Action now needed to deliver positive change in the lives of the poorest and most marginalised

Action now needed to deliver positive change in the lives of the poorest and most marginalised

Time for governments to listen to the people and start discussing a post-2015 framework which tackles the structural causes of poverty and injustice

The participating organisations of the Beyond 2015 campaign today acknowledged the endorsement of the road map for the creation of an inclusive post-2015 agenda by Heads of States during the UN General Assembly. The clear decision for a single framework and set of goals enables us all, civil society included, to work constructively towards transformation in the lives of the people who need it most – those experiencing the greatest poverty and vulnerability.

The commitment to a coherent approach which integrates poverty eradication, human rights, economic transformation, social justice and environmental stewardship, indicates the potential for transformational change in 2015. Central to this is the recognition of common but differentiated responsibilities in a universal agenda.

The inclusion of peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality, and human rights for all is critical. Evidence and experience since 2000 illustrates that neither eradication of poverty nor achievement of sustainable development is possible without these essential elements. However, the post-2015 agenda must radically transform the way in which the purpose of the economy is understood, so that it exists to serves people and planet.

Despite these positive signs, the tone of the debate in New York, reflected in the document endorsed today, lacks the ambition needed to make that change. For more than two years, civil society has been insisting that a post-2015 agenda must address the structural causes of poverty and injustice by tackling inequality, gender injustice, social exclusion and a skewed international financial system. This has to be based on human rights for all people.

An approach that fails to tackle the root causes of deprivation through quick-fix solutions will be neither effective, sustainable nor legitimate. Beyond 2015 Co-Chair Neva Frecheville said “Governments need to start listening to the people and to raise the level of ambition in order to ensure that no-one is left behind. Civil society around the world will not accept a framework which does not deal with the structural causes of poverty and injustice. The global community gets one chance for deep thought every twenty years - and this is it!”

International Alert's Senior Policy Advisor Chris Underwood commented: "This is a major milestone in redefining what development actually means. The UN General Assembly has today confirmed what we have known for a long time – you cannot achieve human progress if you do not build open, transparent and accountable governance, in which those who govern are held to account. The coming year will be critical and whether or not this progressive new agenda which holds the prospect of delivering for the 1.5 billion poorest people in the world, who live in the shadow of armed violence and have achieved least from the Millenium Development Goals, survives the hard bargaining among governments between now and 2015.”

Notes for editor

  • Beyond 2015 is a global civil society campaign, pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals. International Alert is a member of the Steering Group for Beyond 2015. The campaign is built on a diverse, global base and brings together around 800 organisations from over the world. It ranges from small community based organisations to international NGOs, academics and trade unions. A founding principle of the campaign is that it is a partnership between civil society organisations from the ‘North’ and the ‘South’ – bringing together groups from developing, emerging and developed economies.
  • International Alert recently launched a discussion paper on this issue: Post-2015: Business as usual is not an option - Peacebuilding, statebuilding and sustainable development
  • According to the World Bank's 2011 World Development Report, 1.5 billion people and 50% of the world’s poor live in parts of the world that are threatened by armed violence.

For further details or interviews contact Ilaria Bianchi on ibianchi@international-alert.org or +44(0)7910255256.