MINUTES OF THE BRIEFING MEETING OF CAMPAIGN+ /BEYOND 2015 MEMBERS HELD ON FRIDAY 12TH DECEMBER, 2014 AT MARIA EBUN FOUNDATION BUILDING, ATANDA ESTATE, ADEGBAYI AREA NEW IFE ROAD, IBADAN
Agenda of the Meeting
- Opening prayer
- Welcome address by the Chair, Campaign 2015+
- Report of Copenhagen CSO Conference on Post-2015
- Reactions to UN Secretary – General’s Synthesis Report
- Advocacy work plan on influencing the intergovernmental negotiations
- Presentation of DVDs and a Compendium of Deliberations on Post-2015 Development Agenda
- Any other business
- Adjournment of the meeting
- Vote of thanks
- Closing prayer
- Opening: The meeting commenced by 11:20pm with the opening prayer by Shaik S.O.A Busari from World Islamic Peace Foundation (WIPF) which was followed by self introduction of participants at the meeting.
- Attendance: Participants were in all 31from different states including Osun, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Oyo States.
- Convener’s Remark: The Convener of Campaign 2015+ International, Dr. Tola Winjobi welcomed all the Civil Society Organizations and other representatives at the meeting. Dr. Winjobi described the meeting as an august meeting being the first of its kind at Maria Ebun Foundation Building, Atanda Estate, Adegbayi area, New Ife road, Ibadan. He noted that the essence of the meeting was to carry the CSOs along on the issue of post-2015 development agenda and how far the work had gone.
- Chairman’s Remark: The Chairman of Campaign 2015+, Reverend Father John Patrick Ngoyi who was represented by Mr. Isaac Olofi from JDPC, Ijebu-Ode apologized for coming late to the meeting due to traffic jam encountered along Lagos – Ibadan express way. Mr. Olofi stated that Campaign 2015+ was doing remarkably well in the area of post-2015 development agenda adding that it has been in the forefront of campaigning on post-2015 before any other CSO thought about it. He mentioned Action2015 to be launched by January 2015 and he added that all CSOs are expected to be at the forum.
Mr. Olofi stressed the need to sample opinions of the children in order to know their views about corruption and good governance. He cited the example of Malala girl who won the Nobel Prize for her activism on issues affecting children. He stressed that people matter in whatever CSOs will be doing. He stated further that Campaign 2015+ is centered on three (3) important things which are people, economic justice and participation.
- Report of Copenhagen CSO Conference on Post-2015: Tola Winjobi briefed the meeting about the conference. He stated that the conference was held between 13th and 14th November, 2014 in UN City, Copenhagen (Denmark) with about 170 CSO representatives from 46 countries attending. The meeting was sponsored by Beyond2015, Globalt Fokus and 92-Gruppen. The meeting discussed the vital importance of inclusion of equality across all levels and themes of post-2015 framework, and through implementation and accountability mechanisms addressing all three dimensions of sustainable development (social, economic and environment). There were plenary discussions focusing on the following: (a) Inequality in the post-2015 framework as a stand alone goal and through mainstreaming. (b) Inequality in an integrated and universal post-2015 framework (c) Youth Lab (d) Strategizing for the future dialogue. Presentation was also made on the work of OWG and the future roadmap. Dr. Winjobi made mention of Open Working Group (OWG), a body set up by the United Nation Secretary – General to gather information across the global in which the body came up with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The following datelines were given on intergovernmental negotiations:
- 19-21 January 2015 (3 days) – Stock taking
- 17-20 February 2015 (4 days) – Declaration
- 23-27 March 2015 (5days) – Sustainable Development Goals and targets
- 20-24 April 2015 (5days) – Framework for monitoring and review of implementation
- 18-22 May 2015 (5 days) Means of implementation and revitalized global partners.
- 22-25 June 2015 (4 days) declaration
- 20-24 July 2015 and 27-31 July 2015 (10 days) Finalisation of the outcome document
On the relationship between Campaign2015+ and Beyond2015, Dr Winjobi noted that the latter was established in Europe while the former started in Africa (Nigeria). The members of Beyond2015 is spread across the globe while Campaign2015 has its members in African countries including Ghana, Liberia, Siewrra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. He stressed that, here in Nigeria, government is not ready to support Non Governmental Organizations compared to the level of support received by NGOs in advance countries which accounted for much of the work of Campaign2015+ not showing. He added that Campaign2015+ is the Lead Agency appointed by Beyond2015 to lead the campaign on post-2015 development agenda in Nigeria. This explained why it was possible for Campaign2015+ to organize deliberations across five geo-political zones of Nigeria. No NGO has ever done this.
In their various reactions towards the level of support received from the government, the CSOs expressed that their stand was to educate the people on how to vote but not to tell them to vote for a particular person. Mr. Olofi noted that due to level of poverty in Nigeria there might not be a credible election in Nigeria.
- Reactions to UN Secretary – General’s Synthesis Report: Tola Winjobi asked the CSOs about the report being posted to their mails to confirm if they had commented on the Synthesis report. None of the CSOs had commented on it. He told them that the following day was the deadline to post their comments. He urged them to cultivate the habit of reading in order to have wide knowledge.
Dr Winjobi took the participants through the UN Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report. He cited paragraphs 3, 7, 33, 44, 51, 60, 63, 79 and 98 of the report which discussions later centred on.
Summary of the Reactions to the Report
- The UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report has given a ray of hope for common people especially the minority groups, women and youths. Kudos to him for his recognition of over 1.8 billion youths who he said “will be torch bearers of the next SDGs through 2030”, according to paragraphs 3 and 71.
- It is note-worthy that implementing SDGs would be country-specific while special attention is given to African countries (Paragraph 33) and LDCs where he specially clamoured for increase in ODA from 0.7% (Paragraph 98).
- However, one is constrained from agreeing with Mr Ban Ki-Moon that “we have reduced violence and established global institutions” (paragraph 8). Part of the pitfalls of the MDGs is the fact that the issue of human rights, terrorism, peace and conflict was not enhanced. At the time the Millennium Declaration was being put together, it seemed nobody envisaged that terrorism would be an issue of global dimension; terrorism causes much more violence and deaths these days than any other disaster. Therefore, the UN has not reduced violence but can be said to have built global peace institutions. Commendable is the UN’s efforts in promising to rebuild and reintegrate societies better after crises and conflicts (par. 79).
- It is not likely there would be a change or modification in the OWG 17 proposed goals (Paragraphs 44, 60 and 63). There are sentiments in some quarters that the 17 goals are too many and may not be easy to remember! If the goals are not easy to articulate, governments that lack political will might not know how to order their priorities in terms of which ones to implement first in according to country-specifics.
- Commendable is the slogan of the Secretary-General “Leave no one behind” Paragraph 51) but galvanising opinions of the critical masses of the people remains an albatross as there is no mechanism to reach the recesses of the grassroots while there is no clear cut support from government or donors to CSOs to do this.
- African countries need access to fair justice systems, accountable institutions of democratic governance, measures to combat corruption etc ever than before (paragraph78). Of much concern to African nations is the issue of creating an enabling environment under the rule of law for CSOs to reflect the voices of minorities including LGBT. Reflecting the voices of minorities but LGBT’s is apt and paramount. The issue of gay-marriage, for example, is alien to African cultures. In as much as Africans do not have the moral right to impose their culture of polygamy on any other cultures outside of Africa, then other cultures especially Americans and Europeans do not have the moral right either to impose their culture of, for example, homosexualism on any African country.
- We believe the intergovernmental negotiation process would provide the CSOs a critical role to play in influencing their governments to influence the content of the SDGs for the benefit of common people.
- Advocacy Work Plan on influencing the intergovernmental negotiations: Tola Winjobi encouraged the CSOs to think of what they could do at the state and regional levels. A series of suggestion was brought on work plan which include: advocacy visit to different states along with lobbying of government functionaries. Others include advocacy visit to media houses, UNMC, Ministry of Finance, OSSAP/MDGs, Social Mobilization (SM), organizing press conference / media work, uses of I.C.T, social media, town hall meetings, production of IEC materials including badges. The voice of grassroots should be heard and there is the need to raise fund for community-level advocacy. It was agreed that the report of this meeting be sent to our partners in particular UNMC and WaterAid that wrote the preface.
- Presentation of DVDs and a Compendium of Deliberations on Post – 2015 Development Agenda: Winjobi presented the said book to the CSOs participants while promising that DVDs will be sent to them due to technical problems encountered while producing the DVDs. He noted that the book would aid the work of CSOs while embarking on advocacy visit on post-2015 development agenda. He highlighted the content of the book including the OWG sessions, the report of the zonal deliberations and the report of the UN-led country deliberations that took place in Abuja. Copies of the book were freely distributed among the participants.
- Any Other Business: A series of suggestion was also brought on the campaign materials in which the CSOs suggested of t-shirts, tags, jackets and badges but the house observed that t-shirts will cost much since the organization is non-profit making organization, and there is no plan to get financial support from development partners.
- Vote of thanks: The meeting was adjourned following a vote of thanks said by Mrs. Deborah Salami from Women’s Rights Action Group (WRAG).
- Closing prayer: The meeting ended by 1:45pm while the closing prayer was said by Sylvia Briggs from Women Educators Association of Nigeria, Port Harcourt.