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Reactions to the Post-2015 High Level Panel Report

By: Dustin Wright

Given that the CSW58 priority theme is “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls,” we want to make sure Ecumenical Women’s online community is kept up to date with developments in post-2015 dialogue, a process that will decide what follows the MDGs.  You can find basic info on the MDGs here and a summary of the post-2015 dialogue here.

Additionally, you may be aware that two weeks ago the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda launched a report entitled, A New Global Partnership: Eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development, which can be found in all six official UN languages here.  Although reactions to the HLP’s report have been diverse and numerous, what follows are links and quotes from some of the most notable responses thus far.

Feminist Reflections: UN’s High Level Panel Report on Post-2015 Development Agenda

This response, of which EW member United Methodist Women is a signatory, can be found in its entirety here.  What follows is a block quote of the beginning of the response:

We appreciate the efforts undertaken in the HLP to establish the inter-linkages between social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and welcome a:

  • stand alone goal on “Empower girls and women and achieve gender equality”, and associated targets on eliminating violence, ending child marriage, equal rights for women to own and inherit property, and eliminate discrimination in political, economic and public life;

  • specific target on sexual and reproductive health and rights under the “Ensure healthy lives” goal; and

  • specific target on maternal mortality under the “Ensure healthy lives” goal.

However, and despite acknowledging the need for profound economic transformation, the report fails to:

  • offer the necessary transformational building blocks for a new sustainable human development agenda;

  • provide a transformational approach to address growing inequalities within and between countries and between women and men, as well as the root causes of poverty, including the growing feminization and intergenerational transfer of poverty;

  • address the current macro-economic model which perpetuates poverty and inequality;

  • include people who are discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity;

  • link existing human rights accountability mechanisms at the regional and global levels in its accountability discussion; and

  • address limited financing as a key barrier to advancing sustainable development, including women’s rights and gender equality.

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance Press Release: “Aim Even Higher”

This press release from the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, to which many EW member organizations are also affiliated, can be found here.  What follows are a few select quotes:

  • “While appreciating the major focus on ending extreme poverty in all its forms, an integrated approach to sustainable development, and the incorporation of human rights language and principles, EAA members and partners are concerned about “inadequate” language on HIV and AIDS which lacks ambition when the possibility of ending the pandemic is in sight."

  • “In the report’s support for moving to large-scale sustainable agriculture, there is also concern that despite talking about small-scale farmers, the emphasis is placed on technical innovations such as fertilizers rather than truly sustainable practices that use local, natural resources.”

  • Rev. Phumzile Mabizela, Executive Director of INERELA+ (The International Network of People Living with or Personally Affected by HIV or AIDS), welcomed the fact that sexual and reproductive health is mentioned as a key target. “There was a big gap in the MDGs in not addressing violence against women, which is one of the root causes of HIV transmission,” she stated.

  • “What is required now is further advocacy and engagement to ensure that the largely positive foundation that has been created by this report is built upon in a constructive fashion…”

Additional Reactions

  • “The Right to Equality in Post-2015,” a speech by John Hendra, ASG and Deputy Executive Director at UN Women, can be found here.

  • “Take concrete steps to equality,” from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, can be found here.

  • “The good, the bad and the ugly in the long-awaited UN development report,” by Claire Melamed, The Guardian, can be found here.

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