GCAP Report of the National CSOs Consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

1. Introduction

As the global debate on what should be the focus of MDGs in the post 201development agenda continue, Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP) with support from the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), organized a one day civil society meeting on the post 2015 development agenda. The meeting which pulled together over 75 participants drawn from civil society groups-CBOs, faith groups, national and international NGOs across the country, was intended to pose a wider debate on the MDGs targets that were set over a decade ago and the emerging post 2015 development priorities for Nigeria. The targets was a global wakeup call as the world was characterized by massive growth in production and wealth, yet millions of people are living in poverty. Thus, the need to refocus global value to benefit all and put an end to the rising levels of poverty in the world. GCAP believes that Nigeria is central to this whole debate as the country has the highest number of poor people in Africa and currently face the challenge of insecurity that is a seriously threatening the country ambition of attaining the MDGs in 2015.

Nigeria’s MDGs interventions commenced in 2005 following the negotiated debt relief from the Paris Club. However, despite the country’s late start, significant progress has been made towards achieving the MDGs. Findings from the breaking point research conducted by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and presented at the National CSOs meeting revealed that Nigeria is not likely to meet the MDGs target by 2015. It is however recommended that for the country to meet the set target, there must be significant investment in all sectors of the economy.

Unfortunately, the current challenge of insecurity is consuming one third of the resources that would have been invested in social security.  Security in Nigeria at the moment has diverted the focus of the state in the pursuit of MDGs and this will negatively affect the country’s chances of meeting the MDGs by 2015. Another challenge confronting the achievement of MDGs in Nigeria is the high level of corruption which makes it possible for money meant for MDGs project to be diverted from its intended purpose.

The struggle to end poverty in Nigeria by 2015 must therefore begin by prioritizing all workable approaches and initiatives to empower people and lift them out of poverty.

2. Objectives

The objectives of the National CSOs consultation process are:

  • To review the progress made and lessons learnt by Nigeria in the implementation of the MDGs
  • To stimulate wide ranging discussion on the state of well-being of citizens in Nigerian communities
  • To generate CSOs perspectives on development priorities which can form part of a successor framework to the MDGs.
  • To discuss and agree on solutions from the CSOs point of view to development challenges in communities and the actors and institutions for addressing them.

3. Key Output

A report of the outcome of the consultations which will feed into Nigeria’s overall synthesis that includes all thematic areas covered during the country’s national consultations. This report represents CSOs’ voices that should be reflected in Nigeria’s post-2015 development agenda, to be submitted to the UN High Level Panel and the UN Secretary-General on the post-2015 development agenda.

4. Post 2015 National CSOs Consultation Processes

An effective National CSOs consultation requires the setting-up of a number of mechanisms and processes. Such a process must be as open and transparent as possible to ensure inputs from a range of different stakeholders. However, in this process, GCAP did not aim at coordinating all initiatives, instead it utilized its states and zonal partners/focal persons in trying to capture as much as possible, in terms of the various discussions and analyses occurring at the local level in all the states of the federation.

4.1. State Level Consultations

A total of 37 CSOs and their focal persons were identified in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. A questionnaire each made up of a set of question for MY World survey and for the National Csos consultations was administered by state focal persons, to elicit responses from stakeholders. In most cases, focus group discussions were also organized by state focal persons for that purpose. In all, a total of 3700 questionnaires were administered. Of this number, 2000 copies of My World questionnaires were administered and currently being transferred into the online My World platform, while 1700 copies of the general post 2015 questionnaire was administered throughout the federation. Analysis of the data shows that of the 3700 persons sampled between the ages of 15 and 65. Of the number, 1650 are male, while 2, 050 are female. Similarly, 2170 respondents were unemployed while 1, 530 were engaged in one form of employment or the other.

The key development issues identified by respondents at the state and local level in their order of priority include the following:

  • A good and functional education
  • Agriculture and food security
  • Electricity
  • Better job opportunities
  • Better healthcare
  • Security
  • An honest and corruption free government
  • Improved access to clean water and sanitation
  • Good Housing
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Good transportation network

 4.2. National Consultation

The national CSO consultative meeting on the post 2015 development framework took place on March 14, 2013. Invited civil society organizations, CBOs, student union groups and faith based organizations from all over the country gathered at Hotel De Bently, Abuja. Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, the Chair of Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) welcomed the vibrant throng to the event, while observing that the Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP) was a wakeup call to the whole world, and that despite the massive production and wealth that characterized the world, millions of people were ridden in poverty, poor health and inadequate education. The call is an eye opener to the fact that the world needs a change of values to a different set of values that brings forth good leaders who would enunciate policies and programs potent to engendering a society where poverty will be eradicated.

GCAP believes that Nigeria is an important part of the post 2015 debate as the country has the highest number of people living in extreme poverty. The story for Nigeria is therefore the story of African and Africa’s success is tied to that of Nigeria. In Nigeria, the discourse on the post 2015 development agenda would not be complete without civil society inputs, as the civil society is the driver of change. Nigeria assented to the Millennium Declaration in New York, in September 2000, but concrete steps towards attaining the MDGs commenced in 2005, following the negotiated Debt Relief from the Paris Club. The implementation was made conditional thus leading to the establishment of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals (OSSAP-MDGs), to coordinate our effort and track social investment for the achievement of MDGs.

He concluded by explaining that the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) will present a report of the breaking point research conducted on the status of MDGs in Nigeria. The report seeks to explain where Nigeria was in the achievement of MDGs. The findings reveal that to achieve these set targets, the country needs to increase significantly her social investment in the MDGs sectors. Are we currently doing that? The answer is NO due to the fact that one-third of the country’s budget is currently going into tackling the seemingly intractable security challenges confronting the country. Nevertheless, it is important that we reflect on the connection between growing insecurity and poverty in the country. GCAP also think that the Nigeria government must begin to see the struggle against poverty as central for the survival of its citizens, not just as a daily survival means but a way to give its people a feeling of belonging to the entity called Nigeria and one that citizens are beneficiaries of the state. He further remarked that prioritizing all workable approaches to ending poverty must be the focus of Nigeria if the battle of ending poverty in the country must be won. Stressing that achieving the MDGs requires collective efforts and described the meeting as key in discuss the Nigeria we want in 2015.

Rev. Fr. John Patrick Ngoyi: Discussing the post 2015 processes on behalf of the UN Millennium Campaign National Coordinator, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna, Rev .Fr. John Patrick Ngoyi noted that not everything was bad with the MDGs, and that there are so many success stories with the current development framework. He was however quick to observe that one of the major gap in the Millennium Development Goals is that it was not participatory; a reason why the successor framework in the post 2015 development agenda has to be consultative in nature in order to correct the past mistake. As the debate for post 2015 continues, there is need for a framework that focuses on global challenges; environment and climate change, food security, quality education, etc as fundamental issues that need to be tackled holistically. As part of this process, three high level meetings will be taking place including the one that will take place in Bali in March, in New York in May and all the meetings will contribute to the gathering of world leaders in New York, the United Nations Headquarters in September 2013.

Rev. Fr. John Patrick explained that findings from the “My World” an online platform and discussions on post MDGs show that Africa is not engaging enough on the debate, implying that Africans are not really ready to contribute to the debate on what shapes its future. He urged participants to ensure they make their inputs to the process by voting in the My World online platform. This will ensure that we do not wait for other people to design a new development agenda for us like the MDGs.

Mr. Akinfemide: Delivering a key note address on behalf of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Dr. Precious Kalamba Gbeneol, Mr. Akinfemide, the Director Sectors, office of the SSAP-MDGs observed that there is evidence to show that Nigeria has made remarkable progress in the attainment of the MDGs. Though some achievements have been recorded in accelerating MDGs in Nigeria, there is growing fear that the country is not likely to meet the 2015 MDGs target. This calls for more commitment in the area of budgeting, checking corruption, capacity building, mobilization and awareness creation etc if it must achieve MDGs.

First and foremost, it must be recognized that the context of 2000 when the Millennium declaration was made will be clearly different from the context of post 2015 when any successor intervention to the MDGs will take effect. In 2000, there was relative stability, prosperity and coherence when western economies were on the rise and the conditions were good for forging agreements on global targets for development. Reviewing the state of MDGs in Nigeria and the emerging priorities for a post 2015 development agenda, Dr. Otive Igbuzor gave the following score card:

The reality of the world today is that many countries are very poor and cannot meet their development needs.

  • The challenge of inequality is real.
  • Nigeria, which was one of the richest 50 countries in the early 1970s, has retrogressed to one of the 25 poorest countries at the threshold of the twenty first century.
  • The 2012 Global report indicates that there is a major progress but the most vulnerable are left behind and there are huge inequalities. The target of reducing poverty and access to water has been met 3 years to deadline.
  • 200 million slum dwellers ameliorated but number of slum dwellers increased from
  • 650 million in 1990 to 863 million in 2012.
  • There is progress in Africa but all the goals will not be met.

The Nigerian experience in MDGs implementation was summarized as:

  • The status of MDGs in Nigeria today indicates that Nigeria is unlikely to meet most of the targets.
  • E.g. The incidence of poverty has increased from 54.4 percent in 2004 to 65.1 percent in 2010.
  • About 10 million children of school going age are out of school.
  • In the 2011 election, the representation of women at the National Assembly actually decreased and the national average is about 6 percent which is one of the lowest in Africa.
  • There has been a significant reduction in infant mortality and maternal mortality but the gap between current situation and the target are still very large. Access to safe water and sanitation and other environmental challenges are still huge.
  • Nigeria is still an aids orphan compared to other African countries. However, there appears to be a good potential to achieve goal 6 on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases given the consistent reduction in HIV prevalence rate over the past few years.

However, Nigeria has learned useful lessons from the implementation of the MDGs which need to be scaled up in the post 2015 development agenda. These include but not limited to;

  1. Budgetary allocation to MDG specific projects since 2006 made Nigerians to focus on the achievement of the MDGs.
  2. The institution of Monitoring and Evaluation of MDG projects is a positive development which has been adopted by the country and incorporated into the vision 20:2020 economic development blueprint. The involvement of civil society in the monitoring of the projects is a particularly good innovation.
  3. The OSSAP-MDG is guided by a clear strategy to achieve its mandate. This worked very well and state governments, local governments, ministries, departments and agencies need to learn from it.

In considering what should form the agenda for the post 2015, it is important to note that;

  • Many countries especially in Africa are off track in terms of achieving the goals within the 2015 deadline
  • The Context of 2000 is different from 2015
  • The geography of poverty has changed (40 percent of the world poor live in fragile and conflict affected societies, 10 % in poor stable countries and 50 percent in middle income countries). The post 2015 development agenda must therefore address the issues such as food security, youth challenges, climate change/green economy, violence, corruption, accountable governance and leadership

Additionally, the post 2015 agenda should have improved content in accordance with international human rights laws; address root causes of poverty; inequality; climate change; management of natural resources; the need for enforceable accountability mechanism at national, regional and global levels (national oversight, independent reviews, mechanism for citizens to hold government to account, mutual accountability between governments and donors, among others. The agenda will also be meaningful if it addresses primary, secondary and tertiary education; the issue of people’s active engagement in shaping development, equity and sustainability; inequality, sustainable growth, job creation, trade and protecting the environment, as well as the challenges of the youth without being market driven.

For Nigeria, the emerging priorities include:

  1. From Visioning to Implementation: The need to prioritize inclusive growth, infrastructure development and job creation.

  2. Combating Corruption: The need for citizens to continue to put pressure on government.
  3. Addressing poverty and inequalities: The need to reverse the situation where there is economic growth and poverty is increasing.
  4. Taking the population dynamics serious: The need to address the huge youth bulge and the challenges of the settler/indigene divide.
  5. Addressing the insecurity/poverty nexus: The need to create a peaceful environment to tackle poverty.
  6. Climate Change and its attendant effects on livelihood:  The need to put in place comprehensive adaptation programme for floods, erosion and other environmental challenges.

He concluded by maintaining that having learnt sufficient lessons from the MDGs implementation, Nigeria is capable of developing a robust post 2015 development agenda that would transform the country if only we can be guided by the lessons learned.

5. Thematic Groups and Plenary

The second and final session began with thematic discussions that happened concurrently, lasting for 1hr 30 minutes. This was followed by a synthesis presentation of proposals on milestone and targets from thematic working groups on the post 2015 development framework. The following milestones and targets were presented by each group at the plenary:

Education

What has worked in the MDG 2 include;

  1. Budgetary Allocation for education sector
  2. Enrollment of pupils into primary and junior secondary schools in various states
  3. Construction of block of primary and secondary schools across states
  4. Training and sensitization of teachers
  5. Distribution of instructional materials to primary and junior secondary schools

Current priority issues for post 2015 in the education sector are as follows;

  1. A focus on reducing the learning gap between the poor and rich by targeting action on funding (to reach the poorest), (ii) children with disabilities, (iii)girls, (iv) ethnic minorities and (v) children in conflict or emergency areas.
  2. The need to focus on policies that improve the learning environment and provide better opportunities for learning in communities.
  3. Promoting strategies for poverty reduction, improving equity, access and learning outcome.
  4. Improving the quality of teachers through training for better learning outcome.
  5. Enhancing community participation in improving demand, access and learning outcomes.
  6. Review existing curriculum to ensure students are trained in various skills for safe employment after graduation
  7. Increase collaboration and partnership among donor agencies both local and international
  8. Improved infrastructure, better teacher motivation and incentives

Governance and Accountability

What has worked well in the implementation of the MDG’s in this sector include:

  • Integration of the MDG’s into the political and governance structure. Examples include the office of the MDG’s at Federal, State and Local government levels as well as the NYSC Scheme.
  • Establishment of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Scheme
  • Inclusiveness of the three tiers of government in principle encouraging accountability
  • Increased budgetary allocation for the MDG’s
  • National policies put in place that promotes the realization of the MDG goals. Example NAPEP.

Emerging developmental priorities for post 2015 in the sector are as follows:

  • Increased Youth Involvement in governance
  • Insecurity and conflict management
  • Uneven distribution of resources
  • Support for local technologies
  • Inadequate social welfare policies
  • Tackling corruption and inequalities
  • Building/strengthening of existing institutions

Hunger, Food and Nutrition

What has worked well in MDGs implementation

  1. MDGs have improved accountability in the sector as it has provided a pathway with clear objectives and indicators to track and monitor progress in poverty eradication.

a)      It has not been able to sufficiently address the increased inequality, the lack of coordination at the international and national level and the failure of governance of food system

b)      Ensuring proper coordination, considering the use of human right based approach to agriculture development and food security including the right to food, right to land, access to other natural resources, right to good governance and the right to have a constructive budget process.

Priorities for post 2015 include:

  1. Addressing climate change, insecurity and poverty
  2. Tackling corruption and lack of accountability
  3. Adequate investment in agricultural infrastructure,
  4. Increased budgetary allocation to agriculture, quality education for all and quality health care.
  5. Empowerment and employment of slum dweller, small scale farmers especially women
  6. Improved support to small scale agriculture & farmers

Population

Population is a complex issue in which, for Nigeria, the population can be a challenge as well as an opportunity. It is a challenge if we do not get to manage it well, and it is an opportunity if we provide jobs, education and healthcare for them. It is clear that population dynamics are often not taken in to consideration in development planning in Nigeria and that may be part of the reason why development planning and budgetary implementation do not work.

Emerging Issues

  • The population of youths is growing at an alarming rate which has tended to create a youth bulge, weaving around the issues of unemployment and poverty
  • There is an increasing indication of the Impact of population growth on the environment (Lagos is soon becoming a mega city and how will this turn out in terms of the management of sanitation and public health issues)
  • There is a disparity in terms of population dynamics as they affect different parts of the country, Nigeria. For example, fertility rate (5 children per woman) Borno-7 children, Lagos, 3 children (Population growth rate in Maiduguri may double that of Lagos. So in one part of the country, the population is growing very fast, while in another the population is not growing so fast).

Challenges

  • Nigeria’s population policy does not address current dynamics and need to be reviewed

  • Poor management of population data in the country. Consequently, there is extreme politicization without attempts to address the underlying issues dispassionately and appropriately
  • Inconsistent population census data to be considered in planning forthcoming national census in 2016
  • Insecurity and the implications of population displacement

Priorities for post 2015 in the sector are as follows:

  • Population control must be taken serious as part of Nigeria strategy for development
  • A need to review the current population policy of Nigeria to accommodate current realities
  • There is a need to critically consider how population dynamics affect resource exploitation and the environment
  • There is a need to create awareness concerning the problems of population dynamics
  • The realities of population dynamics should be considered in the process of development planning
  • We need to ensure that the post 2015 will take into consideration the population issues

Insecurity and the Poverty Nexus

Underlying causes of insecurity and poverty in Nigeria

  • Horizontal inequality-(the feelings of apathy make people act adversely and  violently)
  • Corruption and inequality
  • Lack of development as it impacts on the economy and its impact on access to  basic infrastructure
  • Opaque electoral processes
  • Massive unemployment rate

Recommendations for improvement include:

  1. Tackle corruption head on and fighting poverty genuinely in the system through  thorough monitoring and evaluation
  2. Combat impunity in Nigeria
  3. Appropriate sanctions and reward system to enforce compliance
  4. Investment in social welfare services to ensure social security for vulnerable and disadvantaged constituencies/ populations
  5. Creation of strong institutions and empower them to perform
  6. Implement and enforce frameworks based on international best practices to address and reduce insecurity
  7. Continuous sensitization and raising the political consciousness of citizens
  8. Community policing and ownership of security process
  9. Democratize local governance and local government autonomy
  10. Address the energy deficit as it relates to adequate capacity for generation, transmission and distribution.
  11. There is also the need for the diversification of source of energy (massive and well planned investment in the system will reduce cost of doing business in Nigeria which would in turn attract more investors and create jobs, boost the economy).
  12. The bottom to top approach in plan and implementation processes.
  13. Feedback initiative to enhance meaningful interaction between service providers/policy makers and implementers and the end users, the people (effective citizens feedback and monitoring process).

Environmental Sustainability: Climate Change Adaptation/Mitigation.

It was observed that the present MDGs on environmental sustainability emphasized more on water and sanitation and less on climate change issues. Environmental issues did not attracted much attention despite the fact that MDG 7 is connected to all the other goals. According to the UNEP report of August 4th, 2011 on Niger Delta issue, the Government of Nigeria is not taking environment serious.

What has worked well in the implementation of the MDGs Program in Nigeria:

  • Progress in the provision of Water,
  • Upgrading of climate change unit of the Department of Climate Change at the federal Ministry of Environment,
  • Amendment of NESREA Bill, and approval of Climate change policy
  • Adoption of the REDD+ Policy

What are the emerging developmental challenges for post 2015 agenda:

  • Conflict and Insecurity
  • Climate Change- flooding, erosion, desertification
  • Urbanization and population explosion
  • Policies (Climate Change Bill)
  • More collaborations between CSOs and the Government Institutions
  • Climate Change awareness creation and capacity building

Employment and Job Creation

Causes of unemployment in Nigeria with an unemployment rate of 23% are as follows:

1. Corruption:

  • Examination malpractices
  • Diversion of public fund to private use
  • Investment of stolen funds in foreign countries which also prevent Direct Foreign Investment (DFI)

2. Poor implementation of the budget:

  • Maputo declaration, that 10% of the Budget for Agriculture
  • World Health Organization, that 15% of the Budget for Health
  • UNESCO said that 25% of the Budget for Education

3.  Unfair Trade Practices:

  • •Proliferation of foreign goods in Nigeria market
  • •Unfair competition

4. The absence of democratic Governance at the local level:

  • Many state have not conduct Local Government Elections after 2 years

5. Youth imbibe the wrong value system:

  • Mass drop out of school
  • Moral decadence
  • Indiscipline among youth

The way forward:

  • Good and responsive government
  • Youth and Women empowerment,
  • Better Access to infrastructural facilities
  • By giving appropriate sanctions to corrupt practices
  • Improved political will to act
  • Citizen participation in governance for accountability and transparency
  • Population control

Inequalities

  • Promoting equal opportunity for all regardless of age, sex or gender.
  • Ensuring a society free from gender based violence
  • Creating an enabling environment and promoting the political participation of young people and all vulnerable groups including the physically challenged in the society
  • Improved access to quality free formal, vocational and other forms of education at all levels
  • Ensure that gender is mainstreamed into all policies at national state and regional levels based on specific needs of the people.
  • Publishing gender and culture sensitive  data and evidence from  research and using the available data for policy formulation.

6. Conclusion

The entire process of consultations especially the one organized by GCAP ended well, but civil society participation and engagements in the post 2015 debate, the struggle to end poverty by 2015 and the monitoring and evaluation of current MDGs will certainly continue. GCAP also has the opportunity of partnering with the government and the UN system in Nigeria on the MDGs acceleration framework (MAF). This is just the beginning.

 


THE MONTEVIDEO DECLARATION

May 5, 2007

Two and a half years after we came together at Porto Alegre (Brazil) to launch the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) at the World Social Forum, we – civil society activists from across the world representing over 80 national coalitions and major global trade unions, faith based organizations, national and international NGOs, human rights organizations, youth groups and women’s organizations – have gathered here in Montevideo (Uruguay) to reaffirm our commitment to this global call against poverty and inequality. Since we met in Beirut in March 2006, GCAP has deepened and expanded its presence globally to become a significant voice against poverty and inequality in both the North and the South. In 2006 alone, we have mobilised over 24 million people across the world to act against poverty.

However, governments and international institutions have continued to renege on their promise to eradicate poverty. Human rights violations have sharply increased and space for citizens’ action has further reduced. Conflict and militarization has increased insecurity at all levels and taken valuable resources away from fighting poverty to fighting wars. The feminization of poverty has deepened. Commitments made on improving governance and increasing accountability to people living in poverty by Southern Governments often remain empty promises. G8 and EU countries are backsliding on their 2005 commitments to increase aid volumes and too many countries have failed to improve the quality of aid.

A large number of developing countries continue to suffer from severe debt burden and capital flight. The Doha trade negotiations are deadlocked and anti-poor trade deals are being forced through in the form of Economic Partnership Agreements and other Free Trade Agreements. Performance on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is inexcusably slow. Inequality between and within countries has worsened creating serious social tensions. Consequently, extreme poverty and the lack of access to quality basic services continue to be the daily reality for over half the world’s population. In addition, the growing power and influence of corporations poses particular challenges and governments must create the appropriate regulatory frameworks that ensure companies become accountable to the people.

In light of the above, we today solemnly resolve that GCAP will continue to grow as a global force against poverty and inequality until 2015. We will not rest until we defeat the underlying and structural causes that impoverish and exclude large sections of the population including women, children, youth, indigenous peoples, minorities, workers, dalits, persons with different abilities, people living with HIV & AIDS, people affected by conflict, occupation and disaster, and people of different sexual orientations – amongst others. We will not stop until we put an end to the gross abuse of human rights and undemocratic practises of governments and global governance structures.

Purpose

GCAP fights the structural determinants and causes of poverty and challenges the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequality across the world. We work for the defense and promotion of human rights, gender equality and social justice. We are committed to democratizing the values, mechanisms and processes of negotiation and decision making in the interest of the poorest and marginalized people, and to ensuring that equity, human security and inclusion are the core principles around which global, regional and local governance is organized.

Actions

We affirm that our actions are organized around the rights of people who face poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion including women, children, youth, indigenous peoples, minorities, workers, dalits, persons with different abilities, people living with HIV & AIDS, people affected by conflict, occupation and disaster, people of different sexual orientations – amongst others. We recognize mobilization as a strategic process of organizing the political participation of the marginalized and creating wide spread support to defend and promote their entitlements. Mass mobilization, advocacy and global solidarity are our key strategies. In our collective struggle for social and economic justice, we will be guided by this Montevideo Declaration for The Global Call to Action against Poverty.

Preamble

  1. At the start of the 21st century more than a billion people were trapped in a situation of abject poverty and gross inequality, 70% of them being women. We faced an AIDS and Malaria emergency, with 40 million people infected by the disease. 104 million children were denied access to school, and 860 million adults (70% of them women) could not read or write. 1.4 billion people did not have access to safe water. Seven years later, children and young people who make up half of the world’s population continue to suffer from the lack of inclusion and provision of basic services and youth employment. Millions of people are unemployed, working in precarious jobs with deteriorating conditions of labour without a secure income to sustain their families. Hunger is a daily reality for many. In parts of the world, the death of mothers in childbirth and infant children are routine – deaths that could be prevented by the availability of simple healthcare. We draw inspiration from their persistent daily struggles to realise their rights to livelihoods, resources, assets and basic services. Today the world has enough resources, knowledge and technologies to eradicate poverty.
  2. This poverty is a violation of human rights on a massive scale. Poverty continues to intensify due to the exclusion of groups of people on the basis of class, caste, gender, disability, age, race and religion or other status, increasing militarism, environmental degradation and the lack of democratic governance and processes.
  3. Armed conflicts, wars, occupation and their consequences destroy livelihoods, undermine democratic process, human rights including the right to self determination – and divert resources that should be directed to development and social equity. Investing in human security best prevents conflict and builds peace. The protection of people is a universal obligation of all states and the international democratic institutions. Growing militarism and rearmament reduces political space and public accountability of states, diverts development financing and ultimately, renders lasting peace elusive and unrealisable. War and conflict disproportionately affects the security, dignity, and future of women and children.
  4. Overcoming poverty will not be possible without challenging patriarchy, capitalism and the current model of development, which puts profits before public goods, human security and welfare. A more equitable distribution of land and other resources is necessary to overcome poverty, especially rural poverty.
  5. The lives and livelihoods of millions are being steadily destroyed by denying them rights over land, water, forest, natural resources and energy. Climate Change is exacerbating this. Floods, droughts, famine and conflicts resulting from climate change also threaten the development goals for billions of the world’s poorest people. Action by the international community and national governments is required to address climate change and its impacts in particular on people living in poverty.
  6. States are obliged to protect, respect and fulfil all human rights including economic, social, cultural, civil, environmental, sexual and reproductive rights. International Human Rights instruments protect the rights of all people to an adequate standard of living and well-being, including the right to food and food sovereignty, clothing, housing, clean water and health care. Unjust governance, debt and aid conditionality and trade rules and practices are undermining these rights.
  7. To date the pledges to meet the Millennium Declaration and efforts to tackle poverty, inequality, injustice and deliver sustainable development have been grossly inadequate. Governments too often fail to address the needs of the people within their territory, aid from rich countries is inadequate in both quality and quantity, and promises of debt cancellation have not materialized. Rich countries have yet to act on their repeated pledges to tackle unfair trade rules and practices. We have the means to turn this situation around. It is high time governments took action.
  8. Galvanised by this imperative, a group of civil society actors including NGOs, international networks, social movements, trade unions, women’s organisations, faith based groups and other civil society actors met in Johannesburg in September 2004. They launched the Global Call to Action Against Poverty in 2005 as the year when governments could take decisive action to deliver on their promises of the Millennium and make poverty history.
  9. Over 2005, we contributed to some of the successes against our policy demands namely: European commitments to increase ODA to 0.56% by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015; Renewal of G8 pledges to double aid; Agreement to cancel the debts of 18 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and Nigeria; A commitment by the G8 that they will no longer force Poor Countries to liberalise
  10.  We recognise that this political will has been generated by tremendous global mass action and public opinion change on poverty. We therefore renew our call to action.
  11. The Global Call to Action against Poverty and Inequality embraces a growing number of civil society actors and people in both the South and North. Any civil society organization willing to support the values, core message and joint action is invited to participate. This is not based on membership.
  12. The last few years have seen great global fragmentation and division. People all over the world feel less secure and less safe than ever. We believe that the world can unite again in solidarity against poverty. We have agreed to undertake joint action and mobilization at key times in 2006 and 2007. We plan to link our actions symbolically by the wearing of a white band.
  13. We call on governments to act against poverty immediately and decisively. We reject the minimalist poverty line defined in terms of subsistence on $1 per day and work towards a new poverty line essential for life with dignity. We call on civil society to pressurise governments and mobilize the political will needed to achieve our goals. We call on people to wear a white band to express their support for the global call. We invite organisations to actively participate, co-operate with each other and coordinate their activities, particularly at national level to promote participation, mobilisation and people centred advocacy. National activities will be home grown.
  14. GCAP is a wide, diverse and inclusive coalition working against poverty and inequality. Various members of GCAP will connect to particular issues with their own constituencies. Members of GCAP respect each others’ choices in this.

Public Policy Change Objectives

  1. There is great diversity among our group, but we know that we will be more effective when we work together. We do not endeavour to reach absolute agreement on detailed policy, but we want to pressure governments to eradicate poverty, dramatically lessen inequality, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We demand: Public accountability, just governance and the fulfilment of human rights; Trade justice; A major increase in the quantity and quality of aid and financing for development; Debt cancellation
  2. We demand that gender equality and women’s rights be recognized as a central issue for poverty eradication.
  3. We demand that upholding the human rights of all people who face poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion be recognised as fundamental to the achievement of these goals.
  4. We demand that all governments ensure the right of people living in poverty – including indigenous peoples – to natural resources and energy. We also demand that rich countries dramatically cut their greenhouse emissions and provide additional finance (beyond their 0.7 per cent aid commitments) to support developing countries in adapting to the effects of climate change. International commitment is needed to ensure that genuine action on climate change happens. This commitment should abide by the following principles: that the polluters pay for their abuse of climate and environment; that food sovereignty and the right to food is realised; that the production of bio-fuels does not displace the production of food on arable land or lead to the destruction of forests; that there is funding, and free and open access to technologies that mitigate green house emissions; and that people come before profits.
  5. We further demand an end to conflict, occupation, war and the accompanying systematic violation of human rights, and that governments work towards de-militarization to ensure peace and human security. Governments causing war and producers of military equipment must be held responsible for the post conflict consequences of war, and must compensate victims of war for the injuries, ensuing health problems and loss of property.
  6. While specific objectives will be determined by national priorities and contexts, the following text reflects the Montevideo policy discussion.

Public Accountability, Just Governance And The Fulfilment Of Human Rights.

  1. All governments must fulfil their commitments. They must be fully accountable to their peoples and transparent in the use of public resources. Governments, institutions, and civil society groups must ensure the causes of corruption are aggressively fought, including in the private sector.
  2. Governments are obligated under international law to enforce human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights. They must meet this responsibility by delivering economies that are equitable and work for the poorest people, delivering quality universal public services and ensuring decent work for all.
  3. In the formulation of bilateral or multilateral agreements related to aid,  debt or trade and investment, governments should neither impose nor accept externally driven conditions making the implementation of the rights above impossible.
  4. Governments should:•Ensure gender equality, social justice and stop all forms of violence against women and uphold women’s rights including their political participation and access to resources.•Deliver comprehensive legal, physical, social and economic protection of children’s rights, including children affected by conflict and/or disasters who must have full access to quality public servcies.•Ensure redistributive mechanisms within existing and new policies and budgets that enable equity, such as land reform, progressive taxation and poverty reduction strategies.•Implement policies that ensure full and productive employment with special attention to youth employment.•Actively involve civil society, including people living in poverty, women, children, youth, indigenous peoples, minorities, workers, dalits, persons with different abilities, people living with HIV & AIDS, people affected by conflict, occupation and disaster, people of different sexual orientations – amongst others, in the formulation, decision-making and implementation of international and national development priorities, policies and plans.

    •Enforce the right to information and support freedom of expression including media freedom and freedom of association.

    •Develop pro-active national anti-corruption strategies consistent with international conventions on anti-corruption.

    •Ensure civil society participation on the budgetary process.

    •Ensure quality, universal public services for all (health, education – including adult education, water and utilities) and stop privatisation where it causes deprivation and poverty.

    •Emphasize, in their health policies, preventive health, reproductive health and actively combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and diseases associated with poverty.

    •Ensure adequate housing.

    •Ensure young people are partners, not only targets, in development and decision-making.

    •Fully support effective peace-building and conflict prevention strategies and ensure that post conflict reconstruction programmes enshrine social and economic justice, poverty eradication and public accountability.

  5. Governments must commit themselves to achieving and surpassing the MDGs and immediately develop National MDG–based Plans.

Trade Justice

  1.  Developing countries must have the right to determine their own trade and investment policies, putting their peoples’ interests first. International trade rules and national trade policies should support sustainable livelihoods, promote the rights of women, children and indigenous people, and lead to poverty eradication. However trade rules and policies and the imposition of harmful economic policy conditionalities have become the vehicle for the indiscriminate liberalization of developing country economies undermining sustainable development, increasing poverty and inequality.
  2. Therefore, we remind national governments of their international human rights obligations, and call upon them to use their influence at the World Trade Organization, the International Financial Institutions and in regional and bilateral trade agreements to:

•Ensure developing countries are not forced to open their markets and have the flexibility to use tariffs for sustainable economic development.

•Protect public services from enforced liberalization and privatisation.

•Ensure a fair price for commodities, particularly for poor producers.

•Support the right to food and equitable access to land and natural resources.

•Secure affordable access to essential drugs.

•Reject harmful regional and bilateral free trade agreements.

•Immediately end subsidies that lead to the dumping of cheap produce on international markets.

•Increase transparency and accountability to grassroots constituencies in the formulation of international trade rules and national trade policies, while ensuring consistency with respect for workers’ rights and human rights more broadly.

•Ensure developing countries have the flexibility to regulate foreign investment in the interests of their own development priorities.

•Regulate corporations to make them accountable to people and governments for their social, environmental and development impacts.

Debt Cancellation & A Major Increase In The Quantity And Quality Of Aid And Financing For Development

  1.  Donor governments and international institutions must urgently provide the major increase in the quality and quantity of resources necessary for the eradication of poverty and promote social justice, the achievement of the MDGs, gender equality and guarantee the rights of children and youth. These resources must also support sustainable development, workers rights, migrants rights and interests of marginalized groups including indigenous peoples. Resources must work to rebuild, not undermine governments and the public sector, enabling them to deliver on the rights of their citizens.
  2. We call on donor governments and Institutions to:

•Meet and exceed the 0.7% aid target directed to achieving community and country defined poverty eradication and sustainable development priorities that contribute to poverty eradication and sustainable development.

•Implement innovative international taxes and mechanisms for raising finance for development which is additional to 0.7%ODA-obligations.

•Implement and improve the Paris Declaration to deliver long-term, predictable, harmonised and effective aid. Aid should not be tied to contracts with companies of donor countries or linked to economic conditionalities that harm people, communities and the environment.

•Ensure gender sensitive progress assessments, performance monitoring and indicators for aid effectiveness.

•Meet international pledges on Education for All (including adult education), Polio, Malaria, TB and the universal access to HIV/AIDS, prevention, treatment and care, including through funding of the multi-lateral Fast Track Initiative and Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria.

•Immediately and without externally imposed conditionalities cancel the odious, illegitimate and unpayable debt of poor and middle income countries through a fair, democratic and transparent process to free up resources for human development. Where debt cancellation measures are inadequate or failing to enable poor countries to reach the MDGs and provide basic social services, we support collective developing countries strategies for the repudiation of all odious and illegitimate debts.

•Debt cancellation and grants to refugees and foreign students in donor countries should not be counted as aid. Debt cancellation should not affect a country’s credit ratings adversely.

•Reverse the flight of capital from poor countries and identify and repatriate stolen assets by taking action against tax havens, financial institutions, multinationals and others facilitating this resource leakage.

•Establish a fair and just world order in which International Financial Institutions (especially WB, IMF and WTO) operate within the broad principles enshrined under UN commitments and human rights obligations to better regulate world economy.

Structure & Co-ordination

National Coalitions

  1. National coalitions are the base for our action and cooperation and should play a key role in developing policy messages that reflect local contexts. National coalitions ensure that our activities are designed around the priorities and demands that are closest to the people. We recognize that advocacy and campaigning under local and national ownership will strengthen GCAP. National coalitions will encourage and provide space for other civil society sectors, grassroots organizations and local groups – particularly women, children and youth and marginalized groups – to play larger roles in the campaign.
  2. GCAP promotes the exchange of information, insights, experiences and expertise across national coalitions, thereby facilitating the regional and global linkages for mobilization and advocacy that will enable us to maximize the value of our diversity and multiply the collective impact of our actions.
  3. GCAP campaigners are encouraged to support each other and national coalitions by sharing experiences, best practices, knowledge, analysis, materials and tools in a way that we mutually benefit from the complementarity of our diversity. They will inlclude:

•Planning packs, educational materials, translation of documents into local languages and the production of materials, including flyers, brochures and posters, among others;

•Media relations, information and communications technologies such as an online library and forum where national coalitions and international partners can deposit and retrieve resources – such as policy briefs and awareness-raising materials – and discuss opportunities for collaboration;

•Monitoring the progress of nations towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals;

•Best practices and tools for holding national coalition meetings, lobbying, mobilisation, advocacy, and campaigning and monitoring and evaluating the impact of our campaigns.

Regional Mechanisms

National coalitions may define and develop regional objectives and mechanisms to promote joint action and strategies that will complement and support the global and national policy objectives of the campaign.

Regions must be left to decide the most appropriate ways of inspiring and supporting national coalitions, translating global policy platforms to regional contexts and co-ordinating any other regional functions. In deciding the above regions must be inclusive, transparent and accountable to national coalitions. Regional structures can support capacity building efforts of national coalitions. We need to encourage the participation of women’s organisations and associations at the region level.

Global Co-ordination

  1. Based on the consultation and discussion prior to and during the Montevideo meeting, we have formed a Future Structure Task Group, which will analyze the pros and cons of different structural options for GCAP post January 2008 and make a proposal to the IFT and the global assembly. The Group will:

•make sure that its membership has the balanced representation by region, constituencies and gender;
•ensure that the Guiding Principles as decided at the Montevideo meeting are respected and upheld;
•respect the results of the straw poll taken during the Montevideo meeting;
•follow the procedure as confirmed during the Montevideo meeting;
•seek support and guidance of the professional expertise from outside of the GCAP;
•seek advice of the funder’s group, when necessary.

  1. The Group’s Guiding Principles are:

•Within the agreed declarations of GCAP, the national coalitions are the base for our action and co-operation
•National coalitions must have a genuine, broad-based constituency
•Regional secretariats are important but their role must be clarified
•We need a clear global structure
•We need more transparency at all levels
•We must have good communications between levels and at each level
•We need more clarity about decision making
•Gender equity and regional representation in all our structures must be paramount
•There must be accountability at each level and between each level and to constituencies (financial and political, and in terms of process)
•There must be more clarity in terms of roles, responsibilities & mandates
•We must have translation into English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic – in a timely fashion
•We must be flexible, light and able to act and react quickly

International Facilitation Team

  1. During 2007, the work of the International Facilitation Team (IFT) will continue. It is to inspire and to promote co-operation and mutual support between the participating regional/national coalitions and networks. The group has this mandate until the end of the year 2007. The tasks at a global level are to:

•Facilitate outreach to encourage a wide range of organizations to become involved in GCAP in order to help widen and deepen the call.
•Facilitate the promotion of GCAP’s policy demands through sharing information on lobbying opportunities.
•Facilitate work relating to the Call to Action including preparation of materials, media work, website and other communications
•Facilitate the international planning of the global month of action.
•Identify spokespeople for the global call when required, with gender, youth, and regional balance.
•Facilitate smooth and transparent flow of information across the global call including by providing regular updates to the Global Action Forum and facilitating the organisation of face to face meetings.
•The IFT will notplay a grant making role.

  1. The IFT support team will report to the International Facilitation Team and will work with a particular focus on outreach, communications and mobilisation, and in general servicing the IFT.
  2. The IFT will have appropriate proportionate representation on the basis of the number of active national coalitions in each region and population size, diversity and with a clear consideration of gender parity and a small quota for International networks and organisations playing an enabling role.
  3. The IFT must be Southern/Developing Country Led and the following proportions will apply:

•Africa – 4
•Asia and Pacific – 4
•Latin America and Caribbean – 3
•Europe –3 (1 from outside EU i.e. Eastern Europe)
•North America – 2
•Middle East – 1
•International – 6
•Women’s Movement/Feminist Task Force 1
•Children and Youth – 1
•Workers’ Movement – 1
•United Nations Millennium Campaign -1 (Observer)

  1. Each proportion needs to include the following minimum number of women: Africa – 2, Asia and Pacific – 2, Latin America and Caribbean – 1, Europe – 1, North America – 1, International – 3. Regional representation of children and youth in the IFT is encouraged
  2. Any person on the IFT should be nominated by and fully accountable to those in their category who support the Call to Action.
  3. The Global Call to Action against Poverty will work in strategic partnership with a number of other actors and these strategic partners can be invited as observers to the IFT.

Joint Mobilization

  1. We recognise that mobilisation is a process by which we continually build momentum to achieve our aims. We mobilise towards the political participation and empowerment of women, children, youth and other marginalized groups.
  2. We agree that in 2007 the key mobilisation date is Global White Band Day on October 17th, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. GCAP will ensure that the voice of those living in poverty is heard in its October 17th activities.
  3. GCAP recognises other key dates in 2007 including 8th March for International Women’s Day, 2nd June for the G8 summit and 7th July for the midway point of the MDGs. We further encourage mobilisation on the 16th June for the Day of the African Child and the 12th August for International Youth Day. We also encourage national coalitions to mobilise around key dates in their respective regions and countries.
  4. The Global White Band Day will focus on the structural causes of poverty and inequality. GCAP will demonstrate mass visible public support for the eradication of poverty and inequality by holding local, national and regional decision-making bodies as well as the International Financial Institutions, the WTO and other global institutions to account. These actions will be co-ordinated globally and will highlight the failure to deliver on trade justice, debt cancellation, more and better aid, good governance and accountability and climate change. Further, to demand gender equality and meeting and exceeding the MDGs.
  5. The common slogan for all GCAP actions in 2007 is Stand Up and Speak Out followed by a political demand appropriate to national, regional and global contexts. This builds on the Stand Up action of 2006 while ensuring that we also Speak Out with strong policy demands to deepen our political impact.
  6. The white band will remain our symbol and expression of solidarity against poverty. We actively encourage as many people as possible to wear and use the white band during 2007. We further encourage the use of this symbol in innovative ways on web sites and buildings and during rallies and other actions.
  7. The key actions for October 17th, 2007 include:

•Striving to mobilise the maximum number of people to Stand Up and Speak Out

•Sending a strong political message through the GCAP ambassadors

•National GCAP coalitions and constituency groups sending delegations to target their key political decision makers

  1. Further actions for October 17th, 2007 include amongst others:

•Banners Against Poverty

•Poverty Requiem

•Blowing the half-time whistle

•Rallies and other actions.

 


A Press Interview Granted by Dr Tola Winjobi The Convener, Campaign 2015+ International on various Issues Dealing with MDGs and Post-2015 Development Agenda

Can we meet you?

My name is David Tola Winjobi. I am the Convener of Campaign2015+ International, an organization that campaigns alongside other civil society, the poor and the marginalized, donors, development partners, and international community, pressuring governments and other stakeholders to look beyond 2015 and give the lives of people a meaning through upholding justice, human rights and development.

There were lost hopes in the years before 2000; what has been the situation since the inception of the new millennium and the role of the UN?

In the decades preceding the turn of the new millennium, there were hopes and expectations that year 2000 would provide a magic wand that would provide solutions to many if not all of the intractable challenges facing humanity. It was a period where commonplace were slogans such as “health for all by the year 2000”, “education for all by the year 2000”, “food sufficiency for all by the year 2000”, “shelter for all by the year 2000”, “prosperity for all by the year 2000” and several other slogans. Poverty, hunger, starvation and diseases seemed to be the major challenges facing the developing nations while the developed economies seemed to be enjoying the benefits of development including human rights, democracy, and good governance.

The United Nations indeed felt concerned about the plight of common people especially in the global south. In order to address the problem of poverty and promote sustainable developments, the 8 millennium goals were adopted in September 2000 at the largest gathering of Heads of States committing both rich and poor countries to do all they can to eradicate poverty, promote human dignity and equality, and achieve peace, democracy and environmental stability. By this commitment the world has an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of billions of people by adopting practical approaches to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

What is the essence of MDGs, and are there organizations working in consonance with the UN in achieving MDGs?

The MDGs and related targets and indicators serve as benchmarks of progress towards the shared vision of where we want to go and commitment to work together to get there. There are 18 targets and 48 indicators set to achieve the 8 goals by 2015. Three distinct characteristics of MDGs are that: it is people-centered; it is adaptable to SMART test; and it involves the development partners, among others. There have been several initiatives, alliances, formations, coalitions, organizations including NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, trade unions, professional associations, student organizations, community groups, bilateral and multilaterals, and inter-governmentals working worldwide alongside the UN and governments in order to attain the vision and mission of the United Nations on the Millennium Declaration.

Can countries attain MDGs by 2015, and if not what are the challenges and pitfalls of MDGs?

Can countries attain MDGs by 2015? Yes, No! If “Yes” what happens, do we rest on our oars? And if “No” what about it, do we become despondent? The need to monitor and evaluate performance on MDGs implementation is not only important but also highly necessary so as to know whether the programme is on course or derailing, or to know how far we have gone, and where we need to strengthen our efforts. Monitoring and evaluation efforts have shown some astounding results giving way to despondency on attaining MDGs by 2015 among developing countries in particular. Thirteen years on from the original adoption of the MDGs at the 2000 Millennium Summit, and two years left to 2015 it seems all the efforts by stakeholders towards achieving MDGs are not drastic enough.

According to the UN Secretary-General, though there is some remarkable progress made in some countries, collectively we are falling short in the achievement of MDGs globally. The consequence of these shortfalls, further aggravated by the combined effects of the global food, climate, energy and economic crises, is that improvements in the lives of the poorest are happening at an unacceptably slow pace while in some countries, hard fought gains are being eroded. At the current pace, several of the eight MDGs and associated targets are likely to be missed in many countries. The challenges are most severe in the least developed countries (LDCs), land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) and some small island developing states (SIDS). Therefore, if MDGs cannot be achieved by 2015 (which is very certain), the need to look beyond the target year is imperative.

CSOs therefore have a crucial role to play in further engaging the governments to address those MDG lines they could not achieve at the set date and do more on those they achieved. If governments achieved MDGs by 2015 (which is very uncertain), imperative is the need for the CSOs to further engage governments in monitoring and evaluation so as to consolidate on and not to derail from the gains hitherto achieved. Though the MDGs are people-centered and development focused, lacking are the essential ingredients of human rights, peace and justice which are the bedrocks of development. The issues of democracy, good governance, and human rights, are not expressly stated in the Millennium Declaration though they can be linked in some way. However justice, peace, and security especially global terrorism are difficult to situate within the purview of the 8 goals.

Do we need to look beyond 2015 if most MDGs would not be attained, and what replacement if any for MDGs?

Yes, we need to look beyond MDGs2015 and come up with sustainable development goals as replacement. The need for us to look beyond 2015 MDGs is emphasized in the 2010 Annual report of the Secretary-General (11 July 2011) titled, “Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals: options for sustained and inclusive growth and issues for advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015”. The Millennium Development Goal summit requested the Secretary-General to make recommendations in his annual reports, as appropriate, for further steps to advance the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.

Over the past months, structured discussions, in different United Nations forums, enabled Member States and other relevant stakeholders especially the CSOs to make their own assessments on how the Millennium Development Goals should be reviewed and rethought. The post-2015 development framework is likely to have the best development impact if it emerges from an inclusive, open and transparent process with multi-stakeholder participation. Using established global, regional and national mechanisms and processes is one way to ensure that such deliberations benefit from the wide range of lessons learned and the experiences of different stakeholders. Several formal and informal meetings are scheduled in the run-up to 2015. In addition to taking stock of Millennium Development Goals progress, these could discuss elements of a post-2015 framework.

What efforts is the UN making towards post-2015 development framework?

The UN has started the work to foster a broad based, open and inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders, including civil society actors, on the post-2015 agenda. A key part of this will be a global conversation on post-2015 to capture the voices of citizens. As indicated in the UN Secretary General’s report to the General Assembly in September 2011, the UN Millennium Campaign will act as one of the outreach mechanisms to civil society to gather inputs and feedback on the post-2015 agenda and facilitate dialogue with the UN system. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) have been mandated by the Secretary-General to lead the work on the post-2015 framework. A Task Team of senior technical experts from UNDP and DESA, chaired by Olav Kjorven (UNDP) and Jomo Kwame Sundaram (DESA), and supported by the full UN system, was set up in January 2012 to define a system-wide vision for the post-2015 agenda.

The UN Secretary-General has also set up a think tank group called High Level Panel to whom the reports on various consultations would be submitted. The HLP would advise the UN Sec-Gen on the reports. Among the HLP are two Nigerians: Ms Amina Ibrahim (Mohammed), and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The Task Team is mandated to produce a study which will serve as a roadmap for the work of a High-Level Panel that the UN Secretary General has appointed third quarter of 2012. The study will critically appraise the current MDG framework, map on-going activities inside and outside of the UN on defining a post-2015 agenda, and assess challenges that have become more prominent in the last decade. As part of this work, UNDP, working with other UN Development Group (UNDG) agencies, is supporting consultations at the national level in up to 50 countries and producing and distributing guidance notes to the UN Country Teams to facilitate these exercises.

The consultations are set up in a way that facilitates the inclusion of voices of poor people and those that are vulnerable; although the modes of doing this will depend on the country context. The detailed list of countries and type of support that will be offered are already being shared UNDP is also facilitating 8 regional/global consultations to discuss thematic and cross-cutting issues in post- 2015 global agenda, such as inequality, sustainability, population and governance. As a general principle, civil society organisations are invited to participate in all levels of the consultations.

Which countries in Africa do you feel are really ‘invested’ in the post 2015 process? Who are the ones who are taking a lead on this?

There are 19 African countries south of the Sahara out of not less than 50 countries globally where national deliberations would take place. Among the countries that I feel are really invested in post-2015 process are Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa. I should think that Liberia and Ethiopia are taking a lead on this going by several meetings on post-2015 development framework that have taken place in the two countries. Eyes are all on Liberia in particular because of the role of President Helen Johnson-Sirleaf as one of the three-member Co-Chairs. But then Nigeria is also playing a critical role because of its influential position within the sub region. You know if Nigeria gets it right other countries in Africa would follow suit.

Who are the countries that other African countries will be listening to in determining their own positions – in other words, which countries do you think are the most influential ones within Africa?

Apart from Liberia and Nigeria, other influential countries in Africa include Kenya and South Africa because these countries are strategically positioned in East and Southern Africa respectively. These are countries that other countries would be listening to in determining their own positions.

Who are the stakeholders/organisations your country will be influenced by? How important is the UN as an influencing factor? How important is the High Level Panel?

In Nigeria are stakeholders like CSOs including Campaign2015+ International and JDPC, and development partners such as USAID, Oxfam International, Save the Children International, and WaterAid including UN Systems like UNDP, UNMC, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, IOM, UN Women etc whose Nigerian position would be influenced by them because of the critical role they are playing presently. Campaign2015+ International is the only coordinating hub for CSO in Nigeria ensuring that the voices of the critical masses including the minorities, the marginalized, the poorest of the poor, the artisans, the famers, the professionals etc are heard and included in the post-2015 deliberations.

Campaign2015+ International with the support of its members and Beyond 2015 organized five zonal deliberations and several local deliberations in Nigeria as at February 2013. Its BlogSpot link is http://campaign2015plus.blogspot.com and Facebook is http://m.facebook.com/groups/263518357002767?refid=27 UN is an influencing factor in Nigeria because of the leverage they bring to the discussions and their role as the coordinating body for the deliberation in Nigeria. The UN may make or mar the process: It may refuse support, both technical and financial, to CSOs to deliberate inclusively and meaningfully. However, the UN Resident Coordinator is supposed to provide strategic guidance in order to ensure the deliberations are all-inclusive and factored in into the outcomes. UNMC (United Nations Millennium Campaign) is under the UNDP who entrusts the responsibility of coordinating the UNDG-led national deliberation on the former.

Likewise there are specific thematic areas that two or three UN Systems coordinate. For example, UNICEF/UNWomen jointly coordinated discussions on inequalities while UNDP/ILO coordinated those of growth and employment. Similarly, WHO and UNICEF coordinated deliberations focusing on health while the same UNICEF in conjunction with UNESCO coordinated education theme. All these UN systems are visibly present in Nigeria and thus could influence the discussions and outcomes of the deliberations going by the thematic areas they work on. Appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the HLP too is important because it is a think tank body that would receive all the reports and outcomes of the national deliberations and thematic consultations and advise the UN Secretary-General. The HLP report to be submitted about May 2013 would shape the MDGs High Level Event that would come off later in September.

Does Nigeria see this as an intergovernmental negotiation process (is up to countries to decide) or are they happy to let the UN and the High Level Panel set the agenda?

Well, a global process of this nature has to begin somewhere….either intergovernmental or otherwise. The UN with its Task Team and later HLP had to set the agenda. One thing is for the Task Team or UN HLP set the agenda, another is for the countries to reject the unpopular agenda. I think they are favourable and well-intentioned agenda which is why no government to my understanding has ever kicked against it. Even if Nigeria sees it as an intergovernmental process the content and process of the deliberation have changed their “business as usual” style. This has gone beyond governments and the UN because the CSOs and the masses are involved going by the way we have started it in Nigeria without waiting for UN or government to support us financially before we could organize ourselves.

Though we approached UNDP/UNMC in Nigeria for support when we started the process, they were dilly dallying and we had to look inward for resources when we realized they were not articulate. UN with its Country Team everywhere needs to demonstrate seriousness in this global development agenda process by cooperating with and carrying along the CSOs, the maginalised, the poor, and the voiceless so that the voices of the latter could count and be reflected in the final outcome of the whole deliberations. Nothing about this global framework is about us if the process and outcome are non-participatory, non-transparent, non-inclusive, and not masses-responsive, which are some of the pitfalls of the MDGs.

Are there efforts organized by CSOs geared at the new framework in Nigeria and what has been done in this regard so far?

The CS has a key role to play in the various deliberations towards post-2015 development agenda. Campaign2015+ International, Beyond 2015, GCAP etc have been involved in all the processes. Campaign2015+International is the lead agency coordinating the CS deliberations in Nigeria. Hence it has supported small hubs of deliberations across five geo-political zones of Nigeria as at January 2013. The focus of those grassroots-oriented deliberations was on the vision, purpose, principles and criteria of a post-2015 framework and the kind of Nigeria we want. Meanwhile, there was a UN-led national deliberation organized in collaboration with office of the Special Assistant to President on MDGs involving cross sections of Nigerians in Abuja in February, while another one with the support of UNMC bringing only CSOs together came off in March 2013.

What is your assessment of MDGs implementation currently in Nigeria, are we on track?

No, we are not. As a matter of fact, the MDG that Nigeria had missed since 2005 was on promotion of gender equality and empowering women (Goal 3). At the current pace, several of the eight MDGs and associated targets are likely to be missed in Nigeria. Nigerians are suffering amidst plenty as we have both human and material resources. About 72 % Nigerians are still living in poverty (Nigeria Bureau of Statistics 2011) while our youths are passing out from higher institutions without jobs thus turning some of them to emergency robbers while many are desperate to get out of the country. Our educational system from primary to tertiary level is in shambles while our health systems are in abysmal decay as our national budget on health has never reached 15% as canvassed for internationally. Both infant mortality and maternal mortality ratios are increasing by the day as women are still dying while giving birth. Things that are supposedly to work are not working.

Vision 20-2020 cannot see any vision for Nigeria to be one of the 20 topmost economies of the world as industries are relocating to neighboring countries like Sierra Leone and Ghana while many are folding up. Power supply is a challenge in Nigeria as electricity authorities are throwing people into further poverty through epileptic and erratic power supply. Religious and ethnic crises have become the order of the day. Insecurity has become a major challenge and the bane of development especially with Boko Haram unleashing terror on innocent Nigerians while the federal government seems helpless.

What is the problem with our country, what do we really need?

The problem is nothing but leadership. Nigeria is fraught with despondency in the face of bad leadership, hunger, starvation, preventable diseases, moral decadence and corruption. Nigeria needs good leadership. It needs leaders that have political will to transform Nigeria from this state of squalor to an enviable position among the comity of nations. Nigeria needs committed leaders that are ready to stamp out corruption by sealing the leakages of public funds into private pockets and genuinely prosecuting sleazebag. The government must been seen as genuinely fighting corruption rather than pardoning convicts that are still under the watch of international community.

I therefore call on the Nigerian government, the Nigerian members of the High Level Panel, development agencies, civil society organisations and all stakeholders to join in a synergistic partnership with Campaign2015+international to ensure that the poor and those highly affected by poverty in Nigeria have a voice in the process of developing a more sustainable global development framework.


The Global Thematic Consultation on Governance in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The consultation is a response to an increasing demand from various actors over the past few years, especially civil society, to discuss governance and accountability bottlenecks in the context of the MDGs and to assess how these gaps can be addressed in a new global development framework.

Several meetings have been organized as part of theconsultation:

  • African Regional Dialogue (hosted by the Pan-African Parliament), Johannesburg, 11-12 Oct 2012
  • Asia Pacific Sub-regional Parliamentarian and Civil Society Fora:Manila, 20-21 Nov and Dhaka,10-11 Dec 2012 – resulted in the Manila Declaration and the Dhaka Declaration
  • Arab Governance Week (with CSOs, governments, NHRIs and media) Cairo, 26-29 Nov 2012Workshop at 15th Annual Anti-Corruption Conference, Brasilia, 7-10 Nov 2012
  • A technical meeting was also organized: “Measuring Governance and Human Rights Commitments in a Post-2015 Agenda” (New York, 13-14 Nov 2012)

The online discussions have been very active withover 200 contributions as of December 2012. They are divided into two phases:-

  • Phase I: What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?
  • Phase II: How can we ensure an accountability framework that takes into account human rights principles and obligations to assure effective delivery on the post-2015 development agenda?

A Global Meeting (Johannesburg, 27-28 Feb 2013, hosted by the Pan-African Parliament) will bring together participants from all regions to build a shared vision and ownership and to develop suggestions on how global, regional, national and sub-national governance and accountability could be integrated in the post-2015 development agenda.

Initial results show that throughout the regions, stakeholders called for the Post-2015 Agenda to be aligned with international human rights standards and principles, including civil and political rights, andto build on existing accountability mechanisms at sub-national, national, regional and global levels.

Parliamentarians, civil society and academia emphasized the centrality of governance to sustainable development, taking into account capacity development needs of both people and institutions for good governance at different levels, from local to global. Suggestions included streamlining governance into the vision and outputs of other sustainable development goals and a regional approach for governance with national and sub-national indicators.

Achievement of the MDGs is hampered in some contexts due to corruption, for example the siphoning of funds from budgets targeted at alleviating poverty and improving the well-being of the people. It was proposed that corruption risk assessment should be a key strategy to ensure that the post-2015 agenda will be better achieved.

Experts agreed that a new development framework can serve three main objectives: building normative consensus, boosting neglected policy issues and strengthening accountability, while being easilycommunicable. Clear criteria to prioritize goals, targets and indicators were suggested. It was stressed that many governance and human rights variables are now measurable and can be justified for inclusionin the new agenda. It was recommended to consider different data sources and to strengthen capacities for data collection and analysis.

The consultation is co-led by UNDP and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in association with the Governments of Germany and South Africa. A reference group with 20 members, including UN agencies and more than 10 CSO (networks) is also supporting the consultation.

For further information, please contact Serge Kapto (serge.kapto@undp.org), Roshni Menon(roshni.menon@undp.org)and Julia Kercher (jkercher@ohchr.org)and visithttp://www.worldwewant2015.org/governance