Paging Goldilocks: Where do we stand on post-2015 after the New York Special Event?

Article by Simon Maxwell, ODI, writing on Eudevdays:

“The Special Event in New York was an important milestone on the road to a post-2015 settlement. I want to argue that the time has come to identify the ‘Goldilocks’ issues where attention needs to be focused – not too easy, not too hard, but ‘just right’ for a sustained policy and political push. To my mind, the successor to Goal 8 tops the list.

You certainly have to concentrate to keep tabs on the post-2015 process. Hardly a day goes past without some new report, meeting, or consultation. Back in June, I commented in some detail on the Report of the High-Level Panel, co-chaired by David Cameron, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Hardly was the ink dry, but the UN Secretary General issued his own report. And then just the other day, on 25 September, there was a Special Event in New York, on the MDGs and on post-2015, convened by the President of the UN General Assembly.

It seems to me that we are inching forward. The Special Event, in particular, locked in agreement that the post-2015 framework should (a) combine poverty and environment, and (b) apply to all countries, developing and developed. That’s good. It also agreed a roadmap, including a Summit at Head of State/Government level in 2015, to adopt a new post-2015 agenda.

There is a lot to do before then, though – and some of it will be really hard. As I commented at the time of the publication of the HLP report, many of the targets remain unspecified. That task may well be made harder by the fact that the UN Secretary General has added more topics. Bringing climate change into the picture adds complexity, not least because the negotiation timescale is different: the General Assembly is due to agree the post-2015 settlement, including climate, three months before the key climate conference in Paris, which is supposed to agree a long-term climate deal.  In a sensible world, the diary bookings would be reversed.”

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