Beyond 2015
  • Date submitted: 31 Oct 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: Beyond 2015
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Climate change (5 hits),

General Content

a) What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?

The outcome of Rio+20 should not be a quick-win set of goals (either SDGs or replacement MDGs). Instead, discussions at Rio+20 should pave the road for developing concrete principles and statements to be fed into the post MDG debates and discussions, and agree that a future set of goals will have sustainability at its core. The discussion of SDGs and MDGs at Rio+20 should build on previous experience, discussions and commitments on sustainable development. We suggest the following outcomes in relation to a post MDG framework:
- A post MDG framework to be discussed at Rio+20, under the ?Institutional framework for sustainable development? theme of the conference.
- Delegates agree that a post 2015 framework for development should be an urgent priority for the international community, and that the framework needs to address a number of interlinked global challenges of: poverty, environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, gender justice, Climate change, resilience, unfair distribution of resources, human rights and inequality.
- Delegates should also agree that the process for developing a post 2015 development framework should be transparent, participative and engage marginalised people affected by poverty and injustice.
- There should not be an attempt to rush through a new set of goals and targets to secure a ?positive outcome? from Rio+20.
- Delegates should agree to input constructively to the development of a post 2015 framework, and provide resources where necessary.
- Delegates should make clear links between the poverty, the environment and Climate change and discuss the links between the MDGs and UN Conventions, for example the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and UNFCCC, and how these can be better integrated into a post 2015 framework.
- Delegates at Rio+20 should invite analysis of the current MDGs and identify how their relative strengths and weaknesses can inform the post 2015 framework.
- Beyond 2015?s ?Essential Must Haves? should be reflected in the positions of delegates (see annex 1).

b) What are the comments, if any, on existing proposals: e.g., a green economy roadmap, framework for action, sustainable development goals, a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, or others?

Sustainable Development Goals: We welcome Colombia putting Sustainable Development Goals on the agenda for Rio+20. This is a very valuable discussion, but any outcome from Rio+20 needs to fully integrate poverty reduction, equity and sustainable development. There are some positive elements of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for example that they discuss universal goals (rather than just goals for the South). However we have some concerns that proposals are at the moment vague and seem to run parallel to, rather than integrated with, the MDGs. We worry that this could undermine attempts to achieve either set of goals and efforts to develop a comprehensive post 2015 agenda. We suggest that
- The relationship between the MDGs and SDGs needs to be clarified. At the moment they appear to be a parallel set of goals rather than an integrated set of goals.
- There are some aspects of SDGs which are very appealing, for example that they apply to all countries. However, the current Colombia proposal is weak on equity and stakeholder participation
- SDGs should integrate targets from the CBD, UNFCCC and the MDGs.
- The successor to the MDGs should have sustainable development at its heart. This includes sustainable business practices and models.

Green Economy: A Green Economy is not automatically an economy that brings prosperity for the poor and delivers human development gains. The fair governance and management of natural assets is key to ensuring a green economy delivers for the poor. These issues need to be reflected in the Zero Draft for Rio+20. We recognise that there is no one model of what a fair green economy would look like, nevertheless, we recommend that green economies need to deliver on the following:
- deliver for the poor and improve human wellbeing, social equity and fairness
- deliver lasting greenhouse gas emissions reductions,
- ensure humankind?s ecological footprint is sustainable,
- maintain and enhance natural capital, biodiversity and ecosystem services

c) What are the views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap, which relevant actors are envisaged as being involved (Governments, specific Major Groups, UN system, IFIs, etc.);

There needs to be a clear and transparent process for developing a post-2015 development framework, with consultation and deliberative engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including those who are excluded from the current MDGs. Before any post MDG framework is developed and implemented, there must be adequate consultation with relevant stakeholders at all levels.

Although national governments have responsibilities in relation to funding and implementation, the UN is the only legitimate and representative global governance structure in a position to show strong leadership in the development of any such framework. As such, the Secretary General should establish a high level of ambition around a post-2015 framework. His attitude towards the process will determine the extent to which post-2015 planning is seen as a priority.

Civil society has an important role in developing and implementing a post 2015 development framework. The UN should capitalise on the advances in participative methods and new technology as well as and on high-quality initiatives that may emerge outside the formal United Nations process, and lead extensive consultation and deliberative engagement processes.

There also needs to be mechanisms in place to ensure that important actors, such as the larger development banks, IFIs and private sector have a positive role to play, (including funding), in efforts to develop a participatory and accountable framework.

The creation of an Independent Commission which could act as a focal point and hold an overview of the various debates should serve this purpose. Its members should represent a range of sectors, and be balanced in terms of gender and nationality.

d) What specific cooperation mechanisms, partnership arrangements or other implementation tools are envisaged and what is the relevant time frame for the proposed decisions to be reached and actions to be implemented?

Partnerships were a key feature of Johannesburg WSSD but have not been reviewed in terms of their real achievements for, and impacts on, human development and environment. The UN should ensure that evaluations show lessons learned for any future international endorsement of partnerships.

Rio+20 comes at a time when we are in a negative spiral of ?failed? international conferences. The focus needs to be on developing trust and rebuilding faith in the possibility of international cooperation. The easiest way to avoid disappointment is to avoid unrealistic expectations.

Specific Elements
a) Objective of the Conference: To secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges.

Contributions could include possible sectoral priorities (e.g., (e.g., energy, food security and sustainable agriculture, technology transfer, water, oceans, sustainable urbanization, sustainable consumption and production, natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation, biodiversity, etc.) and sectoral initiatives that contribute to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development could be launched and endorsed at Rio+20.

Rio+20 is an excellent opportunity to raise sustainable development back up the political and public agenda. Rio+20 is also an opportunity to link up discussions on Climate change, the environment and poverty. These three issues are closely linked and need to be tackled in an integrated way. For example greater synergies need to be made between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UNFCCC and MDGs, and Rio+20 is an opportunity to do this.

A post 2015 development framework needs to have sustainable development as its underpinning narrative, if it is to succeed in addressing poverty in the long term. It also needs to fully integrate Climate change and the vital role of the environment in poverty reduction as well as the drivers of poverty and vulnerability ? thereby addressing weaknesses in the current MDG framework.
b) Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication: views regarding how green economy can be a means to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions, and poverty eradication; what is its potential added value; experience to date, including what has worked and how to build upon success, what are the challenges and opportunities and how to address the challenges and seize opportunities, and possible elements of an agreement in outcome document on a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication

See response to Qu 2 above on the Green Economy.
c) Institutional framework for sustainable development: Priorities and proposals for strengthening individual pillars of sustainable development, as well as those for strengthening integration of the three pillars, at multiple levels; local, national, regional and international.

Integrating the three pillars of sustainable development will only happen if we transcend the business as usual model, all three elements need to influence our thinking on the Green Economy.

We recommend that a post 2015 development framework needs to operate at a range of different levels, setting out global goals, as well as contextualised national targets for developed and developing countries aiming at a sustainable and equitable global development, as well as the eradication of extreme poverty.

The post 2015 framework must address:
o Root causes of poverty and injustice in all countries, from the richest to the poorest.
o Inequity and inequality.
o Environmental sustainability and Climate change.
o The responsibility of national governments to sustainably manage their natural and financial resources.
o The responsibility of the international community to support developing countries in the face of global challenges through respecting their ODA commitments as well as through innovative redistributive funding mechanisms which would generate additional predictive finance.
o The responsibility of developing country governments to deliver on development commitments.
o Take forward Rio principle 10 on access to information and participation in decision making, along with access to justice.

The post 2015 framework must clearly lay out enforceable accountability mechanisms, as well as the process for accountability at a national, regional and global level. This must include national oversight and independent review mechanisms at the international level.

d) Any proposals for refinement of the two themes. Recall that Resolution 64/236 describes the focus of the Conference: "The focus of the Conference will include the following themes to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development".


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