and overseas development assistance (ODA) will remain crucial; and the end of extreme poverty should not be confused with the end of aid. It recommends, inter alia: a high ambition for sustainable development finance, shared by all; encouraging middle-income countries (MICs) and emerging economies to contribute to global poverty reduction; prioritizing ODA to the poorest countries and programs that target the poorest people; and promoting finance that results in multi-dimensional benefits to address tensions between development and climate finance.

World Vision has released a paper, titled ‘Getting Intentional: Cross-Sector partnerships, business and the post-2015 development agenda,’ that explores how targets for cross-sector partnerships could be included in the post-2015 framework and embraces the importance of business for delivering development objectives. The paper proposes four targets for inclusion in the framework, including on global and national multi-stakeholder platforms and accountability mechanisms.

On 16 June 2014, representatives of major groups and stakeholders of civil society wrote an open letter to the Co-Chairs and Member States of the OWG following the decision to close the OWG 12 session to civil society. The letter emphasizes the importance of including Major Groups and civil society in the negotiations to ensure a transformative, participatory, inclusive development framework and regrets “that the doors are being closed.” It asks the OWG Co-Chairs to revert to a formal session or open informals to observers. Over 330 civil society organizations gathered in New York, US, to participate in OWG 12, according to the letter. [Beyond 2015 Letter] [Biovision Reaction] [Biovision Glossary] [Mountain Partnership Press Release] [Oxfam Press Release] [Saferworld Comments] [SLoCaT Results Framework] [World Economic Forum Paper] [Post-2015 Data Test] [Litmus Test] [World Vision Press Release] [IISD RS Story on Zero Draft] [IISD RS Sources]

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