“The Future We Want” - National Consultation: a process towards Post-2015 Development Agenda

11 Mar 2013

The second round of consultations in China on the Post-2015 Development Agenda took place today in Beijing. Renata Dessallien, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Zhang Xiao’an, Vice President of the United Nations Association, and more than 100 representatives from social organizations, UN agencies and government agencies participated in the discussion to provide suggestions for the High-Level Panel convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as it considers a new global development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals after 2015.

This event complemented the first consultation which occurred on 5 December 2012 in Kunming, Yunnan Province. The discussions built upon six key focus areas identified by the December consultation: Poverty reduction and inclusive growth, environmental and green development policy, global health, women and children, education and international co-operation.

“It is hoped that from these six starting points a post-2015 development agenda will be devised that is action orientated, concise and easy to communicate… balanced and comprehensive… and emphasizing of inclusiveness,” said Dessallien. In pursuit of this the Beijing discussions were held from a bottom-up perspective that gave significant voice to the poor and other marginalized groups; three quarters of the participants were representatives of social organizations.

Ms. Dessallien reiterated Ban Ki-moon’s recent words at the opening of the consultation: “we cannot continue to burn and consume our way to prosperity while poverty and inequalities continue to increase, and it has become apparent that business as usual is not an option.”

In September 2000, heads of state and government from 189 countries reached a historic agreement on the Millennium Declaration, giving voice to shared values and an unequivocal commitment to halving world poverty by 2015. With little more than 1,000 days left before the Millennium Development Goals’ target date, the UN has begun a global discussion towards the formulation of a new development framework.

As part of the planning process, the UN is coordinating a broad consultative debate through national consultations in over 70 countries, as well as 11 thematic global consultations and a web-based interactive social network accessible to people from all over the world. Monday’s consultations were a chance for China to add its voice to this debate. Reflecting on China’s involvement with the MDGs thus far, Ms. Dessallien commented:

“China is one of the few countries likely to achieve most development goals. Since the year 2000, continuing economic growth and a range of national policies have allowed China to meet most MDGs, several ahead of time. Furthermore, with a fifth of the world’s population, China’s progress toward achieving the MDGs greatly facilitated the achievement of the MDGs globally.”

The output from this and December’s consultation will be presented to the High Level Panel, Secretary General and the Member States of the UN in the form of two summary reports with recommendations by mid-March and May 2013. The High-Level Panel in turn will have its conclusions presented to the UN General Assembly in September 2013 by the UN Secretary General. As the largest population and the second largest economy in the world, it is expected that China’s will be one that is heard.

The event was hosted by the United Nations System in China and the UN Association (UNA) of China, and supported by United Nations Development Programme and Ausaid.