Reflection Paper on Universal Sustainability Goals for a Post-2015 Agenda

Members of the Reflection Group, of which Social Watch is part, launched a draft Reflection Paper on Universal Sustainability Goals for a Post-2015 Agenda prepared as a contribution to the Civil Society Conference on the Post-2015 Agenda that started this week in Bonn.

The paper pointed that the debates on an agenda for international co-operation and development beyond 2015 offer the opportunity to (re-)address in a holistic man­ner well-being and justice in societies. Given the economic, social and ecological challenges in the world, this is urgently needed.

On the other hand, the present framework of international devel­opment goals centering on the MDGs and the related strategies do not provide adequate answers to the global problems, be they accelerated global warming, the growing gap between rich and poor, the financialization of the world economy or the disrespect for human rights.

Given these problems the group demands for changes in the economic and social systems. A development agenda focusing only on poor countries and not on the rich ones is inadequate.

This does not mean such an agenda should pre­scribe top-down identical goals, responsibilities and political recipes following a one-size-fits-all approach. A future development agenda ought to be based on common principles providing for a differentiation of countries according to their economic performance, social needs and ecologi­cal responsibilities. Similarly, the agenda ought to contain a differentiated catalogue of political com­mitments. Embedded between the general prin­ciples and the political implementation measures, Universal Sustainability Goals would be an essen­tial albeit one element of the Post-2015 Agenda.

The discussions about any Post-2015 Agenda must address the structural obstacles and political bar­riers that prevented the realization of the MDGs.Without an honest assessment of these obstacles and barriers any so called “new” development goals will remain a paper tiger.

See the paper: Towards a Framework of Universal Sustainability Goals as part of a Post-2015 Agenda