Statement 2 by Judy Kuriansky, Psychology Coalition,
Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda
Meeting with Major Groups and other Stakeholders 20, July 2015
“Specific Comments on Declaration”
List of Contributors:
International Society for Poverty Elimination / Economic Alliance Group
Psychology Coalition of NGOs at the UN
International Association of Applied Psychology
Scientific and Technological Community Major Group, ICSU
Association for Women's Rights In Development and
Muslims for Progressive Values
My name is Judy Kuriansky and I am honored to make this Longer Statement on the topic of “Specific Comments on the Declaration” on behalf of Psychology Coalition and the International Society for Poverty Elimination / Economic Alliance Group in Collaboration with ICSU, ISSC, Future Earth, SDSN, Saferworld and AWID.
We congratulate the co-chairs and all contributors on the Post 2015 Zero Draft.
Overall, we applaud the declaration as inspiring and transformative by highlighting issues like the oceans, disaster recovery,science, technology, innovation AND by introducing issues into the global consciousness like peace,governance, corruption, partnerships, racism, resilience, well-being and mental health. The agenda is brave and bold, albeit hopeful, since when informally surveying groups whether we can END poverty and hunger in the next 15 years, no one raised their hand. So, in the co-chairs own words, we will have to mediate our expectations. Fortunately, people surveyed at this time ARE more confident about progress in goals like gender equality, health and women’s empowerment. This underlines the need for the Post 2015 Zero Draft and AAAA (revised) to answer HOW questions.
While the document is well-written, it has many technical terms. We now need a simpler document for the public, so everyone can understand it, recite it, and teach it … like the Ambassador from the Netherlands once said in his intervention, in language that his 13 year old daughter can read and tell her friends. Getting the language and the messaging right is not only about publicity and communications, it is also about facilitating ownership by the people in each of the 193 Member States. We suggest Member States work with Civil Society, Knowledge and Communication Professionals and Journalists and the Citizens themselves to do this. Indeed this would demonstrate that the commitment to multi-stakeholder partnerships is serious and that it effectively reflects the 6th P for Participation that Ambassador Kamau mentioned, something we call for more broadly and stand ready to do.
For this reason - to make the SDG Agenda and AAAA understandable to the People in each of the 193 Member States, for whom it is intended; we appreciate and want to see promoted and protected - the effective use of the Ps; People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership articulated in the SDG Agenda
We would also like to emphasize the importance of "engaging Communities and Villages" at the Local level in each of the 193 Member States. This was the phrase repeated often during the recent UN International Ebola Recovery Conference, and should be reiterated at all subsequent UN meetings. The People’s Voice at the Local level should be effectively heard at National levels and then be effectively Communicated at the Sub-regional, Regional and Global levels. This process would follow 3Cs': Coordination, Collaboration and Cooperation.
We commend the negotiations that transformed the FfD Zero Draft into a successful agreement, resulting in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the AAAA. The AAAA is intended to be the backbone of the MOI of the SDG. Now 4 Reports: the AAAA, Post 2015 Zero Draft, Synthesis Report and Data Revolution Report need to be coordinated in ways that answer How questions and resulting in a mechanism being put in place to be sure that all Goals and Targets are fully implemented and realized on schedule dates. This requires an expanded and detailed document about the MOIs' in the AAAA and SDG that effectively fill all identified gaps and link all identified disconnect. within effective Global Collective Action.
Further, the Global Collective Action should improve legislative oversight and People's Voices at Sub-national, National, Sub-regional, Regional and Global Parliament levels. this calls for designing institutional architecture that revamps existing institutions and establishes new institutions from top down and bottom up, e.g. from Village to Global levels.
The SDG Initiative can and should be a “World Sustainable Development Strategy”, WSDS, built on Pillars of Development and Human Rights in all its ramifications; Diplomacy and Negotiation; Defense and Security; Democracy and Elections each with Political and Cultural; Economic & Financial; Social and Environmental; Religious and Moral Dimensions appropriate to specific Village to Global Context in each of the UN 193 Member States, whose design help deliver sustainable solutions to real and complex world problems on the ground and in ways that help reform National Institutions and International Institutions to be fit for the 21st Century; that is help establish and sustain New World Order. The WSDS requires a "One Worldwide Approach with Local Context" adopted by each of the 193 Member States and their Partners.
Implementing WSDS calls for Joint Local, National, Sub-regional, Regional and Global Stakeholders Approach to Fighting and Winning a War on Poverty, Hunger, Disease and Environmental Degradation (PHDE). This require Winning Twelve Battles Against Arrogance, Ignorance, Indifference, Incompetence, Indiscipline, Injustice, Intolerance, Insincerity, Inequality, Interference, Impunity and Corruption (A10IC).
In this War we must recognize the denominators – Poverty of Ideas, Integrity,Trust, Competence and Spirit.
We would like to see more emphasis on the importance of peace for achieving sustainable development and that peace as a desirable outcome in itself is strongly - and rightly - affirmed. including Peace as one of five Ps of the SDG is strongly welcomed. This requires a crucial focus on the causes of violence, insecurity and injustice - both in the narrative as well as in the Goals and Targets. The vision for development financing fails to constructively engage with the peace agenda. The AAAA and SDG should acknowledge the risk of doing harm and effectively support peace-building.
Similarly, the role of third parties in data production as well as monitoring and evaluation of policy, program, project interventions in AAAA and Post 2015 Zero Draft needs to be more strongly affirmed
The AAAA and Post 2015 Zero Draft should also go further in recognizing the more multi-polar Global Order and in effectively promoting a renewal in multilateral partnerships and trust. We need to think about how the AAAA and SDG can effectively ACT as a common narrative with universal buy - that can coordinate multi-stakeholder action in a period of geopolitical uncertainty.
Also further tweaking is needed to eliminate repetitions and to note the process for upholding existing standards.
Specific Text / Language Changes
With regard to specific amendments in the Declaration, we have the following recommendations to offer on specific topics:
(1) more attention is drawn to the role of science, technology and innovation at the national level. To accomplish this:
(a) We appreciate paragraphs (35-40-41), in the section on “implementation”, given the key role of science and of the scientific and technological community. In para 35, we would like to highlight the importance of including reference to the role of countries, so that the paragraph reads, “We recognize the central role that science, technology and innovation play in enabling the international community AND EVERY COUNTRY to respond to sustainable development challenges. We recognize the power of communications technologies, technical cooperation and capacity-building for sustainable development. We commit to strengthen the role of the science-policy interface in governance.”
(b) In addition, we recommend including specific references to the “scientific and technological community” in paragraphs 40 and 41 so that the second sentence in paragraph 40 reads: (…) It will facilitate an intensive global engagement in support of implementation of the goals and targets, bringing together Governments, the private sector, THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizing all available resources.”
And that the last sentence in paragraph 41 reads: “Governments and public institutions will also work closely on implementation with regional and sub-regional institutions, local authorities, international institutions, business and the private sector, civil society, THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY, philanthropic organizations, Volunteer groups and others.” We strongly urge that these revisions be included on the final draft of the text. The scientific community stands ready to work with you in the implementation of the agenda at international, regional, sub-regional and national levels.
(2) As the declaration introduces (and echoes) the goals and targets, and has done a detailed job in doing so, we urge the inclusion of reference to mental health and well-being, which has been egregiously left out, though given vast support by member states throughout the OWG process, in oral statements. This issue embodies the transformational nature of the agenda. It has further been noted by the Youth Call to Action, noting suicide as the third cause of deaths in youth, and psychosocial recovery is specifically noted in the Sendai Framework for Action. Therefore, we urge that the following in the declaration:
(a) under People the preamble should include the words “physical and mental health and well-being.” This puts education and health firmly on the well-being foundation, and acknowledges – as is done for other goals - that “well-being” is noted in Goal 3.
(b) that a sentence be added to the end of para 24, to read: “These efforts together achieve our vision of integrating physical health, mental health and well-being.” This para currently expands on NCDs but glaringly leaves out mental health and wellbeing which is paired with NCDs in the same target 3.4. Additionally, the strong interlinkage between physical and mental health must be made explicit. A visionary, transformative, holistic view requires that health always refer to physical and mental health, consistent with WHO definitions.
(3) Many member states have mentioned the word “resilience” in their interventions. We agree with this mention, and note its cross-cutting application to many goals and targets, including to combatting the impact of climate change, as well as achieving disaster recovery, protecting biodiversity, and strengthening communities, among others. Resilience currently refers to structures and buildings, yet it applies to People- who are after all the essence of this agenda, and for example, who are suffering from so many disasters, left traumatized and in need of support. Therefore, in para 28, in the last sentence, we urge inserting the words “structural and psychosocial” before the word “resilience,” to clarify these two aspects of resilience. The word “psychosocial” is consistent with the Sendai Framework, para 33 (o) that states: “Enhance recovery schemes to provide psychosocial support and mental health services for all people in need.”
(4) In para 59, insert the phrase, “including measurements beyond GDP” at the end of the last sentence, after the phrase “in supporting and tracking progress.” This reflects the need to collect data supporting indicators of progress beyond economic, and in the other two pillars, e.g., social and environmental. Such measurements exist, making indicators possible.
(5) To highlight the issue of human rights, we suggest that in para 10, after the words, “the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” insert the phrase, “and other human rights standards, such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and all other human rights conventions.”
(6) In the spirit of multi-stakeholder partnerships and inclusiveness, we urge para 4 under (I) Sustainable Development Goals and Targets, specify that representatives of civil society be included in the Interagency and Expert Group that identifies the Indicators. This point has been endorsed by innumerable MGoS, and submitted in a detailed letter to the co-facilitators during a previous Interactive Dialogue with civil society during the IGN.
(7) As social groupings is not recognized language in international human rights law nor is it a term used in the UDHR and internationally binding human rights covenants such as ICCPR, we suggest that in Para 4 the phrase "social groupings" be replaced with "social groups"
(8) The importance of cultural awareness and respect for diversity is understood, however blind subscription to and respect for cultural norms or values, norms and values that might be in direct contradiction to international human rights conventions, should be mitigated and addressed as they pertain to the implementation of a universal sustainable development agenda. We suggest in Para 8: replacing "cultural values" with "cultural diversity" as expressed in para 31.
(9) A closed list of prohibited grounds of discrimination is unacceptable, especially as it pertains to the implementation of this agenda. We welcome in Para 18: the inclusion of other status.
(10) We suggest in Para 20: replacing the word "respect" with "consider" and remove the word "policies after "national" in the sentence: "We will respect national policies and priorities and provide adequate policy space for economic growth, in particular for developing states", so the sentence may read "We will consider national priorities and provide adequate policy space for economic growth, in particular for developing states. we affirm unconditional respect for national policies and priorities is incompatible with the universal and global nature of a transformative and sustainable development agenda. This dilutes the purported universality of the goals and targets and undermines respect for international law as stated in this Declaration.
On Para 23: Proposing to include "other status" after "ethnicity" in the sentence "All people irrespective of gender, age, race or ethnicity, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples..." so the sentence may read: "All people irrespective of gender, age, race, ethnicity or other status, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples..."
(11) We suggest in Para 30: including "discrimination" after the word "violence" in the sentence "Factors which give rise to violence, insecurity and injustice, such as corruption, poor governance..." so the sentence may read: "Factors which give rise to violence, discrimination, insecurity and injustice, such as corruption, poor governance..."
(12) We suggest in Para 38: a General comment: It must be recognized that diverse forms of families exist, and to this end the inclusion of "all families" is a welcome addition. However, the role of families in sustainable development should not be interpreted to subsume or mitigate the rights of individual family members.
Never has our World been so rich. Never has our World been so poor. The vicious circle of being too poor to be rich and too rich to be poor must be broken by AAAA and SDG if our World is to be a happier, safer and healthier place to live, work, play and raise children. There is more than enough Resources - Influence, Science, technology, Innovation, Fund, Manpower and Spiritual to achieve increasing convergence between AAAA (revised) and SDG Vision Intention and Reality, if there is shift from working HARDER to working SMARTer; shift from Disordered Change to Ordered Change.
Sustainable Solutions to Poverty, Hunger, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and related problems on the ground in Developed and Developing Countries exist. Ability to successfully implement these solutions with effective monitoring and evaluation of this implementation exist or can be acquired. However, the Big Challenge is the Willingness to successfully implement these solutions with effective monitoring and evaluation of this implementation. Tackling this Big Challenge is essentially issue of Changing Attitude and Behavior at Scale that the 7th and 8th IGN need to effectively address.
Should Stakeholders look on watching flaws and failures in AAAA (revised) and Post 2015 Zero Draft and SDG (from September 2015) Village to Global Policy, Program, Project Interventions, the probability is high that looming Global Recession could become reality making 1930s' Global Recession child's play, with ultimate catastrophic consequences for Citizens in each of the 193 UN Member States, particularly the billions of poor on both Developed and Developing Countries sides.
While the document is well-written, it has many technical terms. We now need a simpler document for the public, so everyone can understand it, recite it, and teach it … like the Ambassador from the Netherlands once said in his intervention, in language that his 13 year old daughter can read and tell her friends. We suggest Member States work with Civil Society, Knowledge and Communication Professionals and Journalists to do this. Indeed this would demonstrate that the commitment to multi-stakeholder partnerships is serious, something we call for more broadly.
The five Ps’ - and a sixth, on Participation - present a strong foundation on which to successfully build a simple narrative and message that, come September 2015, can be effectively communicated around the world, into every school, office and living room. We need to flesh out HOW the five (six) Ps’ connect with one another and with the Goals and targets in a holistic but simple way. This won’t be easy, but at least we now have the Pillars for this work.
At the same time as the Secretary General said about his hopes for the SDG Agenda, the AAAA and Cop21, it is time for not just words, but ACTION.
Our suggestion: an Experts Working Group with official recognition to work with co-Facilitators, Missions, Secretariats; the SDG process, the FfD process and all others, on the way forward that provide clear answers to all HOW questions in the AAAA and SDG.
We are willing to offer a more detailed information / clarification as directed by co-Facilitators, UNDESA and UNNGLS or requested by Missions.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the once-in-a generation agenda that is truly transformative, visionary and inclusive, to guide our valuable efforts in the Global Partnership for World Sustainable Development.
Lanre Rotimi - International Society for Poverty Elimination / Economic Alliance Group
Judy Kuriansky - Psychology Coalition of NGOs’ at the UN