World leaders renew commitment to achieve MDGs and call for new summit to develop new global goals

On 25th September, Heads of State gathered in New York to produce an agreement on the need to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and outlined a roadmap for a new process to develop a single set of global goals as a successor framework to the MDGs, culminating in a summit of world leaders in 2015.

Farooq Ullah, Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future said: We warmly welcome the outcome of this special event. It represents both the commitment to the moral imperative of achieving the MDGs and bettering the lives of millions of people, while at the same time undertaking proper planning for what must come next. Furthermore, this agreement is an important, further step towards converging the two tracks of the post-MDG development agenda and the Rio+20 process for developing universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ullah went on to add thatgovernments now must ensure that the process going forward is as inclusive, transparent and participatory as possible.

In particular, the outcome document targets key areas where progress is either off-track or has stalled, including poverty and hunger, universal access to primary education, infant mortality, universal access to reproductive health, including maternal health, environmental sustainability and access to water and sanitation. Finding new ways to improve efforts in these areas will be key to the ongoing challenge of achieving sustainable development and reducing inequalities around the world.

Stakeholder Forum is heartened by the acknowledgement of the ‘central role of a strengthened global partnership for development,’ and reaffirmation of the ‘importance of promoting human rights, good governance, the rule of law, transparency and accountability at all levels.’

Stakeholder Forum also welcomes the global call to ‘reinforce the international community's commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development.’ We believe that sustainable development is the overarching concept through which all actors – government, stakeholders and private sector – can be brought together to tackle the world’s most pressing problems and put humanity on new pathways to inclusive and fair development within planetary boundaries.

Procedurally, Stakeholder Forum is pleased to see formal acknowledgement of a new summit in September 2015, which will lead to the adoption of a single post-2015 development agenda with a single set of global goals, both of which have sustainable development at their heart and poverty eradication as their aim. Echoing the world leaders, Stakeholder Forum will also ‘look forward to a transparent intergovernmental process which will include inputs from all stakeholders, including civil society, scientific and knowledge institutions, parliaments, local authorities, and the private sector.’

We must ensure that an open and inclusive process is realised, as this will result in better informed and more thoroughly deliberated decisions being taken. It also means that all stakeholders will therefore take greater ownership of its outcome and subsequently be active in the delivery of policy on the ground, optimally in partnership with governments and other stakeholders.

Therefore, we call on the President of the General Assembly to both ensure that all stakeholders are consulted in the new ‘organisational modalities for the Summit,’ and that these modalities themselves are open, transparent and inclusive.

For the first time in humanity’s history, we have the tools to truly eradicate poverty. Meeting this challenge is an obligation for us all. However, we will not succeed in this challenge and in creating a sustainable future if we do not act together.