The most recent step in the post-2015 negotiations was the 17-20 February debate in New York on the Declaration, meant to be the framework political statement. Despite strong emphasis on transformation and high aspiration, traditional lines were drawn between (mostly) Northern and Southern positions.

At the same time, the debate was rich and nuanced, reflecting the increasing diversity of developing country concerns and their willingness to engage substantively on issues that will be critical to transformation. The process continues to suggest there is historic potential for redressing some of the longstanding imbalances driving deep social and economic disparities, and the impending collision with planetary boundaries. The notion that post-2015 is supposed to universally apply to every country and person in the world is unprecedented—never before has there been a development agenda this broad in scope.

The UN Statistical Commission in New York meets at a moment when the global statistical community is at a “crossroads”.  As we shift towards the post-2015 development agenda there is a need for measurement, monitoring and speed. There appears to be pressure to adapt by moving away from traditional data collecting to using “Big Data”.

Big Data refers to “high volume, velocity and variety of data, which require new tools and methods to capture, curate, manage, and process them in an efficient way”. Currently, Big Data tends to be owned primarily by the private sector (e.g. banks, online retailers, search engines, cellphone providers etc). This information ranges from your financial details to who you call, what you search for online or what you click on. Big Data has a lot of potential to discover subtle patterns.  The private sector mine this data to make the customer’s experience better or tailor marketing to improve their business.

Over the past twenty years we have heard constantly that the world has the resources to address global development challenges such as poverty, environmental degradation, diseases and inequalities. However, despite the resources “being there” human development plans have been consistently underfunded.

Clearly, existing “trickle-down” and redistribution mechanisms are not being effective and will be woefully inadequate to fund the implementation of the universal SDGs agenda.

The phenomenon known as “Sinai Trafficking” started in 2009 in the Sinai desert and it involves the abduction, extortion, sale, torture, sexual violation and killing of men, women and children. Migrants, a majority of them Eritrean, are abducted and brought to the Sinai desert, where they are sold and resold, extorted for very high ransoms collected by mobile phone, while being brutally and “functionally” tortured to support the extortion. Many of them die in Sinai.

Developing countries need sufficient policy space in particular in the areas of trade, finance and industrial development if they are to meet the goals of the post-2015 development agenda, says the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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