INTERATIONAL SOCIETY FOR POVERTY ELIMINATION ECONOMIC ALLIANCE GROUP
Achieving AAAA, SDG and COP21 Outcome Document Vision and Words with Action Agenda by 2030 in 306/193 Member States – Part 12
Commentary on 18 – 20 April 2016 FfD Forum Outcome, 18 March 2016 SG Report on Supporting Implementation of SDG and AAAA and co-Facilitators Elements Paper on Review of SG Report on Follow Up and Review: A New Landscape for Stakeholder Engagement in UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF?
FfD Forum 2016
The inaugural ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, FfD Forum, 18 – 21 April 2016 held in New York with Stakeholders from UN Member States; UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF and MGoS sides in attendance.
Day 1 discussions focused current global economic challenges, including slow economic growth and massive waves of forced migration, the need for concerted action, and innovative development financing options, as well as their contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA);
Day 2 discussions focused on food security, gender equality and women’s empowerment, global framework for financing sustainable development, domestic and international public resources, global infrastructure forum, and private business and finance, global infrastructure forum, domestic and international public resources;
Day 3 discussions focused on debt and systemic issues; trade, science, technology, innovation and capacity-building; and data, monitoring and follow-up.
The forum closed its inaugural session on Day 3 with the consensus adoption of a brief set of intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations. By that text, the forum recognized that the Addis Agenda provided a global framework for financing sustainable development and was an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and that it helped to contextualize the 2030 Agenda’s means of implementation targets with concrete policies and actions.
Further by the text, the forum welcomed the proposed three-pronged approach of the 2016 Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development report, and looked forward to future reports which contained a discussion of the global context and its implications for the follow-up process, as well as an overview of each chapter of the Addis Agenda.
Speaking after the document’s adoption, the representative of Thailand, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed disappointment that the important mandates of assessing progress, identifying obstacles, addressing new and emerging topics and providing policy recommendations were not reflected in the outcome document.
He said that the Group had hoped for a substantive outcome that reflected elements from all action areas of the Addis Agenda in a balanced manner. The document adopted, however, failed to deliver on such an aspiration. Calling for a “change of mindset”, he stressed that the document adopted this year must not set a precedent for future sessions of the forum.
The representative of the European Union noted that the agreed conclusions were much less ambitious than his delegation would have liked. However, he welcomed the report of the Inter-agency Task Force, which, despite its brevity, was a testimony to what had been agreed in Addis Ababa.
“What is most important in financing for development is our shared commitment to working together,” said Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), President of the Economic and Social Council, in closing remarks. Indeed, that spirit of collaboration and the willingness of States to seek “win-win solutions” were more important than putting words into an outcome document. Without genuine collaboration, neither developed nor developing countries would be able to achieve the 2030 Agenda. “We must keep the spirit of collaboration alive at all levels,” he concluded.
Three important How questions were asked at the forum:-
1. How the global partnership for sustainable development could support the implementation of an integrated and holistic agenda;
2. How to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized; and
3. How the international community could move from rhetoric to action.
The wide disappointment expressed in forum outcome document, is evidence that these important How questions were once again avoided or evaded while What questions were over answered. In seeking to achieve AAAA, SDG, COP21, Agenda 21 aligned and harmonized with National Development Plan Vision Ambition without first finding clear and correct answers to all identified How questions, the Cart has been put before the Horse.
Mr Oh’s concluding remarks is cold comfort. We cannot leave undone what we ought to do and do what we ought not to do and yet keep hoping to achieve the “win-win solutions” that promote and protect Common Interest and Common future of Village to Global Stakeholders. As long as Policy Makers and Decision Makers continue with Business as Usual, it will be uphill task achieving AAAA, SDG, COP21 and Agenda 21 Vision ambitions.
18 April 2016 SG Report on Implementation of SDG and AAAA
The report raises many interesting points. We wish to comment on some:
Summary - The report provides an description of how Member States are responding to the two Agendas and the impact that the responses will have on the United Nations system.
The report intended to address How but again in reality has addressed What. The confusion between What and How needs to be cleared. There is a need to distinguish between What answers to What questions and How answers to How question. Providing What answers to How questions is a major reason why Gaps in AAAA, SDG, COP21 and Agenda 21 aligned and harmonized with National Development Plans are especially difficult to fill.
Paragraph 1 - The report is prepared in response to General Assembly resolution 70/247, in which the Assembly requested that the Secretary-General provide a comprehensive proposal addressing the effective and efficient delivery of mandates in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development by the Secretariat, within the broader United Nations system, including the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the regional commissions and the United Nations Development Account.
There is need for common agreement on definition of UN System to include all entities in UNO, WBG and IMF. It is not helpful to select some entities in UNO or entities in UNO and WBG while excluding all remaining entities. Also it is not helpful to confuse entities in UNO Delivery as One, DaO; with all entities in UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF DaO. If AAAA, SDG, COP21 and Agenda 21 Vision Ambitions are to be achieved by 2030 Target date then the correct definition of UN System should be all entities in UNO, WBG and IMF.
There is need to recognize that AAAA addresses the Finance Dimension of all 17 SDGs. The two Agendas cannot stand alone but need to be complimented by three more Agenda – An Agenda Integrating COP21 and Agenda 21 to address the Environment Dimension of all 17 SDGs; An Agenda to address the Economic Dimension of the SDGs and An Agenda to address the Reform Dimension of the SDGs. In the work towards implementing all 5 Agendas “as One” to achieve Mr Oh’s “win-win solutions”, National Leaders and World Leaders need to recognize that it is fail in one dimension fail in all dimensions.
There is also need to appreciate that each of the 5 Agendas has Development Communication and Development Research; Planning and Implementation; Monitoring and Evaluation; Data and Digitization and Performance Management and Measures of Success Dimensions. Again it is fail in one dimension fail in all dimensions.
Paragraph 5 - The 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda were shaped by States Members of the United Nations and agreed by their Governments in 2015. The 2030 Agenda is universal, integrated and indivisible. The full implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is critical for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets.
It is clear from outcome of FfD Forum 2016 that National Leaders and Global Leaders – Policy Makers and Decision Makers on 306/193 UN Member States; UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF, MGoS Member CSOs/NGOs and Non MGoS Member CSOs/NGOs sides are yet to demonstrate this realization. To do this they have to address fundamental issues of Denial, Deception and Delusion.
Paragraph 6 - The 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda are interdependent. Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals requires ambitious, comprehensive, holistic and transformative actions that follow up on the commitments reached in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2002 and in Doha in 2008 and strengthen the means of implementation and financing for the development follow up process. Both Agendas serve as the basis for actions to be undertaken within communities and countries, under the leadership of national Governments and with the engagement of a broad range of stakeholders.
This underlines urgent need to find clear and correct answers to all How questions as well as recognition that the two Agendas cannot be successfully implemented on sustainable basis without successfully implementing the additional three Agendas identified above.
Paragraph 8 - Countries will review progress through national processes that involve multiple stakeholders. They will be able to share national experiences, describe progress, outline challenges and identify emerging issues at the annual high-level political forum on sustainable development and the Economic and Social Council forum on financing for development follow-up. The forums provide Member States with an opportunity to demonstrate political leadership and to oversee a constellation of follow-up and review processes, facilitating guidance and recommendations for follow-up. They will not only serve to encourage the coordination of sustainable development policies, thus helping to ensure that the 2030 Agenda remains relevant and ambitious but will also foster coherence within the United Nations system. The two forums will interface with the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and other relevant organs and forums, in accordance with their mandates. There will be effective linkages with the followup and review arrangements of all relevant United Nations conferences and processes, including on least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developed countries.
It will be uphill task to meaningfully involve multiple stakeholders without finding clear and correct answers to MSP and Lobbying How questions and related How questions. Records show that many registered MSPs, on SDKP do not qualify as MSPs and at least one MSP that is sufficiently “All Inclusive, All Embracing and Ambitious” to help achieve AAAA, SDG, COP21, Agenda 21 aligned and harmonized with National Development Plans in UN Member States has “current status” ranging from “rejected” in October 2015 to “under review” February 2016 to “technical suspension” March 2016 to date. This is not helpful.
Paragraph 11 - The two Agendas provide strategic direction to the United Nations system, and the entities within it are reprioritizing their activities and reallocating resources in order to support Member States effectively. The new emphases on universality, integration and indivisibility are already having an impact on operational procedures and activities, and on the capabilities and expertise that will be needed. Member States are examining options within the context of the ongoing dialogue in the Economic and Social Council on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system and of the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (see Council resolution 2014/14).
The UN Member States need help from UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF. But the UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF themselves need help, if they are to provide the type of help UN Member States desire. This underline urgent need for Reforming the UN Systems to be fit for the 21st Century through Re-establishing existing Entities and Establishing New Entities. The UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF cannot give what they do not have.
Paragraph 13 -The United Nations system and the Secretariat support Member States as they establish coherent whole-of-government policies and strategies, as well as whole-ofsociety approaches to implementation. The objective is effective, efficient, transparent and inclusive implementation at the local and national levels, as well as among groups of countries at the subregional and regional levels
Establishing coherent “Whole of Government”, “Whole of Society” Approaches are elements of “One Worldwide Approach” which includes “Whole of Bank”, “Whole of Institution”, “Integrated”, “Systemic”, “Common” etc Approaches. Paragraph 20 identifies need for Data Revolution. However Data Revolution within “One Worldwide Approach” “Individually or Jointly” cannot stand alone but need to be Designed and Delivered within Interlinked, Interconnected and Interdependent Primary Revolutions - Agricultural Revolution, Enterprise Revolution, Government Revolution, Applied Research Revolution, Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Revolution, Data Revolution, Digital Revolution etc and Secondary Revolutions – Education Revolution, Health Revolution, Water Revolution, Land Revolution, Tax Administration Revolution, Justice Administration Revolution, Anti Corruption Revolution etc. This underline need to involve creators ideas harvested from Global Consultations and adopted by UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF Entities.
General Comments on the SG Report on Implementation of SDG and AAAA
The FfD Forum 2016 Outcome underline Gaps in the SG Report on Implementation of SDG and AAAA that need to be urgently filled. The fundamental issues involved cannot be wished away. The necessary arrangements cannot be left to happen on its own or by divine intervention but needs to be discussed, negotiated and established and on time.
co-Facilitators Elements Paper on Review of SG Report on Follow Up and Review
The Elements Paper contains many interesting points but sadly remain Vision and Words without Action. All points made with regard to the FfD Forum 2016 and SG Report on Implementation of SDG and AAA apply to this Elements Paper. There is a need for the co-Facilitators to address these fundamental issues and without delay.
There is a need to use correct nomenclature – Follow Up and Review is Monitoring and Evaluation Dimension of each of the 5 Agendas identified above. The Monitoring and Evaluation Dimension of each of the 5 Agendas need to be complemented with the Development Communication and Development Research; Planning and Implementation, Data and Digitization and Performance Management and Measures of Success Dimensions of each of the 5 Agendas. It is fail in one fail in all, of these Dimensions.
There is also need to optimize productivity of physical and virtual participation in UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF Events. For example Representatives of MGoS who wish to speak at the 28 April Global Consultation have been given 2 minutes each. Are these Representatives speaking for themselves or for their MGoS? If they are speaking for themselves, what is the Role of the 9 MGs and 3 or 4 other Stakeholders Officially recognized by the UNO? If they are speaking for their MGoS is 1 week enough for each MGoS to conduct Global Consultation that is Transparent and fairly represent the Views and Perspectives of their Members? Can the content of 2 minutes speech cover all issues any MGoS can and should raise in response to this Element Paper?
Moving forward we suggest inclusion of 2 Elements immediately after the “Framing the Resolution” Element:-
1. Answering How questions – setting out clear and correct answers to How questions.
2. Filling the Gaps – identifying all gaps, including those highlighted in FfD Forum 2016 Outcome and above comments on SG Report on Implementing SDG and AAAA.
We suggest further that the 28 April 2016 meeting have facility for Stakeholders outside New York to be effective Virtual Participants through making provision for Webinar or Google Hangout Interactive Live Video facilities. Live TV coverage does not allow for interaction with the Co-Facilitators, Presenters and Participants in the Consultation Venue.
The HLTD 21 April 2016 is holding Back to Back with the FfD Forum 2016. It will be very sad if HLTD 2016 continue with Business as Usual to produce Outcome that is Vision and Words without Action.
It is bad that fundamental issues that ought to have been settled by end 1st quarter 2015 Year of Decision are still outstanding in 2nd quarter 2016 Year of Implementation. Should National and Global Leaders – Policy Makers and Decision Makers on 306/193 UN Member States, UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF, MGoS Member CSOs’/NGOs’ and Non MGoS Member CSOs/NGOs sides fail to adopt new priorities and face new direction, there is high probability the situation will remain the same by end 4th quarter 2016 Year of Implementation. Allowed to occur the ultimate consequences could be catastrophic for Citizens on both Developed and Developing Countries, especially the over 2 Billion Poor the UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF claim to serve.
We are willing to offer a more detailed information / clarification on any of the points made in this Paper.
International Society for Poverty Elimination / Economic Alliance Group
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Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 21 April 2016.