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Process Cluster 7- Post-2015 Process and the High Level Political Forum:

The Post-2015 Development Agenda process has been a complex and arduous journey.  It includes a number of other processes that are described in this report, but also some events that require a separate description.  As a result, this section of the report will detail a number of events within the larger post-2015 framework that are not necessarily part of a separate policy process, namely the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). 

 

The High Level Political Forum:

The HLPF is the body that is meant to oversee the implementation and review of the SDGs.  It was established at Rio+20 to replace the faltering and weak UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD).  The HLPF is a complex entity as it alternates between being under the auspices of the UNGA and ECOSOC.  Nevertheless, civil society is meant to play a prominent role in the HLPF and at both initial meetings of the body, the UN Advocacy Team was active.

At the last meeting of the HLPF in July 2014, which took place under the auspices of ECOSOC, there was a bit of a fight to make sure that civil society would continue to play a meaningful role in the monitoring and implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  A member of the All-India Catholic University Federation (AICUF), the Indian national movement of IMCS, was invited to speak at the closing of the HLPF and at an event happening at the same time, the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF).  Vivek D’Souza delivered the statement on behalf of the entire MGCY.   Now, the struggle to ensure a strong, participatory, and transparent HLPF continues and will likely continue into 2016.

President of the General Assembly Dialogues on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

PGA John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda sought to make civil society engagement a major part of his presidency.  As a result, he hosted a number of dialogues with Member States, the UN, and civil society as a way to gather inputs on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  The dialogues revolved around a number of key issues, like youth, women, water, sanitation, and other topics.  During the final dialogue, the High Level Stocktaking Event on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the MGCY was requested to deliver a statement on behalf of all of civil society.  The UN Advocacy Team took a leading role in drafting that statement, which was delivered by a young MGCY member from Brazil.  The statement  was well received by all in the audience and left a lasting impact on the PGA’s dialogue process.

Synthesis Report of the Secretary General on the Post-2015 Agenda

The release of the UNSG’s synthesis report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, entitled The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet , was a milestone in the post-2015 process.  It has helped to frame the negotiations and gave insights into how best to move forward on the overall agenda.  The UN Advocacy Team, as part of the MGCY, worked with the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth to submit additional inputs prior to the release of the report.

Process Cluster 8- Financing for Development:

The UN Advocacy Team is the only active MGCY organization to take a leading role in Financing for Development (FfD) process.  Although the topics can be quite complex, the team has been able to lead the youth conversation around financing the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  The team has connected with other major organizations, especially Catholic ones like CIDSE, as to help civil society organizations better organize their advocacy and FfD efforts.

The UN Advocacy Team took part in the meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts for Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF), a body organized in order to come up with a plan on how to best finance the sustainable development agenda.   The team formulated and delivered statements on behalf of the MGCY that focused on a number of issues, including illicit tax flows, transforming the global financial regime, ecological tax reform, the reformation of international financial institutions (IFIs), and a range of other topics.  At the moment, the team is preparing for several months of advocacy during the negotiations that will take place in preparation for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015.

Process Cluster 9- Disaster Risk Reduction:

It came as a surprise to most when the civil society modalities for the next World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), which will take place in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan, highlighted Major Groups as the primary vehicle for stakeholder engagement.  The WCDRR is meant to produce an update to the world’s disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategy, which was initially spelled out in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) in 2005.  Already, the MGCY has been actively contributing to the formulation of the HFA2.  The current zero draft has been highly influenced by the young people active in the DRR process through the MGCY.  The UN Advocacy Team, because of its leadership in the MGCY, has been assisting with the MGCY’s advocacy, primarily through capacity building and lobbying.

The UN Advocacy Team traveled to Geneva in November 2014 to participate in the Preparatory Committee of the next WCDRR in Sendai.  There, the team lead advocacy workshops during the youth forum that was hosted by the MGCY.  Over 40 young people were able to take the knowledge they gained from the UN Advocacy Team and other experienced activists to the Preparatory Committee at the UN in Geneva.  The team helped push MGCY and youth priorities through bilateral meetings with Member States and through statements delivered at the technical sessions of the Preparatory Committee.  The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the main UN body dealing with DRR, was key in helping the UN Advocacy Team travel to Geneva.

Now, as Member States prepare for the WCDRR in Japan, the UN Advocacy Team continues to support the DRR efforts of the MGCY through further engagement with UNISDR in New York and interested Member States.  The next Preparatory Committee will take place in March and the team hopes to travel to Japan to help prepare young people for the WCDRR through capacity building workshops at the children and youth pre-forum directly before the conference.  At the moment, informal negotiations are taking place in Geneva and the UN Advocacy Team continues to provide technical support to the MGCY remotely.

Process Cluster 10- HABITAT III:

HABITAT III, the next step in the UN’s global urban policy framework, will take place in Ecuador in 2016.  It is sad to say that the process is not going very smoothly.  At this point in the preparations (January 2015), the Secretariat has yet to formalize the modalities for civil society engagement.  As a result, the first session of the Preparatory Committee, which took place in New York on 17 - 18 September 2014, was not productive for NGOs.  For the most part, the HABITAT III Secretariat has ensured that the modalities for civil society engagement will take place through the Major Group structure.  As a result, the UN Advocacy Team, with partners in the MGCY, attended the first Preparatory Committee and helped prepare and deliver a statement on behalf of the MGCY.   This statement drew on MGCY positions from the OWG that dealt mainly with sustainable urbanization and housing. 

Over and above the work done with the MGCY, the team also lead the advocacy efforts on behalf of ICMYO.  As the ICMYO UN Liaison, the UN Advocacy Team submitted the position of ICMYO on the HABITAT III process.   These positions revolve mainly around youth participation and on the further development of HABITAT’s Youth 21 initiative.  Because of the direct work of the team on Youth 21 with HABITAT’s Youth Unit, the team was strategically placed during the Preparatory Committee to continue to lobby HABITAT and other interested stakeholders to make sure that there is renewed energy around Youth 21 and its call for the establishment of a UN Permanent Forum on Youth.

 

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