Participants agreed that a monitoring and accountability framework should be an integral part of the post-2015 development agenda's formulation, at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regional Ministerial Consultation.
The meeting, which took place from 15-16 September 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland, addressed the roles of global, regional, national and local levels within a multi-layered architecture and adaption and integration of existing mechanisms.
23 September 2014: Participants at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regional Ministerial Consultation agreed that a monitoring and accountability framework should be an integral part of the post-2015 development agenda’s formulation. The meeting, which took place from 15-16 September 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland, addressed the roles of global, regional, national and local levels within a multi-layered architecture and adaption and integration of existing mechanisms.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requested that the regional commissions organize consultations to discuss regional views on accountability, and propose options based on existing mechanisms and other approaches. The Chair’s Summary will be submitted as an input to Ban’s forthcoming synthesis report on the post-2015 development agenda.
Participants supported a multi-layered and multi-stakeholder accountability mechanism, with linkages among sectors, state and non-state actors and levels. They said the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will play a central role in ensuring the accountability framework’s overall coherence.
The regional level can connect global and national levels, translate goals into policies, and facilitate capacity-building and exchange of experiences, according to participants. They recognized the regional level’s role in addressing transboundary challenges, such as water cooperation, and in mobilizing partnerships.
The national level is critical in accountability, according to participants, who noted national governments will make post-2015 commitments. Participants identified governments as the key actors to be held accountable while also recognizing the role of other actors in ensuring accountability.
Regarding the local level, participants recognized that participation and transparency on budgeting, policy-making and service delivery can support and build accountability. Participants supported an inclusive, participatory process with cooperation and dialogue on accountability.
Existing European institutions and mechanisms can support monitoring and accountability, according to participants, who said the region already has institutions with the capacity and mandate to review and monitor democratic governance, environmental performance, human rights and the rule of law.
Some participants suggested ranking country performance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They suggested that donors could use these rankings to allocate funding to the best performers. Participants also discussed elements of effective peer review mechanisms, highlighting the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) reviews, UNECE Environmental Performance Reviews, the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN Global Compact.
Big data and statistics offer opportunities to measure progress and strengthen monitoring, according to participants. They suggested building on existing initiatives, including the Conference of European Statisticians’ recommendations on measuring sustainable development. Participants supported a manageable, measurable and robust set of indicators and disaggregated data.
Over 170 participants attended the consultation, which UNECE organized with the Regional UN Development Group (UNDG) for Europe and Central Asia. [UNECE Press Release] [IISD RS Sources]