Getting ready for the next round
The Eminent Persons on the High Level Panel (HLP) on post-2015 development, supported by their advisers and the UN HLP secretariat, are currently preparing for their next meeting in Monrovia, Liberia. Preliminary dates are 6-8 February 2013 but it might be moved forward because of diary clashes between the Heads of State co-chairing the Panel.
After focusing on household and individual poverty at the HLP meeting in London, the Monrovia meeting will look at national level issues. The overarching topic will be along the lines of economic transformation, including structural barriers, sustainable and equitable growth, responsible investment by the private sector, and conflict and fragile states. This agenda overlaps with the recent reports and debates on post-2015 in the African Union and UNECA.
After that, at the meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in March 2013, the Panel will review the first draft of the report and discuss global issues, including the global partnership for development, means of implementation, environmental sustainability, and common but differentiated responsibilities.
Civil Society engagement in Monrovia
In Monrovia, the Panel will continue the ‘tradition’ of a day of civil society interaction. This time it looks likely it will be the first day of the meeting where Panellists will have the opportunity to engage directly with different civil society constituencies. Initial plans suggest a series of events chaired by different Panel members. Some Panel members are already regulars in civil society engagement, such as Gunilla Carlsson from Sweden, Tawakel Karman from Yemen and Fulbert Gero Amoussouga from Benin. Other Panel members, like Graca Machel from South Africa and Betty Maina from Kenya, attend when their schedule permits but can be counted on to make a lively contribution. However, a pattern of absence at civil society events is also starting to crystallize, most notably that of the three co-chairs but also the Chinese and Brazilian Panellists.
For those who cannot make it to Monrovia, there will be the opportunity to input to another online consultation at www.worldwewant2015.org in advance of the meeting. UN NGLS have produced a synthesis of the first online consultation held before the London meeting, and the report also includes a summary of the civil society events.
The HLP report is starting to take shape
All of the HLP efforts will culminate in a report which will be published at the end of May. The report is mandated to recommend the vision and shape of a post-2015 development agenda that will help respond to the global challenges, building on the MDGs and with a view to ending poverty. To guide this task, the HLP has agreed 21 questions to frame their discussions. These should soon be made available to the public on www.worldwewant2015.org. The first 16 questions will be tackled in Monrovia and the rest will serve as preparation for Bali. At the same time, HLP members are making their own suggestions for content, structure and implementation of the post-2015 framework.
It seems the report is taking shape around the agreed vision of the Panel: to end poverty within their lifetime (which has come to mean for some by 2030). The co-chairs are aiming to have a concise, compelling document of 20 – 40 pages outlining their suggestions for the post-2015 framework. The report is likely to propose what should be kept from the current MDG framework, with some suggesting that infant mortality and nutrition are strong contenders, as well as where efforts need to be scaled up, such as gender equality and environmental sustainability. It will also include additional priority topics, such as equitable growth, employment and empowerment.
Furthermore, the HLP has been tasked to better understand principles to re-model global development cooperation, and are wrestling with how a global framework that requires all countries take action based on common but differentiated responsibilities could work in practice.
The lead author, Homi Kharas, has the momentous task to bring all of this together into one concise report that is ‘bold yet practical,’ ‘ambitious yet achievable.’ His team has recently been joined by Lysa John, formerly director of GCAP, to take charge of outreach. The end of this year and the start of 2013 will certainly be busy times for team and Panel members alike.