Comment on the post-2015 HLP report
Posted on 8 June 2013
CSOs disappointed with report's failures, shortcomings
Civil Society groups have responded to the long awaited release of the UN High Level Panel’s report to the UN Secretary General on the post 2015 development framework with disappointment. While the report aspires to eradicate extreme poverty and promote sustainable development it has failed to put forward meaningful recommendations or targets that would challenge the economic systems that fuel inequalities and environmental degradation according to diverse civil society groups from around the world.
“The report says a lot about inequality but it says nothing that would actually redress the gross concentration of wealth, resources or power that is at the heart of poverty, injustice and environmental ruin today” said Paul Quintos of IBON International. Indeed there is no single mention of the word “redistribution” or “redistributive” in the 81-page document. “Instead it simply promotes more of the same – more economic growth driven by private sector investment, and even goes as far as to promote the WTO which has been discredited as a vehicle to protect multi-nationals” he added. “These strategies are great for billionaires but not good for workers dying in factories, not good for indigenous people forced from their lands to ensure the profits of mining companies, not good for migrant domestic workers working endless hours without days off, wages or protection”
“The absence of an absolute commitment to achieve decent work for all is a serious omission” said Sharan Burrow, Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation. “Setting a goal to bring the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day to zero is simply not enough. This is what Bangladeshi workers producing garments for global markets are paid today, as are construction workers building skyscrapers and football stadiums in Gulf countries and agricultural workers producing for global food corporations,” she noted. “Job creation, worker’s rights, social protection and social dialogue cannot be seen as too lofty an ambition for developing countries. This is discriminatory and an acceptance of exploitation”, she concluded.
The report includes a stand-alone goal on gender equality, which many women’s organisations hoped for, and sets a target for universal sexual and reproductive health and rights but is still criticised by women’s groups.
“While it’s pleasing to see the stand-alone goal and the inclusion of sexual and reproductive rights, we’re disappointed that the report fails to address the fundamental economic inequalities that exist between countries, between rich and poor as well as between men and women” said Kate Lappin of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. “We hoped to see meaningful goals that would ensure women domestic workers a living wage, that would send a clear message about land-grabbing and forced evictions of women and that would ensure that governments take concrete steps like cutting military spending and increasing spending on universal social services” she said.
Civil society also expressed concern that the report sets no concrete targets to address climate change. “They have included a target of staying below 2c warming but there is no obligation