In a new article released by Future United Nations Development System (FUNDS), Roberto Bissio, Social Watch Coordinator, analysis the post-2015 process and suggests what must be done to ensure the promises made will be fulfilled. Twenty-two independent UN human rights rapporteurs wrote to the Rio+20 Summit that “real risk exists that commitments made in Rio will remain empty promises without effective monitoring and accountability.” This danger also exists for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The absence of specific targets for monitoring and accountability implies specific consensus about next steps is missing. In fact, many of the targets are essentially impossible to assess quantitatively because they refer to concepts for which there are no indicators or no internationally agreed definition. Governments are primarily responsible to their own citizens through oversight bodies such as parliaments, and so it will be up to civil society to demand and promote regular reporting on national progress.

The United Nations General Assembly negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda have kicked off with Member States putting forward the broad contours of what they envision for the next 15 years of international development cooperation.

At the first of a series of meetings on 19-21 January at the UN headquarters in New York, the Group of 77 and China (G77) asserted that the post-2015 development agenda must be framed by guiding principles and international law, including that of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Rio Principles on Environment and Development.

In particular, the Group stressed, there must be recognition that the international community's pursuit of sustainable development must be based on common but differentiated responsibilities, and that poverty eradication is the ultimate imperative for sustainable development.

The change in the current development paradigm that the leaders of the world are going to approve next September will require bold reforms and policy shifts. Can they be accomplished without involving the Finance Ministers?

In a report submitted to the UN General Assembly (“the report”), the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Mr. Anand Grover (“the Rapporteur”) added his voice to the rising chorus of dissatisfaction with the role and performance of international investment agreements.

In Mr. Grover’s case the criticism was, as pertinent to his mandate, centered around the negative impacts of such treaties on the right to health. But his comments and criticism resonate strongly with the concerns that have led more than forty countries to be at the moment reviewing their processes for rule-making on investment or fully withdrawing from previously signed investment treaties.

The concept of Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSD) is being promoted as an alternative to the current Official Development Assistance (ODA). Is this going to put more money on the table or just a “creative accounting” way to meet the commitments made by developed countries without paying?

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