The Post - 2015 Agenda
ACORD's leading role in ensuring that citizens' voices are heard in the global post 2015 agenda process
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ACORD's leading role in the post-2015 agenda commenced with our decision to take an active role in developing a road map for the successor framework on the African continent and beyond...
In 2012 and 2013, ACORD continued to consolidate its ties with Pan African and global civil society organisations (CSOs) and like-minded partners. An important emerging area of work was the post 2015 development agenda. To this effect, ACORD facilitated the creation a Pan African ‘think Tank' group composed of CSOs and some UN agencies; notably FEMNET, Oxfam, Action Aid International, Plan International, YMCA, United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, just to mention a few. The purpose of the ‘think tank group was to meet on a monthly basis to consult and to discuss issues that will define a post 2015 framework for a ‘future we want for Africa'. Through 2012, ACORD co-hosted several strategic post 2015 process meetings, starting with the Dakar CSO side event in preparation for the Rio+20 Summit (April 2012), a meeting by the ACORD-led delegation with President Sirleaf (newly appointed co-Chair of the High Level Panel) in Monrovia (July 2012) and culminating in the Monrovia CSO Forum in October 2012, where ACORD in the presence of over 100 African CSOs offered an African CSO Secretariat to President Sirleaf, to support her and her government and UN led Secretariat in ensuring that issues of CSOs and the voices of the ordinary citizens were prioritized in the post 2015 framework.
Salina Sanou (centre in red), ACORD Head of Policy and Advocacy, and partner organisations' representatives, with President Sirleaf who just accepted the establishment of an Africa CSO Secretariat, in Monrovia, Liberia.
Following the acceptance of a CSO led Secretarriat by President Sirleaf, ACORD led the identification, appointment and on-going management of the CSO representative. In this role this person became the official Head of the African CSO Secretariat and also assumed the role of the Head of the Africa CSO Working Group, a group constituted in preparation of the CSO outreach activities for the Monrovia and Bali HLP meetings in January and March 2013 respectively. To ensure that the process does not become purely UN and in anticipation of the shortfall in consultations at grassroots' level by the HLP, ACORD conducted online CSO consultations and community level grassroots consultations in the countries where it works, seeking to hear from the African CSOs and grassroots what the hopes and aspirations of citizens are, learn about the realities they face, and detail the changes they want to see. The analysis of the data from these consultations will be finalized soon.
For the African continent, ACORD and African CSO partners advocated for a post 2015 agenda process that is strongly informed by African voices and experiences. ACORD and partners have also advocated for civic driven change (CDC) as the best methodology for the inclusion of citizen's voices in the post 2015 agenda process. Given ACORD's credibility of working with the most marginalized and hard to reach communities on the continent, ACORD assumed a leadership role and provided intellectual leadership to approximately 300 African CSOs working on the post 2015 agenda process.
Our role at the upcoming Monrovia HLP meeting.
ACORD's Executive Director, Mr. Ousainou Ngum talks about ACORD's role in the 3rd High Level Panel meeting on the Post 2015 to be held in Monrovia, Liberia from 30th January to 2nd Febuary 2013.
A new development agenda post-2015: active consultations
As the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, the path to the development of a post 2015 framework is made up of multiple processes which aim to ensure that the successor to the MDGs is borne out of inclusive discussions and consultations - particularly with civil society and those who should benefit most from a post 2015 framework.
The UN Secretary General has appointed a 27 member High Level Panel, of which five are drawn from the African continent, and one of the three co-chairs is President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia. A UN Task Team has produced a report on behalf of the Secretary General to guide the global consultation process in terms of content. Up to 70 countries have so far committed to conducting inclusive and multi stakeholder consultations, of which 24 are African.
In addition to the national consultations, global consultations have also been launched in eleven thematic areas. One of these thematic consultations - Governance - will be hosted by the Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg in March 2013.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa has launched regional consultations, in partnership with the African Union, the African Development Bank and UNDP, involving multiple stakeholders. Civil society organizations - both indigenous and resident international organizations - have held a number of regional and Pan African meetings, including a three-day meeting in Monrovia organised in collaboration with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's support secretariat.
The African Union, Economic Commission for Africa and African Development Bank have been working with UNEP and UNDP to support the development of an African consensus position on climate and development building on the common negotiating positions for the UN climate negotiations as well as on sustainable development for Rio+20. The Africa Climate Policy Centre has played a key role in this venture.
In addition to these Pan African efforts, a global survey seeking to reach out to at least 2 million people on their priorities for a post-2015 agenda is being rolled out by ODI, UNDP, the UN Millennium Campaign, the worldwide foundation and others. Side by side the post-2015 process is the "Open Working Group", an inter-governmental expert group being set up in New York to pursue discussions on the sustainable development goals.
ACORD and other African and international CSOs think that there could be the danger that these multiple consultations can end up with a result inadvertently similar to the MDGs - a list of goals and targets not bound together by a coherent narrative, which is consistent with the challenges of African development and aspirations of African people in the context of Africa's place in the world at the current moment. Failure to do so could lead to a disconnect between post-2015 goals and national regional and continental aspirations and strategies leading to tensions of implementation as initially observed with the introduction of the MDGs in the early 2000s.
An African CSO Secretariat is born
ACORD and other leading Pan-African actors share
the desire that Africa should not only participate, but be amongst the key
architects of the post 2015 agenda. There is the wish that Africa should largely be
responsible for shaping the post 2015 agenda and bring out the needs of the
grassroots and citizens themselves. For this to happen, ACORD and its partners have been actively involved in various consultative processes and lobbying actions at the highest level, and succeeded in mobilising Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who strongly supported the need for an African Civil Society Voice to emerge and propose concrete recommendations, based on inclusive participation.
A Monrovia Africa CSO Forum held in October 2012 concluded with President Sirleaf accepting to host an African CSO Secretariat wihin her office. This Africa CSO secretariat aims to facilitate African Civil Society's entry into high level spaces and optimally contribute to strategic documents and processes of the Post 2015 consultations.
ACORD and African Monitor, two Pan African civil society organisations actively working for social justice and bringing citizen voices to the development agenda, are jointly providing leadership to the Africa CSO Secretariat.
Video: The 6 major dynamics that influence our approach
ACORD's Executive Director, Mr. Ousainou Ngum highlights the key directions that significantly influence the approach and ultimately the outcomes of the Post-2015 process.
"One of the key drives that we have pushed forward as a methodology is to ensure that we find a seat at the table, to be able to concretely contribute to the consultation processes" - Ousainou Ngum.