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IBON International Statement for the First session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing

The Campaign for People’s Goals (CPG) recently posted on its website (www.peoplesgoals.org) a detailed point-by-point response to the Official Report of the High Level Panel (HLP) on Post-2015. Key points of the CPG critique are summarized here.

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.

Civil-society organisations (CSOs) deserve more say in global-governance matters. In particular, CSOs from developing countries tend to be marginalised in international affairs. IBON International, a Manila-based international NGO, wants to make a difference. It specialises in capacity building for grassroots movements in the Global South – and has launched a campaign for “People’s goals”.

As the intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) meets this week in New York to discuss food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification and land degradation, the Campaign on People’s Goals for Sustainable Development calls the OWG's attention to the alarming impacts of neoliberal policies on agriculture and on peoples’ food sovereignty.

Asia has achieved remarkable economic growth, but is leaving hundreds of millions still mired in poverty, thus causing a widening gap between rich and poor and undermining the basis of growth itself. The Asian Development Bank is moving to address this worsening poverty and inequality through its core agenda "Development through Empowerment." Underlying this agenda, however, remains the ADB's market fundamentalism and a spin on "good governance" that remains anchored on private sector dominance, and which perpetuates the same policy imperatives that violate the basic human rights of poor people in the region.

An op-ed article written by IBON International/Campaign for People's Goals on Sustainable Development has been published in the Guardian. The article challenges the status quo of the post-2015 development agenda, in which civil society's meaningful participation is at risk.

In the face of Doha's failure and worsening climate change impacts, social movements, civil society and communities in the North and the South must reinvigorate efforts to organize and mobilize people, resist false solutions, resist operations of big business that contribute to climate change, build alternative systems, and set the world on the path to sustainability from the ground up.

The US often projects a self-ascribed role of acting for the benefit of others in the world. At COP18 it, along with the EU, must move beyond a concern for its interests alone, and live up to its obligation to act for the other people inhabiting this planet. The world’s richest have both the responsibility and power to breath life into a process they have done much to stall – at the expense of the world’s poorest. If they do not, then the cost, which will be measured in human lives, will be on their shoulders.

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