As the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, engaged debate continues on the content and form of the post-2015 development agenda and accountability framework. In January 2012, the UN Secretary-General established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, co-chaired by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and UNDP, to coordinate system-wide preparations for a new development framework in consultation with all stakeholders.
Its first report — Realizing the Future We Want for All — was delivered to the Secretary-General in June 2012 and disseminated widely in preparation for the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The report provides the main findings and recommendations based on the expertise of senior experts designated by the Principals of over 50 UN system entities and other international organizations. A “think piece” on health in the post-2015 development agenda, prepared by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and UNAIDS, was used as an input.
In July 2012, the UN Secretary-General convened the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to advise on the global development framework beyond 2015. The Panel is co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and it includes leaders from civil society, the private sector, and government
Realizing the Future We Want for All is being used to help frame the work of the Panel, which will submit its report to the UN Secretary-General in the second quarter of 2013.
In addition, the UN Development Group is leading efforts to catalyze a “global conversation” on the post-2015 agenda through national consultations in around 100 low- and middle-income countries, six regional consultations, and 11 global thematic consultations. The aim of these consultations is to bring together a broad range of stakeholders to review progress on the MDGs and to discuss the options for a post-2015 framework. The 11 thematic consultations deal with topics that have been identified by the UN System Task Team as being particularly important to the discussions: inequalities, governance, health, environmental sustainability, population dynamics, water, growth and development, conflict and fragility, food security and nutrition, education, and energy.
For each thematic area, selected UN organizations are leading the preparation and planning of the consultations in partnership with one or two governments in order to ensure Member State leadership and involvement as well as overall steering.
The Task Team for the Global Thematic Consultation on Health is co-led by WHO and UNICEF, in collaboration with the Governments of Botswana and Sweden, supported by a small secretariat and a UN interagency group that includes OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDESA, UNDP, and UNFPA.
The objectives for the health thematic consultation are:
• to stimulate wide-ranging discussion at global, regional, and country levels on progress made and lessons learnt from the MDGs relating to health;
• to discuss and develop a shared understanding among Member States, UN agencies, civil society, and other stakeholders on the positioning of health in the post-2015 development framework;
• to propose health goals and related targets and indicators for the post-2015 development agenda, as well as approaches for implementation, measurement, and monitoring.
About this report
In line with these objectives, the purpose of this report is to present a summary of the main themes and messages that have emerged from the consultation and to make recommendations to inform the deliberations of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons and the UN Secretary-General’s report to the General Assembly.
Chapter 1 captures in more detail the depth and breadth of the analyses and proposals in the more than 100 papers and meeting reports that were submitted to the consultation; all the inputs and a digest summarizing the papers are available from this link.
Chapter 2 describes the consultation process, detailing the processes that were used to reach out to different constituencies. Chapters 3-5 explain why health should be at the centre of the post-2015 development agenda.
Chapter 3 summarizes the inputs about the successes and shortcomings of the MDGs, many of which were unintended and only became apparent with the benefit of hindsight. Important lessons can be learned from this assessment.
Chapter 4 describes the interdependent linkages between health and development.
Chapter 5 considers some of the most significant changes that have happened (and in some cases continue to happen at an accelerated pace) since the MDGs were launched in 2000. Understanding how the world, global health, and priority health needs have changed and what changes are likely in the next 15 years is critical to defining the health agenda for the coming years in terms of both what needs to be done (the content) and how (the approach).
Chapter 6 presents guiding principles for the post-2015 development agenda and the various options for health goals and indicators that were put forward during the consultation.
Chapter 7 focuses on the importance of accountability, inclusive partnerships, innovation, and learning.
Chapter 8 includes the report’s main recommendations on how to frame the future agenda for health. The contributors to this consultation are looking in the same general direction: all agree that the new development agenda needs strong and visible health goals supported by measurable indicators. The recommendations in this chapter are those that garnered the most support during the consultation.
Chapter 9 concludes by suggesting concrete actions that could be taken between now and 2015 by those advocating for health to feature prominently in the next development agenda.
Recommended by Mrs. Lauren Vulanovic (PAHO/WHO HQ).