UN Under-Secretary-General in Brussels to discuss post-2015 agenda

Jan 22, 2013

Under-Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan visited Brussels to participate in post-2015 discussion. Photo: UNDP Brussels/Sari Bjornholm

Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under-Secretary General and Associate Administrator of UNDP, is in Brussels to participate at the public hearing on MDGs and beyond 2015 at the European Parliament.

Since they were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals have made a huge difference, helping to set global and national priorities and fuel action on the ground. They have raised awareness and shaped a broad vision that remains the overarching framework for development work across the world.

The UN development framework for the period after 2015 will build on the progress achieved through the MDGs while confronting persistent inequalities and new challenges facing people and the planet.

On the question what she believes to be key lessons learned from MDGs to be taken into account in determining the post-2015 agenda, Rebeca Grynspan summarizes: “ownership, gender equality and an accountability framework that allows monitoring and measurability”.

“The first thing that we learned is that country ownership is essential. You can’t achieve the MDGs unless you have the commitment of the country, of the society, and of the government. The second lesson is that gender equality is essential across the board to achieve the MDGs. The third one is that part of what has made the MDGs successful is precisely that they are measurable and that there is an accountability framework. Those three things should at least be carried out in the post-2015 agenda”, says Rebeca Grynspan.

One of the important challenges for the post-2015 agenda that Rebeca Grynspan identifies is tackling inequalities.  “We have learned from the MDGs that we can achieve a goal on average - but many groups and parts of the population are left behind. So the inequalities agenda needs to feature very strongly”.

She acknowledges the role of the EU-UN partnership as being important. “The EU has been a wonderful partner in the MDG-agenda and in the development cooperation agenda”, she says. “We need the EU to maintain that course”, she continues. Especially in the context of pushing the inequalities agenda she sees a role for the EU-UN partnership. “I believe that the role of the EU will be essential, and we count on EU-support”, says Rebeca Grynspan.

The EU is playing an important part in the post-2015 consultations. For example, the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, is part of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015, which includes members from civil society and private sector in addition to government leaders. The Panel is working to prepare a bold yet practical development vision to present to the Secretary-General in May 2013.

Another example of the EU engagement is the succesful organization on 22 January 2013 by the European Parliament of a Public Hearing called "Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015: A Strong EU Engagement"on the post-2015 development agenda, at which Rebeca Grynspan participated.

Meanwhile, the UN is working to ensure that as many people as possible are involved in the post-2015 discussion. For example, national consultations capturing development priorities are underway in 66 member states, and the UN works with governments to expand the list of countries to 100, according to representatives of  UNDP, UN Women, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The consultations are part of an unprecedented global consultation which aims to build consensus between people, communities, cities, countries and stakeholders such as people with disabilities or youth - groups that usually don’t participate in multilateral negotiations - on what are in their view key development priorities.

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