1st High-Level Panel, 24-25 September 2012
The first meeting of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda took place in New York on 24-25 September.
Panel members agreed that the Post 2015 process would need to be fully integrated with other processes currently taking place in the international agenda, such as the follow up to Rio+20 and the Habitat III.
The independence of the panel and the need to ensure that the voices of the different stakeholders were included in the Panel´s report were emphasized.
The President of UCLG and Mayor of Istanbul expressed his commitment to ensure that the diverse voices of local and regional authorities would reach the panel through his inputs and he offered to facilitate a meeting of the Panel members with local and regional authorities.
It was further agreed that it was necessary to identify catalysts to achieve Post 2015 Goals. It is necessary to identify areas that have the greatest multiplier effect, such as access to water and gender equality.
The UCLG President called the Post 2015 process to focus on empowering the different stakeholders and in particular local and regional authorities. "Growing inequalities are theAchilles heel of the Millenium Developement Goals. Many of these inequalities cannot be addressed without proper service provision of the urban dwellers around the world".
The agenda should be rooted in the needs of the people and communities. The success of our recommendations will be assured if we develop a sense of ownership and accountability at all levels, international, national and sub-national-local levels”, he said.
Dr. Kadir Topbas also added that the future global agenda should be applicable to both developing and developed countries. It should further promote a high degree of policy coherence at the global, national but also sub-national levels; define shared responsibilities and a more balanced approach among all levels of government, local stakeholders and development partners. It is this broad involvement of all stakeholders and a strong anchor on community needs that will make us successful.
The UCLG President made a call for immediate actions that would help maintain momentum to meet the MDGs: “The world has change over the last 15 years since the MDGs where defined. Despite strong efforts and the effectiveness of MDGs, the pace in progress towards poverty eradication has been slow and uneven. Multiple and intertwined crises have emerged coexisting against an unsustainable depletion of the world’s natural resource base. Over 70% of the world’s poor live now in middle income countries, and increasing percentage in cities. The traditional rural-urban patterns are changing drastically”, he added.
Dr. Topbas emphasized the role of local governments in the provision of basic services, that are central to the reduction of poverty and disease. Indeed, the achievement of many of the MDGs’ goals and targets depends on local governments and the support they receive from higher levels of government, international agencies and their capacity to build strong partnerships with civil society and private sector. A strong call was made to support the implementation at local level to accelerate MDGs implementation, strengthening the role of Local Governments and building strong local coalitions including all stakeholders could make the difference in the next three years.
President Topbas pointed out the key gaps in the current MDG framework and priority new challenges for the development framework. “The MDGs agenda does not sufficiently address who and how should be acting to achieve the goals. This is something that the new agenda needs to address”
“There is a further a need for a fundamental revision of the global partnership: the institutional and financial framework that should underpin the goals and targets. The new framework should be supported by a stronger and more democratic international governance structure that includes new stakeholders and covers issues and regulations not being addressed at present.”
The UCLG President concluded with the need of identifying new factors that should get greater relevance, such as urbanization, climate change adaptation and access to new technologies. Some of the solutions reduce patterns of energies consumption; disaster risk reduction and comprehensive planning require adapted local strategies and more integrated territorial approach with appropriate involvement from all levels of government. “A large part of this discussion should focus on financial institutions that can support governments (at all levels) that have the responsibility of addressing needs and managing local development”, he ended.