CSO Outreach with the Third High Level Panel

In July 2012 the United Nations Secretary General appointed a High Level Panel of Eminent Persons to deliberate consult and provide independent recommendations on what international development framework might come after the Millennium Development Goals when they expire in 2015. The Panel is comprised of 27 members, including Heads of State, Ministers, former Ministers and independent experts. It is chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The High Level Panel of Eminent Persons has thus far held two meetings, the first in New York in the 25th September 2012; and in London between October 31 to November 1, 2012. The third meeting of the High Level Panel will take place between 30 January 2012 and 2nd February 2013 in Monrovia, Liberia.


The HLP meeting in Monrovia will seek, amongst other priorities to:

  • Discuss the elements of an outline for the Panel report and criteria for prioritizing the post-2015 agenda.
  • Identify the drivers of economic transformation that need due consideration in a future global framework.
  • Share evidence and consultation findings from various constituencies with members of the High Level Panel.
  • Take stock of the emerging post-2015 agenda based on the discussions at New York and London and other Panel member contributions, so that Monrovia builds on this groundwork.
  • Identify issues to be discussed at the fourth HLP meeting in Bali, Indonesia in March 2013.


The meeting will be organized around the central theme of ‘National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity’, with a particular focus on economic transformation. Topics under discussion will include:

  • Enablers and barriers to economic transformation
  • Equitable and sustainable outcomes
  • Role of the Private Sector
  • Governance and Institution building, with a particular focus on conflict affected and fragile states.

An emphasis on African Perspectives and Positions is also proposed.


The third meeting of the High Level Panel will take place between 30 January 2012 and 2nd February 2013 in Monrovia, Liberia. Civil society outreach events around this meeting will be enabled through meetings organised on 28th and 30th January 2013, i.e. two days prior to the 3rd HLP meet and as part of Day One of the meeting.


Day One: CSO Pre–‐Consultative Forum

The CSO Pre-Consultative Forum will be held on the 28th January 2013. This will be a full day program where CSOs will have an opportunity to meet among themselves in order to prepare for the engagement with HLP members and agree on strategic consensus positions. The format of the meeting will be a combination of plenary, panel and parallel sessions; and will be organized by a core group of global CSOs (Global Working Group) which will include strong representation from Southern, African and Liberian CSOs.

Day Two: CSO Outreach with the HLP

The second day of CSO outreach meetings will be held on the 30 January 2013, and will involve a two and a half hour interphase between forty CSO representatives and members of the HLP organized.

The first hour will take the format of a “town hall” event, where CSO members and grassroots representatives will share evidence, perspectives, and recommendations on the topic of National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity and its sub-themes. This will serve as a framing conversation, also giving critical clarity to the vision and aspirations of ordinary citizens for the future.

The following hour and thirty minutes will be organised in the form of four roundtables. The agenda for the roundtables will be focus on addressing the subthemes of the meeting from the perspective of marginalized groups including:

(i)                 Youth and children

(ii)               Women

(iii)             Disabled and aged

(iv)              Farmers workers and small businesses

The Framing Questions that have emerged from the 2nd HLP meeting held in London, UK will provide a context for the discussions held in the round tables and plenary sessions – and an opportunity for civil society groups who may not be in a position to be present in Monrovia to contribute to the deliberations. Details about the Framing Questions and how to respond to them are available here: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/Post2015HLP


A total of 60 participants are expected during the CSO pre-consultative forum on Day 1; whereas 40 of these participants will then meet with the HLP on 30th January during the Outreach day. Details of the CSO registration and participation process will be announced shortly.

In selecting participants, special attention will be given to representation from key stakeholder groups, including

  • Marginalized groups such as women’s networks, youth groups, children’s networks, groups for the disabled and aged.
  • Special interest groups on issues of economic transformation such as traders, informal sector representatives, farmers associations, and trade unions;
  • CSOs from Africa and the global south (Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Arab regions)


A core group of civil society representatives from the region – the Africa CSO Working Group – is providing leadership to the preparations that are being undertaken for the outreach events. Focal points within this working group, who can be reached for further details, include:

  • Overview: ACORD, African Monitor, GCAP Africa and WaterAid Liberia info@askafricanow.org
  • Focus on Women & Gender: FEMNET, Dina Musindarwezo, director@femnet.or.ke
  • Focus on Disability & Aged: HelpAge, Roseline Kihumba, Rkihumba@helpage.co.ke
  • Focus on Children & Youth: Organisation for African Youth, George Ndung’u, george@oayouth.org
  • Focus on Farmers, Workers and Small Businesses: ACORD, Salina Sanou, salina.sanou@acordinternational.org

The Africa CSO Working Group is working in close collaboration with the Liberia Working Group and CSOs from other regions, including Latin America, Asia and Europe to ensure diverse participation in the CSO outreach events. Leads for the roundtables (from other regions) are being identified and will soon be communicated.

The Africa CSO Working Group can be reached at info@askafricanow.org; and communications@askafricanow.org for media related queries. To reach Mrs. Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Head of the Secretariat and CSO Focal Point in Monrovia, please use headsecretariat@askafricanow.org.

11 Jan 2013


Outreach – Post 2015Secretariat


Civil Society Participation in UN Processes related to Post 2015

We, civil society representatives convened by CIVICUS, GCAP and Beyond 2015 at the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly, met September 4th-7th 2012 to begin discussions on the World We Want beyond 2015.

As civil society gathered here today, we affirm that we will work united and collaborate to ensure a legitimate and inclusive development framework is in place to succeed the current MDGs, that delivers lasting change in the world. We affirm that this framework must work to genuinely integrate ending poverty, ensuring environmental sustainability and promoting human rights. The framework must fully reflect the priorities and perspectives of people directly affected by poverty and inequality, the majority of whom are socially excluded populations, particularly women, children, youth and indigenous peoples. The framework should also challenge the structures, institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty.

We highly appreciate offers and commitments already made by various actors and institutions to directly engage and consult with civil society. However, we also have serious concerns about the current state of the parameters for civil society participation and engagement in the post-2015 process. In order to address our concerns, we have developed the following essential criteria to ensure meaningful civil society engagement:

  1. Civil society must be treated at parity with other stakeholders, for example the private sector.
  2. Before engaging in consultations and providing input to any of the processes, civil society must have a commitment that all inputs will be fully considered, this includes:
    • clarity on when review of CSO input is taking place
    • ensure that a response will be formulated which outlines how this input is being taken forward
    • civil society representatives are present in discussions to support their case.
  3. Regular interaction between decision makers and civil society representatives to ensure a 2-way communication and that the process is respected as agreed.
  4. Consultations with civil society should take the form of face-to-face meetings with relevant decision-makers, permanently established advisory panels in addition to written input. We affirm the need to build upon and strengthen already established rules and mechanisms for civil society engagement with the UN, when developing mechanisms for civil society engagement in post 2015.
  5. All relevant information needs to be easily and openly accessible in a timely manner to civil society.
  6. A fully funded Civil Society platform must be in place by the end of 2012 at the latest and be supported by a relevant UN entity, for example a well resourced and strengthened UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), and must be directly linked to the UN General Assembly President’s office.

Civil society will not engage fully until these commitments and sufficient resources are confirmed.

To the UN Member States we recommend

– The intergovernmental Open Working Group on SDGs must have a clear, efficient, inclusive and transparent mechanism to engage proactively with civil society. This must be clearly outlined within their Terms of Reference.

To the UN Secretariat we recommend

– The UN High-level Panel of eminent persons must contain increased representation from civil society, representing civil society constituency. The High-level Panel needs to clarify immediately how they will engage with civil society as a major stakeholder, as outlined in their Terms of Reference.

To the UNDG we recommend

– The UNDG consultation processes currently under way (50+ national consultations, 9+ thematic consultations, global conversation) must live up to commitments already made, for example in the guidance notes to Regional Coordinators and TORs for thematic consultations to meaningfully include and resource civil society to engage at all levels and all stages.

We appreciate efforts by UN civil society focal points and other allies to work with us to ensure a fair, inclusive and legitimate process is in place and we look forward to a response outlining how our conditions will be met.

Signed by CIVICUS, GCAP and Beyond 2015 (with more signatures to come)

Beyond 2015: Essential Must-Haves for a Global Development Framework

2015 is the end of the timeline for the Millennium Development Goals. This presents an opportunity for the world adopt a twin track approach of ensuring the MDGs are met by 2015, while at the same time creating a post 2015 global development framework. The Beyond 2015 campaign has convened a global dialogue on the essential must-haves that would need to be met in order for any new framework to be considered legitimate. It is important that these discussions do not divert resources from the delivery of the MDGs.

This is an open, inclusive and on-going conversation. The must-haves are based on workshops at the World Social Forum, a global consultation process with members of Beyond 2015 in almost 50 countries, consultation with NGOs and interested academics, and research undertaken in collaboration with Southern partners. Beyond 2015 recognizes and welcomes other related initiatives aiming to advance thinking on a post 2015 agenda, and looks forward to continued collaboration and dialogue with interested groups.

Who leads, who owns and who implements?

  • The UN is the only legitimate and representative global governance structure and must lead the process.
  • The process must not be led by the G20, G8, OECD or any other non-representative global forum.
  • National governments must have primary ownership of, and accountability for the framework and its delivery. Governments should make use of local expertise, but must also be able to request external expertise without sacrificing control of their development strategy, and international institutions must respect and support, as appropriate to their mandate, existing national development frameworks.

How do we develop it?

  • The UN must lead an inter-governmental debate on the process immediately, which must be connected to the on-going discussions about sustainable development, aid effectiveness and financing for development.
  • The UN must agree on a roadmap, including time-specific milestones to develop the new framework. This roadmap must use the 2013 MDG Summit to define the vision for the post 2015 process, and culminate in a global Summit to adopt a new framework in 2015.
  • The framework must be aligned with, and facilitate progress in other global and regional processes, such as Rio +20, to avoid duplication.
  • The development of the framework must be based on a full and meaningful evaluation of the MDGs and the Millennium Declaration, and must take into account the shortcomings of the MDG approach and its limitations in addressing structural causes of poverty, inequality and exclusion. It must also recognise the positive achievements of the MDGs.
  • The development of the framework must be completely open and transparent, participatory, inclusive and responsive to voices and expertise of those directly affected by poverty and injustice.
  • The development of the framework (and its monitoring) must include an extensive consultation involving all stakeholders at local, national, regional and global level. This must include a formalised and meaningful process for civil society engagement, including the most marginalised groups.
  • Civil society organisations without ECOSOC status must be included in the consultation, as must those who are unable to participate in an internet based consultation.
  • Given the importance of monitoring and data collection, researchers and statistical experts must be included in the process for developing the framework.

What should it contain?

  • The framework must set out global goals, as well as contextualised national targets for developed and developing countries aiming at a sustainable and equitable global development, as well as the eradication of extreme poverty.
  • The framework must be based in full accordance with international human rights laws and frameworks.
  • The framework must lever the reform of existing structures that perpetuate poverty and inequality.
  • The framework must recognise that international aid is only a part of a balanced approach to development.
  • The framework must address:
  1. Root causes of poverty and injustice in all countries, from the richest to the poorest.
  2. Inequity and inequality.
  3. Environmental sustainability and climate change.
  4. The responsibility of national governments to sustainably manage their natural and financial resources.
  5. The responsibility of the international community to support developing countries in the face of global challenges through respecting their ODA commitments as well as through innovative redistributive funding mechanisms which would generate additional predictive finance.
  6. The responsibility of developing country governments to deliver on development commitments.


  • The framework must clearly lay out enforceable accountability mechanisms, as well as the process for accountability at a national, regional and global level. This must include national oversight and independent review mechanisms at the international level.
  • The framework must include mechanisms for citizens to hold national governments to account.
  • The framework must include mechanisms for mutual accountability between governments and donors.
  • The framework must include mechanisms for a governmental peer review process which includes civil society.
  • The framework must enable citizens in developing countries to hold their governments to account in real time for progress on commitments made
  • The framework must include monitoring mechanisms with measures to disaggregate data so that the impact on marginalised groups can be properly addressed.
  • National processes must, in the spirit of democratic ownership, involve meaningful consultation and scrutiny by parliament and civil society.

For further information, contact lwilliams@concordeurope.org