An unfinished symphony: The road towards the post-2015 global development agenda

By Saskia Hollander and Pearl Heinemans, writing in the Broker Online:

“In the last week of September, world leaders gathered in New York for the general debate marking the opening of the 68th UN General Assembly (GA). This was an important moment for the post-2015 process, as several events were organized on the global development agenda. The most vital of these was the UN SpecialEvent towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which sets out the course for the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG), mandated to come up with a set of goals next year. Heads of state, ministers and various organizations were present to discuss the future agenda. The discussions showed that, with only two years to go, the UN is divided between middle and low income countries (MICs and LICs), which emphasize poverty reduction and economic development within an agenda based on differentiated responsibilities, and OECD countries, which prioritize a universal agenda integrating these elements with environmental sustainability.

The 68th session’s post-2015 events, which were organized alongside the general debate and other high-level meetings, represent the intense but challenging efforts made to materialize the successor to the MDGs. In hisspeech at the Special Event, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon argued for a comprehensive future development agenda that goes beyond the MDGs. Based on his recommendation reportA Life of Dignity for All, launched in August, he emphasized the need for a universal agenda that finds expression ‘in a single set of goals’, along the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability). The Special Event was concluded with the agreement of an outcome document in which renewed commitment to achieving the MDGs and adopting a new set of goals was enshrined.”

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