Mar 1, 2013
After hearing back from the Facilitators of the Breakout Groups this morning, and from those close to the workings of the High Level Panel advising the Secretary General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, it was time to have the presentation of the outcome document of the conference.
Representing the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Gordon Darcy Lilo, the Minister for Finance and Treasury of the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Rick Nelson Houenipwela, read the Dili Consensus to the plenary.
The document emphasises the importance of national ownership of the development agenda while supporting the pursuit of universal aspirational goals at the global level. It points to four areas not adequately treated in the MDGs: inclusive economic growth, state effectiveness, peace and justice, and climate change and environmental management, and notes that existing goals in relation to health, education, women’s empowerment and global partnerships should remain, with refinements. The Dili Consensus recognises that inclusive economic growth requires policies that are pro-jobs and pro-poor.
Prime Minister Gusmão referred to the document as “historic” and one that “sets out our priorities, and our hopes for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.” He said “This is a document that reflects the view of the g7+ nations, the PALOP nations, and our Pacific neighbours.”
The Dili Consensus can be downloaded in English here and in French here.
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste hosted government and civil society representatives from the g7+ group of fragile states, Pacific island countries and the group of Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP), at the Dili International Conference on the post-2015 development agenda on 26-28 February 2013. The theme of the conference was ‘Development for all: Stop conflict, build states and eradicate poverty.’ Its purpose was to reach a broad consensus on how the specific development challenges faced by fragile and conflict-affected states should shape the post-2015 global development framework.
We came together in a spirit of mutual learning, and to find common ground and build solidarity. Together we have a vast reservoir of experience and a powerful voice. We know that many of us will not achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We know that the well-being of our people depends upon the achievement of outcomes that were not adequately reflected in the MDGs, most notably in the areas of peace and justice and climate change. We know that we must shape our collective future, and that where factors impeding development are beyond our control we must speak with one voice in articulating our expectations of the global community.
TOWARDS A NEW DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
We are in agreement that the MDGs have helped to focus our development efforts, facilitate dialogue and make our development strategies more results-oriented. However, they do not recognise the fundamental barriers that we face. Most importantly, conflict and fragility are not reflected in the MDGs, and have been fundamental obstacles to their achievement in our countries.
We believe the post-2015 development agenda must reflect the development challenges of all groups of countries, and be defined through inclusive country-led consultative processes. We underscore the importance of participatory national consultations and self-assessments as the basis for defining our national development priorities, and acknowledge the critical role of political leadership and sustained political commitment in realising our goals.
We support the pursuit of universal aspirational goals at the global level. At the same time, we emphasise that national ownership of the development agenda is imperative. Our national development frameworks must reflect our national priorities and circumstances. They should be aligned with, but not subordinate to, global goals.
While our specific needs and priorities may differ, we all envision better lives for our people, based upon human security. The post-2015 global development framework must seek to enhance the social contract by promoting integrated action in four major areas not adequately treated in the MDGs: inclusive economic growth, peacebuilding and statebuilding, and climate change and environmental management. Existing goals in relation to health, education, women’s empowerment, water and sanitation, and global partnerships should remain, with refinements.
We believe that inclusive economic growth requires policies that are pro-jobs and pro-poor. It requires investments in soft and hard economic infrastructure that facilitate private sector development, regional integration and global connectivity. It requires that we receive fair and sustainable returns from our natural resources including oceans, which will help us finance the provision of basic social services to our people. With these things in place, and conducive policy and regulatory environments, trade and investment rather than aid should increasingly drive our development. Given the links between youth unemployment and conflict, skills development and job creation is imperative. With increasing urbanisation, the shrinking of the informal economy and the weakening of traditional coping mechanisms, we must put in place social protection policies and programs that identify and support those suffering the greatest hardships, including the elderly and people with disabilities.
Improving the effectiveness of the state and its institutions is critical to achieving national development goals. We agreed that good governance is fundamental to the achievement of our goals, and that development progress in our countries, particularly in newly independent countries and those recently emerging from conflict, is impeded by weak state capacity. We noted also the importance of corresponding improvements in the policies and practices of many of the developed countries with whom we interact, including in the areas of trade, the regulation of the activities of multinational corporations and the management of aid. We recommend our development partnerships be based on mutual trust rather than conditionality. Many of our countries consider themselves overburdened by the multiplicity of international agreements, policy commitments, and related implementation and reporting requirements, and see a need for rationalisation and integration of the many parallel processes that collectively set the global agenda.
We support the perspective, articulated most prominently by our g7+ countries, that the MDGs cannot be achieved in small, landlocked or conflict affected states in the absence of peace, stability and the rule of law. We affirm the need for our development efforts to be underpinned by universal principles of respect for human rights, fairness, justice and peace.
We recognise the lived reality of climate change, which ultimately will affect all countries and is an existential threat for some. We are not part of the cause of climate change; nor can we manage its inevitable effects on our own. We must hold to account the countries that contribute most to the problem, and marshal international support for climate change mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction. While solutions continue to elude us in our global negotiations, this is all the more reason to put climate change firmly on the development agenda and to build resilience against those impacts that can no longer be averted.
THE WAY FORWARD
Business as usual is not a viable option. We are no longer on the same development journey that we began at the start of the new millennium. We must build a framework for the next era of global development that is legitimate and relevant, truly reflecting the development aspirations and challenges of people everywhere. Asia’s development experience has shown us that we can turn potential tragedy into inspirational progress. With the right policies, investments and global collective action on challenges beyond our control, we have the potential to build peaceful, vibrant, just, resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. The post-2015 development framework must help us realise our potential.
Regional, sub-regional and cross-regional cooperation, especially South-South cooperation, will be a key driver for change as we further develop our national development strategies and contribute to the new global framework. Such cooperation can build on existing intergovernmental platforms, including those provided by the g7+, Pacific regional and sub-regional institutions, the United Nations regional commissions, and multilateral financial institutions, to develop and promote policy consensus and innovative solutions to shared challenges, including peace creation and peace building. We intend to use every opportunity to make our voices heard and build on the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States to ensure development for all.
28 FEBRUARY 2012