Millennium Development Goals and Post 2015

The Millennium Development Goals and UN Women

UN Women is one of a number of United Nations agencies charged with supporting countries in moving forward on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight goals, adopted by the international community in 2000, set targets for 2015 on eradicating poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV and AIDS and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and providing financing for development.

All eight MDGs touch essential aspects of women’s well-being, and in turn, women’s empowerment is critical for achieving the goals. UN Women has engaged in advancing the MDGs through three entry points:

Operational programmes: In all regions and through all its thematic areas, UN Women programmes contribute to the MDGs. UN Women pilots innovative strategies and strengthens the capacity of other UN programmes to support women’s advancement.

Monitoring and analysis: UN Women works with governments and non-governmental organisations to evaluate progress on the MDGs, including through the use of sex-disaggregated data and indicators that fully account for gender gaps. UN Women also contributed to the UN Millennium Project, commissioned by the UN Secretary-General to develop an action plan to achieve the MDGs, by preparing background papers and sharing proven strategies.

Advocacy: Through various partnerships, UN Women has worked to raise awareness and encourage participation in MDG activities, including the national and international advocacy efforts led by the UN Millennium Campaigh.

There are now fewer than  1,000 days left to take action to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Click here to see what’s already been achieved towards the goals and where action is needed up until the 2015 deadline.

The Post-2015 Global Development Agenda Process

The MDGs are set to expire in 2015. We are currently in the midst of a global conversation about what should replace the MDGs after 2015.

The outcome document of the 2010 High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs requested the Secretary-General to initiate thinking on a post-2015 development agenda.

In January 2012, the Secretary-General established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, bringing together the efforts of more than 60 UN agencies and international organizations.

In its first report to the Secretary-General in May 2012, “Realizing the Future We Want for All”, the Task Team outlined a vision for the post-2015 development agenda and suggested four key dimensions of inclusive economic and social development, environmental sustainability, peace and security. Members of the Task Team also prepared a set of 18 think pieces that explore how different themes could potentially be reflected in a new framework.

The Task Team published a second report on “A Renewed Global Partnership for Development” in March 2013. The report provides recommendations on key dimensions and a potential format for a global partnership in the post-2015 era. It advises that the partnership should include universal commitments calling for actions from all countries, according to their national capabilities. It should build on existing commitments such as those reflected in the MDGs, the Monterey Consensus and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, but must also be broadened and strengthened to address the large array of global challenges we face today.

At the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, an inclusive inter-governmental process was initiated to prepare a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The outcome document, “The Future We Want”, called for the creation of an inter-governmental Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals to develop a proposal for consideration by the General Assembly. The Group, which started work in January 2013, will submit its report in September 2013 to the 68th Session on UN General Assembly. The report will contain a proposal for SDGs for consideration and appropriate action.

In July 2012, the Secretary-General launched a High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons to advise him on the global development agenda beyond 2015. The Panel, chaired by the Presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the Prime Minister of the UK, includes representatives from the private sector, academia, civil society and local authorities.

On 30 May 2013, after a number of meetings in New York, London, Monrovia and Bali, the High-Level Panel made public its recommendations in a report entitled “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development”.

In addition to the work of the above bodies, global thematic consultations as well as regional and national consultations on a post-2015 development agenda are underway. The consultations generate inputs into global policy making from individuals and groups in 100 countries through meetings and conferences, online discussions and larger public debates.

At the 68th General Assembly in September 2013 in New York, a special event will be held to follow up on efforts made towards achieving the MDGs. Furthermore, the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals is expected to give a progress report, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his vision for post-2015 development based on the work of the High-Level Panel. There is broad agreement on the need to arrive at one global development agenda for the post-2015 period, with sustainable development at its core.

Intergovernmental negotiations in the UN General Assembly on post-2015 are scheduled to take place in 2015.

Post-2015 Agenda and the UK National Committee for UN Women

Through various partnerships, the UK National Committee for UN Women is strongly advocating for a stand-alone gender equality and women’s empowerment goal. In addition, we believe that gender equality must be addressed throughout the Post-2015 development agenda, including through the use of sex-disaggregated data and indicators that fully account for gender gaps.

The post-2015 global development agenda offers a real opportunity to drive lasting change for women’s rights, equality and empowerment. To make greater progress, the UK National Committee for UN Women strongly advocates for a stand-alone goal to achieve gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment. We believe that the following three areas require urgent action:

  • Violence against women and girls must end.
  • Equal opportunities, resources and responsibilities must be provided to realise equality. These include equal access to land and credit, natural resources, education, health services including sexual and reproductive health, decent work and equal pay.
  • Women’s voices must be heard. It is time for women to participate equally in decision making in the household, the private sector and institutions of governance.

A strong global goal can be a crucial factor in rejecting violence and discrimination against women and girls, and unleashing the full potential of half the world’s population. The UK National Committee for UN Women actively participates in the post-2015 development agenda work in the UK. Through various partnerships, we work with government entities and non-governmental organisations, raising awareness and advocating for women to be moved from the sidelines to the centre in the post-2015 agenda.

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