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Parliamentarians, CSOs Call for Human Rights, Gender Equality in Post-2015 Discussions

11 December 2012: Parliamentarians and civil society organization (CSO) representatives from 12 countries in South, Southwest, North and Central Asia issued a declaration on priorities for accelerating achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), after discussions in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 10-11 December 2012.

The event, organized by the UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC) and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bangladesh Parliament, brought together 58 Parliamentarians and 38 civil society representatives to review progress on the MDGs and discuss the post-2015 development framework.

The resulting Dhaka Declaration affirms human rights principles, and calls for urgent action to negotiate sustainable development goals (SDGs) and address unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.

On human rights, the Declaration calls for: addressing corruption; practicing participatory budget and expenditure tracking; putting in place goals and indicators for MDG acceleration; addressing peace and security concerns in relation to the poor; ensuring sexual and reproductive rights; and promoting children's rights.

The Declaration also addresses matters of equality and sustainability, calling for deep emission cuts, accelerated implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), and access to affordable and sustainable energy, among other issues. The Declaration calls for a gender equality goal to be included in the post-2015 development agenda, and for gender to be mainstreamed in SDG discourse.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasin Wajed opened the meeting, and UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Neal Walker gave an opening address highlighting successes of the MDGs. He urged countries to adapt development targets to realities on the ground, and to discuss specific policies that will be needed to achieve targets.

The Dhaka Declaration is intended to feed into discussions of the UN High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP). Parliamentarians and civil society organizations (CSOs) at the meeting called on the UN to ensure clear and integrated post-2015 and SDG processes.

An earlier meeting of parliamentarians and CSOs in Southeast, East and North Asia and the Pacific sub-regions was held on 20-21 November 2012, producing the Manila Declaration. [Meeting notice and webcast] [UN Resident Coordinator's speech] [Event Documents] [IISD RS sources] [IISD RS Story on Manila Declaration]