The “Post-2015 Development Agenda National Consultations in Jordan” have recently been released. Below, read extracts from the executive summary:
“Initiated in October 2012 and completed in May 2013, the national consultations for the post-2015 development agenda are part of a wider and global process of reflection on “the world people want”. The definition of the post-2015 development framework is an historical opportunity for the citizens of the world to influence their future.
For Jordan, the consultations have come at a critical juncture. While the country is steadily progressing towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is also faced by emerging challenges that are having consequences on its sustainable human development prospects.
The most debated themes during consultations were education, employment, environment and health. Various stakeholders identified similar priorities for the future, generally acknowledging the same basic concerns, and agreed on the analysis of the existing societal barriers to development. Some variations were noted in the solutions suggested, and on the emphasis on how and which development partner should bear prime responsibilities. In line with the features of a predominantly young and dynamic society, youth called for innovative responses to a rapidly evolving set of challenges.
Unemployment emerged as a major concern for young people who perceived the labor market as difficult to access. Ensuring a sustained development of quality education was also mentioned as a decisive factor to better employment opportunities.
The consultations revealed that responsive governance is a pre-condition to promote sustainable development and a lasting social peace, to address inequalities and eradicate poverty. People’s expectations on systemic reforms include measures to continue to counter corruption, and robust actions to reduce unemployment. Civil society identified “inclusiveness” in health, education, employment and governance, as well as the importance of civic engagement, as essential aspects to advance the cause of democratic and social reforms. Young people also indicated the importance of Human Rights and the promotion of democracy and rule of law as milestones for enabling genuine participation in public life and safeguarding freedom of expression.
Equally prevalent was environmental protection and the effective management of vital and strategic natural resources which should hold a primary place in development policies. Water scarcity was recognized as alarming, while biodiversity protection, the adoption of effective policies to control desertification and the promotion of green economy are imperative measures to be implemented.
Overcoming inequalities and combating poverty remain priorities requiring a collective effort. Persisting stereotypes and cultural attitudes are among the main causes of economic and social disparities, especially when it comes to women, persons living with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. Geographical gaps have a multiplier effect on gender inequalities; dedicated policies and programmes targeting rural areas and disadvantaged peripheries should address the persisting asymmetric access to basic quality services and the job market. In parallel, women’s participation and representation in the political, economic and social arenas should be continuously nurtured and expanded. Safeguarding citizens’ wellbeing was reconfirmed as of critical importance and should be at the core of the future development agenda. Concrete measures to improve the access and quality of the healthcare system and to promote and to enhance food security, nutrition and a healthier lifestyle were pointed out.
Several governorates, particularly in the north, were recognized as being disproportionally impacted by the growing refugee influx from Syria, and therefore, ensuring regional stability was reiterated as the overarching national priority, especially among the most affected communities. Partners called upon the international community and regional actors to play a more effective role in promoting peace and security.”
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