CAFOD has written a discussion paper on potential scenarios for 2015. Download it here and share your thinking in the comments section below >> What if Scenario Planning discussion paper
Negotiations across three processes at the UN are now in full swing. 2015 was always going to be a busy year for multilateralism, with the Financing for Development conference in July, the Post-2015 Summit in September, and the UNFCCC COP 21 in December. Big outstanding questions remain on how this year is going to deliver ambition across multiple fronts.
The Beyond 2015 global Executive Committee recently met on the fringes of the World Social Forum in Tunisia. While Beyond 2015 has a decentralised structure which allows national and regional groups to be independent, the global Executive Committee has the responsibility of giving guidance to the campaign and setting long-term strategy.
To help us navigate the final phase of the post-2015 process from January to September, I’ve pulled together a set of four ‘scenarios’ to stimulate thinking. These scenarios are not intended to be an exact template of how events will unfold this year, but to encourage discussion on risks and opportunities, and to help us think about what actions we need to take to respond effectively.
Download the paper here >> What if Scenario Planning discussion paper
The four scenarios are:
- ‘The Train Wreck’ – in this scenario, no goals are agreed, meaning there is nothing to implement. This represents failure for the UN system and has profoundly negative results for UN-led multilateralism. While this scenario is plausible, it is unlikely due to the amount of political capital invested in the post-2015 process by member states and the UN. However, COP15 in 2009 shows that political investment does not necessarily result in agreement.
- ‘The Paper Agreement’ – this situation sees a potentially ‘transformative’ package of goals agreed but lacks strong ownership, with weak implementation and accountability mechanisms resulting in little impact. This scenario is probable but undesirable as it delivers no real change.
- ‘Business As Usual’ – in this scenario, a mediocre set of goals and targets are agreed, representing an ‘MDG+’ agenda, with mixed implementation and accountability mechanisms. Some member states take up the challenge but overall progress is patchy. This scenario is also highly probable, based on analysis of current trends.
- ‘A Transformative Agenda’ – in the ideal scenario, ambitious goals are underpinned by strong implementation and accountability mechanisms. While this is by far the most preferable option, it will be the most challenging to achieve.
It would be great to hear your opinion on this. Do you think that these four scenarios are the right ones or is something vital missing? What do you think are the most important factors that will shape outcomes from the UN this year? Are there any other ‘wildcards’ that could substantially change the landscape over the next 6 months? What actions should civil society and other stakeholders take to ensure the best outcome possible? Please comment below or speak to me on twitter @nevafreche.