ACORD Press Release on the HLP Report on Post-2015 Agenda

Nairobi, Kenya, 3 June 2013

Responding to the High-Level Panel report on the post-2015 development framework, pan-African NGO ACORD congratulated the panel's report for its commitment to end rather than reduce poverty, and its recognition of the importance of environmental sustainability and peace in doing so. Ousainou Ngum, ACORD's executive director, said that, "The HLP report provides a strong foundation for the post-2015 process to produce a fundamental shift in how we approach international development, especially evident in a vision that encompasses poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and peace. We hope this ambition and commitment to change is replicated by UN member states as they seek to agree on the new framework".

ACORD, which works with marginalised communities across Africa, was particularly pleased with the report's adoption of the ‘leave no one behind' principle, most prominent in the recommendation that no target is considered met unless it has been achieved amongst specific social and economic groups. ACORD also welcomed the commitment to gender equality and women's rights, including the bold commitment to end violence against women by 2030. Ranking the goal on women and girls second after the goal on ending poverty demonstrates the level of commitment by the HLP.

However, Ngum warned that the report failed to put inequality and human rights at the forefront of the debate: "Despite impressive economic growth, Africa faces increasing and enduring inequalities, and by not including a goal on addressing inequality the Panel has missed a historic opportunity to put this crucial issue at the heart of the debate on international development. If people are to be able to be agents in and benefit from growth they must also be able to exercise their rights. Although the report is strong on civil and political rights, which we welcome, a host of vital social, economic and cultural rights that states have already committed to are not included in the goals".

ACORD works in conflict-affected regions across Africa, and although it welcomed the emphasis on peace, warned that peace was presented as a symptom of good governance, failing to recognise the role of natural resource exploitation. Salina Sanou, ACORD's head of policy and advocacy, said that: "The report is virtually silent on the inequitable and unjust access to natural resources, and the revenues that they bring, faced by many communities in Africa. Any discussion of conflict must confront this issue".

ACORD also said that for a post-2015 development framework to produce a transformative economic change more needs to be done to ensure the post-2015 agenda is adequately and sustainably financed: "The report recognises the importance of domestic resource mobilisation, and includes language on taxation and illicit financial flows, but its targets in this area are not ambitious enough. Africa requires structural change in its economies, and we want the post-2015 agenda to be the means to achieve such a change. The next stage of the process must focus on ensuring there are firm targets on increasing public and private finance for development, and that this is aligned with principles of justice and human rights".

Important to achieving equitable and inclusive growth is accountability, as Sanou points out: "The report argues that many of the goals and targets can be met by the actions and efforts of the private sector, but has very little on how the private sector will be genuinely accountable to those living in poverty. The report relies far too heavily on ‘self-regulation' by a few large companies, and does not recommend the stronger role for regulation based on accountability and social justice that we would have hoped to see".


Image source: DFID - UK Department for International Development

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