Updates from the Southern Voice network

Read below the digest of recent activities of the Southern Voice (SV) members, a network of Southern Think Tanks, during the month of June 2013.

“1. Prioritising social development objectives in Pakistan

Dr. Khalida Ghaus, a member of the Executive Committee of the SV network and Managing Director, Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC), emphasised in a recently published op-ed in Sharnoff’s Global Views that the countries that have attained more sustainable progress in achieving the MDGs had prioritised their focus on social and economic development objectives vis-à-vis their security-related challenges. The Sharnoff’s Global Views is an US online forum which brings together international views on politics, economics, technology and environment. Dr. Ghaus maintains that the trajectory of development in Pakistan has remained constrained in ensuring the transformative impact on most of the targets identified for the MDGs. Read more in the following link <http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/pakistan-development-103/>

2. Southern Voice discusses HLP Report at ODI platform

SV engaged in an early response with its partners on the report prepared by the High Level Panel Report (HLP) on Post-2015 Development Goals. The discussion was organised by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London on 6 June 2013, where panelists joined in through video conferencing from Bogota, Dhaka and Nairobi. In London, Ms. Amina Mohammed, the Secretary General’s Special Advisor on post-2015 and Ex Officio Member of the HLP, offered her reflections on the report. In Nairobi, Ms. Betty Maina, Chief Executive of the Kenyan Association of Manufacturers, and member of the HLP, presented the report and answered questions. In Bogota, Mr. Philipp Schönrock, Director of CEPEI and Academic Coordinator of the CSO +2015 National Consultation in Colombia shared his views on  the report. In Dhaka, Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair, SV and Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), along with Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, CPD, Dr. Farah Kabir, Country Director, ActionAid Bangladesh and Ms. Mahenaw Ummul Wara, Research Associate, CPD participated in the discussion. Dr. Claire Melamed, Head of Programme, Growth, Poverty and Inequality, ODI moderated the session. It may be recalled that the UN Secretary General appointed the HLP, which released its much anticipated report on 30 May 2013. For details of the event, see <http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/after-the-post-2015-hlp-report-responses-from-around-the-world/>.

3. Southern Voice co-organises meetings in New York

Southern Voice on Post-MDGs, along with International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), LDC IV Monitor and the United Nations Foundation (UNF), organised a series of meetings in New York during 24-25 June, 2013 to discuss the post-MDG issues from the perspective of the least developed countries (LDCs). The participants, inter alia, made observations regarding effective approaches to intensify the MDG implementation at national and sub-national levels during the remaining period. They highlighted that the special needs of LDCs will need to be accommodated within a universal international development framework. It was emphasised that the next set of agenda has to be broader than a development aid agenda as new sources of finance (e.g. remittances and domestic taxes) are to be integrated in resource basket for implementation of post-2015 targets. Further, the discussion focused on some new key topics that are to be taken into consideration while designing the post-2015 international development framework, which include the need for generation of decent jobs and addressing the challenges of urbanisation. The event concluded with a session on “Shaping the post-2015 development agenda: The LDCs perspective” with participation of Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS) and HE Jean-Francis R. Zinsou, Ambassador of Benin and Coordinator of LDC Group of Countries in UN, New York. The members of the SV also had a dialogue with Ms. Amina Mohammed, UN Secretary General’s special advisor on post-2015. The SV members who participated in these events included Ms. Andrea Ordóñez, Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Dr. Hoseana Bohela Lunogelo, Dr. Fahmida Khatun and Dr. Ibrahima Hathie.

4. Southern Voice scholars participates at ODI-UNF event in New York

Members of the SV network took part in a conference titled “Turning evidence into action for the post-2015 agenda” organised by ODI and the United Nations Foundation in New York on 25-26 June, 2013. The event brought together scholars and analysts from a variety of fields to discuss the evidences currently available for the debate of the next development agenda on issues including education, energy, agriculture, health and nutrition. The event also held panel sessions to discuss some of the current crossroads in the debate such as environmental resilience, economic transformation and the required global reforms to achieve the next set of development goals. Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair, Southern Voice and Distinguished Fellow, CPD participated in the panel on economic transformation along with Mr. Charles Kenny (CGD) and Dr. Hoseana Bohela Lunogelo (ESRFSouthern Voice). Professor Mustafizur Rahman (CPD-Southern Voice), Ms. Andrea Ordóñez (Southern Voice) and Mr. Jonathan Glennie (ODI) debated the global reforms necessary to tackle this century’s challenges. For more details click here, <http://southernvoice-postmdg.org/southern-voice-members-participate-in-conference-in-new-york-jointly-organised-by-odi-and-un-foundation/>.

5. Southern Voice member participates in launch of MDG Development Report in Sindh, Pakistan

Mr. Muhammad Asif Iqbal, Principal Economist of Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) participated as a panelist at the launch of MDG Report on the province of Sindh, Pakistan, held on 19 June 2013 in Karachi. The report tracks the performance of Sindh on MDGs and suggests that, in general, the current rate of progress is insufficient for the province to achieve most of the MDGs by 2015. The event was jointly organised by UNDP Pakistan and the Government of Sindh. Mr. Nisar Khoro, Senior Minister and Minister for Education, Sindh attended the programme as the Chief Guest which was chaired by Mr. Murad Ali Shah, Advisor to the Chief Minister Sindh on Finance. The Country Director, UNDP, Mr. Marc-Andre Franche was also present. Mr. Iqbal elaborated on the development challenges for Sindh.

I would also request you to send us information regarding any of your post-MDG related engagements nationally, regionally or globally which we can send out as our activity updates to all network partners.”


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