I have the privilege of being the UN Foundation’s representative at the 4th meeting of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, taking place March 25-27 in Bali, Indonesia. While I’ve earned my fair share or ribbing from friends the past couple of weeks about going to Bali to fight global poverty, having seen the power of the Millennium Development Goals as a driver of advocacy and results, I know this meeting is incredibly important to our work and the future of development.
The President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is hosting the session in his role as co-Chair of the Panel along with President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK, and as the world descends on his country there is a lot at stake.
The theme of the meeting is global partnerships, the most potentially contentious out of the three selected themes — the other two being “household poverty” which was tackled in the UK and “national ownership” which was the theme for the most recent meeting in Liberia (the Panel’s first meeting in September was introductory and the last is scheduled for mid-May in New York as a wrap-up session to finalize the their report).
Global partnership means different things to different audiences; to the UN Foundation of course it connotes the collaborative platforms we’ve built to support the UN’s role in global problem-solving (keep watching this space for some lessons we’ve learned that Elizabeth Gore and I will be sharing…).
However, we don’t discount the importance of the more traditional partnership between developed and developing countries nor the concerns that some of these commitments have not been fulfilled.These concerns cut to the core of some of the most polarizing Member State politics at the UN.
As I recently heard the Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson say, Goal 8 must be part of the MDG acceleration agenda and the renewed effort the UN is leading as we approach the marker of the last 1000 days of the Millennium Development Goals on April 6 of this year. More financing is needed, and at the same time we need more intense focus on the other aspects of Goal 8 that we know are critical to catalyzing progress, such as cooperating with private sector actors to make essential drugs and new technologies more readily available.
We hope the Panel will also recognize the growing number of actors that are making a difference on the MDGs, some of the new partnership models that are emerging, and that some of the more transformative partnerships go beyond financial aid to include sharing technology, knowledge, and a common vision for what needs to be done.That’s why the UN Foundation, with its mission of connecting people, ideas and resources to the UN to solve global problems, will be eagerly watching what happens in Bali over the next few days.I look forward to being there and to sharing what I know will be some great ideas and I hope, a few breakthroughs in how we approach these critical issues!