No equality, no post-2015 development – UN experts

    The United Nations headquarters in New York city. Photo by: Steve and Sara Emry / CC BY-NC-SA

    The post-MDGs framework should have a standalone goal on equality, a team of United Nations experts says as an intergovernmental advisory body on the next global development agenda meets this week in New York.

    The panel, tasked by the U.N. Human Rights Council to recommend priorities to include in the post-2015 agenda, warned on Tuesday that the absence of a standalone, cross-cutting goal on equality in the agenda could mean a repeat of the mistakes it noted were committed under the MDGs framework.

    In a statement, the team explained that one weakness detected in the MDGs was their “blindness” to the issue of inequality and thus to the most marginalized members of society, which will remain until the current framework expires on December 31, 2015.

    “A global goal and targets dedicated to eliminating inequalities will draw attention to the most marginalized groups and individuals, create incentives to end discrimination, trigger the creation of more precise data and adjust development aims to better respond to the reality on the ground,” the panel added.

    The U.N. experts announced their recommendations ahead of the third session of the U.N. Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals to be held on May 22-24 in New York. The group is one of the two advisory bodies tasked by the United Nations to outline guidelines for the post-2015 agenda.

    Among these recommendations are:

    1. The post-2015 agenda should incorporate equality as a stand-alone and cross-cutting goal, aiming to progressively eliminate disparities within and between the most marginalized groups and the general population as well as between countries in order to achieve more inclusive forms of development.

    2. The post-2015 agenda should include a goal on the provision of social protection floors, explicitly referencing the right to social security and a human rights-based approach to social protection.

    3. Accountability must be at the core of the post-2015 development framework. A double accountability mechanism, whereby accountability mechanisms are developed at both national and international levels, should be established.

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    About the author

    • Johanna Morden

      Johanna Morden is a community development worker by training and a global development journalist by profession. As a former Devex staff writer based in Manila, she covered the Asian Development Bank as well as Asia-Pacific's aid community at large. Johanna has written for a variety of international publications, covering social issues, disasters, government, ICT, business, and the law.