Those tasked with devising a vision for world development after 2015 should return to the millennium declaration for inspiration, the assistant secretary general of the UN’s bureau for development policy said this week.
Olav Kjørven said the preliminary findings of consultations on the post-2015 process chime with themes – inequality, migration, better governance, more job opportunities for young people – included in the declaration adopted by the UN general assembly in September 2000, but not specifically articulated in the subsequent millennium development goals (MDGs).
“To me, the big message that comes out of these consultations is, in a nutshell, get on with the entire millennium declaration,” Kjørven told the Guardian newspaper in London. “Go back to it. It’s a pretty strong, comprehensive statement. The MDGs have been so successful they have almost drowned out what was not covered.”
The MDGs, which have a target date of 2015, emerged out of the declaration, but many of its less tangible aspects, such as specific references to the protection of human rights and ending discrimination, either received a vague mention or were omitted. Kjørven said the preliminary findings, published on Thursday by the UN Development Programme, suggested people want the post-2015 process to “[go] beyond and finish the job”.
The UN report, “The global conversation begins“, pulls together opinions gleaned from a mass consultation process, organised by the UN, that will feed into discussions on what should replace the MDGs.
IFSW and our global partners IASSW and ICSW are contributing to the world debate through the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development process. Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary General, commented: ‘these findings from the UN global conversation are not a surprise. Our own Agenda consultations have found similar themes coming up from social work practitioners and local communities. The challenge for social workers is to make sure that our experience, our observations and our wisdom is heard in the global conversation.
‘We have ambitious plans to gather together that social work practice wisdom’, Rory Truell continued. ‘The Global Observatory for Social Work and Social Development, created by the 3 global partners, will be gathering practice experience from social workers over the coming months. These will be combined into a Global Observatory report which we will launch at the 2014 world conference in Melbourne. But we will not wait until then to make our voice heard. IFSW, working with our national organisation members, is making sure that the social work voice is heard in national capitals, regional centres and global fora. At this crucial time in the history of the world, social workers cannot be silent’, Rory concluded.
Read The Guardian newspaper report here
Read analysis by Paul Ladd, head of the post-2015 team at UNDP here
See earlier report on the My World survey in IFSW news here