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UN urges more public involvement in drafting post-2015 development goals

By Dana Al Emam - Mar 23,2015 - Last updated at Mar 23,2015

AMMAN — A UN official on Monday urged local civil society organisations and young Jordanians to participate in designing and implementing the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda.

UNESCO Representative to Jordan and Chair of the Post-2015 Focus Group Costanza Farina said UN member states are scheduled to gather for a summit in September this year to prepare a transformative agenda that seeks to “improve lives and bring prosperity, while protecting the planet”.

“Change cannot be made to people; it has to be made with people if a lasting impact is to be achieved,” Farina noted at a meeting organised by the UN for stakeholders, calling for developing effective ways to mobilise young people and boost their contribution to social progress.

The post-2015 agenda will build on what has been achieved of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were set at the beginning of this century and expire at the end of this year, and to locally engage a larger set of stakeholders to ensure further commitment to creating a future the people want, according to the UN.

Since 2012, the Post-2015 Focus Group in Jordan has facilitated some 60 events directly, involving around 3,000 people from a wide range of backgrounds, Farina said.

“The messages from the first round of national consultations… confirm the urgency of addressing quality education to establish robust ties with the labour market, the need for a more inclusive approach to address economic and social disparities, and the critical importance of environmental protection, while water scarcity was recognised as alarming.”

Farina added that consultations witnessed a call for expanding the role of stakeholders in the implementation of the agenda, and not to be exclusive to participating in designing it.

Ziad Obeidat, director of the Planning Ministry’s Development Department, said the ministry looks forward to the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

“We will continue working with the same level of stamina towards ensuring that all involved stakeholders carry their responsibilities, with the participation of civil society, the private sector, the public sector and youth,” he said at the meeting.

Obeidat noted that Jordan was quick to achieve success in implementing the MDGs over the early years of the century, a performance that regressed later due to the influx of refugees as well as the global financial crisis.

According to the Planning Ministry, which is the governmental body to adopt the local Post-2015 Agenda once set, the committee currently drafting Jordan’s “2025 Vision” will incorporate articles and goals from the agenda.

“We will work on the local level, not only the national [one],” Obeidat said, highlighting the need for an entity to represent young Jordanians in such deliberations and to engage them in planning and implementing the agenda.

UN member states are currently negotiating the details of the Post-2015 Development Agenda that will likely present a set of 17 goals in New York, according to the UN. 

In 2013, a Post-2015 coalition of NGOs was formed in Jordan under the leadership of the Sisterhood is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI/J).

SIGI/J Chairwoman Asma Khader called on all NGOs to join the coalition to condense efforts in setting the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

“The coalition aims at becoming part of a national comprehensive tool to implement and monitor the developments of the post-2015 agenda,” she said at Monday’s meeting, adding that participation in the coalition is open to all civil society organisations and independent institutions to achieve “sustainable and just development”.

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