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Opinion Pieces, Blog Posts Respond To Final Report Of HLP On Post-2015 Development Agenda

The High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda on Thursday released its final report (.pdf), which “sets out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and deliver on the promise of sustainable development,” according to the U.N. News Centre (5/30). The following is a summary of opinion pieces and blog posts discussing the final report and the post-2015 development agenda.

  • Pascal Canfin et al., The Lancet: The authors, who make up the Foreign Policy and Global Health group, comprising the ministers of foreign affairs of Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa, and Thailand, describe their vision for the inclusion of health in the post-2015 development agenda. “In exploring various options for health goals in the U.N. development agenda beyond 2015, we believe universal health coverage addresses many health concerns that jeopardize global development,” they write, adding, “We believe further global health advancement should rely not only on health-related development goals, but also on health indicators that could serve to measure our progress towards sustainable development in other sectors. We, therefore, call for a global mobilization in favor of strengthening health in the U.N. development agenda beyond 2015, with universal health coverage as an important element of the future we want” (5/28).
  • Charles Kenny, Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Development: Views from the Center” blog: Kenny, a senior fellow at CGD, lists his “first impressions” of the final report of the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He summarizes several of his opinions of the report, then writes, “People who have been following the post-2015 discussion will find that a lot of ‘emerging consensus’ about what the next round of goals should look like has just become even more consensus-y.” He says that if “a group 27 people including three heads of state and numerous others with very close ties to or roles in different national governments … can agree [to] 12 ‘indicative’ goals that are reasonably coherent, somewhat selective, and involve a lot of targets that are important, compelling, time bound and measurable, maybe (maybe) the U.N. General Assembly can manage something similar” (5/30).
  • Claire Melamed, The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog: “The good news: [the report is] clear, intellectually coherent, and moves on the debate about poverty and development without losing what’s good in the existing agenda. It offers a clear storyline and an indicative set of goals to provide an example of how this might all translate into a post-2015 agenda,” Melamed, head of the growth and equity program at the Overseas Development Institute, writes, adding, “What it doesn’t do is spell out the big changes needed to get us there.” She discusses what’s “in” in the report — ending poverty and sustainable development — and what’s “out” — inequality and an “improved” statement on global partnerships (5/30).
  • John Norris, Foreign Policy: “The report that emerged retains or expands key parts of the original MDGs – including efforts to end preventable childhood mortality, curb maternal mortality, and end hunger – but also commits to ending extreme poverty by 2030, with no one on the planet living on less than $1.25 per day,” Norris, executive director of the Sustainable Security program at the Center for American Progress and the senior advisor to former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, one of the HLP members, writes. He discusses major points of the report, including sections on individual autonomy, peace, and climate change. “There are probably more goals (12) and targets (54) than there should be, and there will need to be refinement in some of the new areas added to the agenda to ensure that targets can clearly be measured and tracked at the global level,” he writes, adding, “Nonetheless, the report reflects a renewed spirit of multilateral cooperation as well as a genuine appreciation that shared vision can produce historic change” (5/30).
  • John Podesta, Reuters’ “The Great Debate” blog: “Our post-2015 agenda first strives to build on the accomplishments of the Millennium agenda by finishing what was started: We seek a world in 2030 where no person must survive on less than $1.25 per day, and where no one goes hungry,” Podesta, former White House chief of staff and a member of the HLP, writes. “We know, too, that any progress can be easily offset by environmental degradation and climate change … [s]o the post-2015 agenda must move beyond the framework of the MDGs by fully integrating sustainability into the development agenda,” he adds. “The United Nations members plan to begin debating the post-2015 agenda at the General Assembly in September” and “[t]his dialogue will continue for many months,” Podesta notes, adding, “But if the experience of our high-level panel is any guide, the global conversation will be passionate, respectful and, above all, optimistic about the future we can build for — and with — one another” (5/30).