Participation crucial to success of post-2015 process
As the end of 2014 draws closer, governments are deciding how the final negotiations on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda will be conducted (the ‘modalities’). The new framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals will be adopted at the United Nations next September and, after extensive preparatory debates and consultations, intergovernmental talks will soon get underway in earnest.
However, there is growing concern that space for the meaningful participation of civil society and social movements will be severely constrained in this final critical phase of negotiations. With this threat in mind, the Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus has sent a letter to the UN Representatives for Ireland and Kenya (co-facilitators of the talks) calling on them to ensure the voice of civil society and grassroots groups are properly heard.
It calls on the two countries and all other Member States to deliver an open, inclusive and transparent process, in which social movements and non-governmental organizations can meaningfully engage. The letter also reminds them that such involvement is not only a human rights imperative, but also a crucial precondition to the success of the new framework.
Participation, transparency, freedom of expression and the right to information are all fundamental components of States’ human rights obligations and commitments. Complying with these standards is necessary to deliver a set of global development goals which reflect the experiences, strategies, needs and desires of individuals and communities. As such, it is likewise crucial to cultivate broad ownership and legitimacy, and thereby provide for the successful implementation of the agenda at both the national and local levels. Member States should seize the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to an inclusive, transparent post-2015 environment for civil society.
• The letter sent by the Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus to the Permanent Representatives of Ireland and Kenya can be downloaded in pdf format here.
• This Caucus initiative was led by the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR). To learn more about CESR’s work on the post-2015 sustainable development goals, see here.