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Civil Society Consultation Generates Recommendations on Human Development, Jobs and Livelihoods

1 November 2012: The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) presented an initial consultation report to the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel (HLP) on the post-2015 development agenda, in advance of the Panel's first substantive meeting, which addressed individual and household poverty. The report reflects civil society views on four framing questions under the themes of human development, and jobs and livelihoods.

Under the theme of human development, respondents addressed two questions: how do we ensure that all people, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized, have the food, water, energy, health care and education they need; and what have we learned from existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and what should be added/updated/modified, or is a different approach needed?

Under the theme of jobs and livelihoods, respondents addressed: what policies and practices best promote equitable empowerment of the poor and marginalized to ensure an adequate standard of living; and how can employment be meaningfully approached?

Seven recommendations emerged from the responses, including that the post-2015 agenda must: adopt a human rights-based approach; address growing inequality and mainstream equity; promote social protection; involve and lead to participatory processes and decision making; prioritize capacity building and local management of development; protect the Earth's ecosystems and equitable access to resources; and enable job creation and investment in the poor and marginalized. The report discusses each recommendation and includes substantive quotations from contributing organizations.

The recommendation on protecting ecosystems and ensuring equitable resource distribution calls for inclusive growth and development within planetary boundaries. It recognizes that the poor often rely directly on natural services and resources for their livelihoods. It calls for stronger action on climate change, noting impacts on freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, “with consequences for water resources, food security, human health and the frequency and severity of natural disasters.”

On the MDGs, respondents called for a revised approach that addresses the inter-connected elements of sustainable development, and said the post-2015 agenda should be “holistic and very ambitious.” Respondents recommended innovative financing to ensure implementation, including a financial transactions tax.

The online consultation facilitated by UN-NGLS received 239 contributions from 118 organizations and individuals. Additional input is being accepted through 7 November at the World We Want website. UN-NGLS will compile and synthesize substantive contributions into a consolidated report for the Panel by mid-November.

The Panel's first substantive meeting was held in London, UK, from 31 October-2 November 2012. [UN-NGLS Press Release] [Summary of Consultation Responses] [World We Want Website]