We welcome the latest draft of the Outcome Document for the UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and highly commend the efforts of the co-facilitators who have made a number of positive changes in the new text.
Below we highlight the top five priorities from children and youth, as we move into the final stage of the intergovernmental negotiations. Further in the document are specific recommendations to amend the text. Representatives of the MGCY are in New York, and happy to talk through changes and recommendations.
PRIORITIES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH:
PLANETARY BOUNDARIES AND THRESHOLDS. In several of our statements at the Intergovernmental Negotiations we have stated that there is a need for the mention of specific language such as “Moving Beyond Growth” and “Planetary Boundaries” or “Safe Operating Space.” We are pleased to see to introduction of ‘measurements of progress beyond GDP’ in paragraph 43. We remain deeply disappointed that much stronger language recognising planetary boundaries, and the need to operate within a safe operating space have still not been taken forward in this draft. Paragraphs, 6, 13-16, 25 and 27 are instances where this language could be used. This has been mentioned in the SG’s synthesis report, the SG scientific advisory board, and the chair’s summary from UN ESCAP- “Regional Implementation Meeting of the Rio+20 Outcomes” to which no member state objected after a whole session on suggesting edits.
SEXUAL & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & RIGHTS, GENDER, & SEXUALITY. We welcome the addition of “age” and “other status” being protected against discrimination. we still feel gender equality needs to be incorporated much better in the final text. The costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of the investments required to fulfill gender equality. These investments have multiple high payoffs that will bolster poverty eradication and drive inclusive sustainable development. Therefore, we recommend it is explicitly mentioned that governments should maximize the fiscal space for health spending, including for SRHR and remove financial barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services, as well as regulate private sector financing for the provision of sexual and reproductive health services. Paragraphs 3, 18, 19, 23, 24 and 41 are places where we feel this is appropriate. Incorporating these changes would reflect the mention of gender equality in the preamble as well as inclusions throughout the goals and targets. Also, specific reference to sexual orientation and those with diverse gender identities should be made at some point throughout the introduction of the declaration as they are one of the most vulnerable sectors of society and deserve to be addressed in gender equality priorities.
CHILDREN & YOUTH PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT. We are pleased to see further references to children and youth in the updated draft. We feel the positive and active references to children and youth participation, should be strengthened by including language around the need to support their engagement with resources and funding, in paragraph 23. Without these references, the inclusions risk remaining tokenistic. Social participation is also crucial for Sustainable Development and it is poorly mentioned in the text preamble as well as it is not sufficiently included along the targets. We recommend the addition of a further “P” around Participation. Regarding social participation in the goals and targets, although it is mentioned in target 16.7 and indirectly in target 10.2 as “political inclusion” we think it would be appropriate to add and reinforce it along other targets, specifically in targets 1.b, 8.3, 13.b, 17.14, as it was done in targets 5.5, 6.b and 11.3.
CHILDREN, YOUTH & MAJOR GROUPS IN FOLLOW-UP & REVIEW. This is an important place to reinforce that we need accountability mechanisms that include legally mandated, well-resourced and specifically designated measures for meaningful and effective youth participation in monitoring and review, including in the HLPF, including reference to Major Group structures – We include language suggestions in 57.a & 57.b. Specific reference to citizen- and youth-led accountability mechanisms still lacking, including commitment to provide capacity building for this. We call for “peer-review” to be reinserted, instead of peer-learning in paragraph 62. We also want to make it extremely clear that every partnership for sustainable development should go through a community-based assessment for determining its social, ecological and economic impacts. Tied with this we put forward that national and sub-national level reviews should be the cornerstone of accountability for the Post-2015 Agenda. They should have institutionalized mechanisms for inclusive, meaningful and effective participation of civil society organizations, major groups and other constituencies, especially youth and young people. Paragraph 12 of the FuR section of the declaration is the best place to be able to emphasise this.
DATA DISAGGREGATION. A central issue with regards to FuR that we have emphasised has been about proper disaggregation of data based on age. Whilst it is good that the zero-draft does make reference to the need for disaggregation based on age amongst other things, we feel the need to emphasise the importance of splitting this up further when it comes to issues focused on youth. Omnibus disaggregation should always include disaggregation of early childhood (0-4), childhood (5-9), adolescents (10-14), and young people (15-19, 20-24, 25-30) based on UN definition so that this will reflect the situation of those who are considered minors in their respective countries and identify the challenges that they face. Furthermore, all people-focussed targets should have global level indicators, disaggregated by age, in 5 year intervals. We call for the inclusion and recognition of citizen-generated data, in particular the role it can play in national and sub-national level reviews of progress, to bring marginalised voices and lived experiences into reporting and accountability cycles. We also call for further specific references for capacity building of civil society and people in the collection and use of data, beyond just the institutional capacities of NSOs in paragraphs 43 & 59.
The recommendations here build on all previous MGCY priorities and recommendation on the Zero Draft in June, previously shared: http://bit.ly/1Mfky0Z
More can be seen on our website www.childrenyouth.org
These are our specific text change recommendations:
PEOPLE: and secure the participation of all people and groups, including children [ADD: and young people], in the realization of the new Goals and targets.
[ADD: PARTICIPATION: We recognize that the meaningful, inclusive, effective and active participation of all stakeholders, particularly children, youth, women, girls and civil society, is critical for implementation, ownership, follow-up and accountability for the new agenda. Their engagement is a prerequisite to ensure that we leave no one behind, and that the new agenda is truly transformative.]
PARA 6: It will be implemented by all of us acting in genuine and lasting partnership. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty, [ADD: violence and injustice] in all its forms and to heal and secure our planet for future generations [ADD-While respecting planetary boundaries/thresholds] . We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path.
PARA 11: Spiraling conflict, violence and extremism, [ADD: including structural violence against women and girls], humanitarian crises and a growing migration challenge threaten to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades
PARA 22: Vulnerable [ADD: Marginalized] sections of the population who must be empowered, and whose needs are reflected in the goals and targets, include children, youth, persons with disabilities and older persons [ADD:, women and girls, people living with HIV/AIDS, people who experience different and intersecting forms of discrimination]
PARA 23: We commit to providing quality education at all levels – early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary. All people irrespective of gender, age, race or ethnicity, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, children and youth in vulnerable situations, [ADD:people who experience multiple and intersecting forms of stigma and discrimination] should have access to learning that helps them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society [ADD:including equal access to comprehensive sexuality education]. We will strive to provide children and youth with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities, including through supportive families, schools and stronger communities. [ADD: We recognize that the full realization of young people’s rights and capabilities also rests on the efforts we will make to ensure that young people are aware of their rights and empowered to claim them.]
PARA 24: We shall ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and [ADD: comprehensive sexuality] education, [ADD: and gender- and youth-friendly services.] We will equally accelerate the pace of progress made in fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases and epidemics, [ADD: while specifically addressing adolescents as a population group currently left behind in the global AIDS response.] At the same time we shall devote greater effort to tackling non-communicable diseases.
PARA 25: We will work to build dynamic, sustainable and people-centred economies, promoting [ADD: decent and inclusive] youth employment in particular and decent work for all. All countries stand to benefit from having a healthy and well-educated [ADD: population] workforce with the knowledge and skills needed for productive and fulfilling work and full participation in society.
PARA. 38: We recognize the role of the family as a contributor to sustainable development, one measure of success of the new Agenda will be its ability to strengthen families [ADD: and protect all children].
PARA 39: We also commit to promote [ADD: participatory processes that allow citizens and civil society to engage in follow-up and review of this Agenda, and to] scaling up substantially public-private cooperation to exploit the contribution to be made by a wide range of data, including geo-spatial information, in supporting and tracking progress.
PARA 40: This Partnership will work in a spirit of global solidarity, in particular solidarity with the poorest and with people in vulnerable situations. It will facilitate an intensive global engagement in support of implementation of the goals and targets, bringing together Governments, the private sector, civil society [ADD:, and citizens, including all marginalised groups], the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizing all available resources.
PARA 41: We emphasize more generally the critical importance of engaging all relevant stakeholders [ADD: especially children and youth] in implementation of the new Agenda.
PARA 43: We agree to intensify our efforts to strengthen statistical capacities in developing countries, particularly least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing states and other countries in special situations. [ADD: We further agree to ensure collaboration with civil society organizations to identify those groups of people, and issues of concern, that are not have not been yet being measured and are essential to ensure we leave no one behind].
PARA 46: What we are announcing today – an agenda for global action for the next fifteen years – is a charter for people and planet in the twenty-first century. [ADD: Children and] young [ADD: women and men] people, in particular, [ADD: are critical agents for change and] will find in the new Goals a platform to enable them to become positive agents for change and to channel their infinite capacities for activism into the creation of a better world. [ADD: Children’s and young people’s ability to be positive agents of change depends on the investments we are willing to make in their health, nutrition, education, safety, protection and well-being starting in early childhood through adolescence and young adulthood and thus ensuring that no child is left behind]
GOALS AND TARGETS
TARGET 1.b: Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on [ADD: participatory] pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
TARGET 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including [ADD: street harassment], trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
RATIONALE: Sexual harassment in public spaces should be added along with “trafficking and sexual exploitation” because is one of the most naturalized and legitimized forms of violence, present all around the world which has been made almost invisible throughout the years and must be discussed urgently since we are living in an increasingly urbanized world and it is one of the big problems of urban areas. Also, young girls and adolescents are the most vulnerable group.
TARGET 8.3: Promote [ADD: participatory] development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
TARGET 13.b: Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related [ADD: and participatory] planning and management in least developed countries, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities
FOLLOW-UP AND REVIEW
PARA 57: Follow-up and review processes shall be guided by the following principles:
a. They will be voluntary and country-owned, will take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and will respect national policies and priorities. As national ownership [ADD: people’s and civil society’s engagement are] is key to achieving sustainable development, outcomes from national-level processes will be the foundation for reviews at regional and global levels.
d. They will be open, inclusive and transparent, and support the [ADD: meaningful] participation of all people and all stakeholders [ADD: including UN Major Groups and persons with disabilities.]
Para 59: In order to ensure access to high-quality disaggregated data, support for developing countries, particularly African countries, LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs, to strengthen national statistical offices and data systems is critical. We will also promote scaling up public-private [ADD: civil society and the academia] cooperation [ADD: to benefit from the contribution to be made by a wide range of actors, while ensuring national ownership in supporting and tracking the progress.]
Para 62: Follow-up and review at the regional and sub-regional levels can, as appropriate, provide useful opportunities for peer [ADD: -review, shadow reporting] learning, sharing of best practices, cooperation on trans-boundary issues and discussion on shared targets.