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At the World Summit in 2005 and the MDG Summit in 2010, Member States of the United
Nations reaffirmed the Millennium Declaration of 2000 and recommitted themselves to
protecting and promoting human rights, gender equality, the rule of law and democracy,
recognizing that they are interlinked and mutually reinforcing and that they belong to the
universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations.
The commitment was reaffirmed by Member States at the Rio Summit + 20 United Nations
Conference on Sustainable Development, where states acknowledged that democracy, good
governance and the rule of law, at the national and international levels, as well as an enabling
environment, are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive
economic growth, social development, gender mainstreaming, environmental protection and
the eradication of poverty and hunger. They further reaffirmed that to achieve our
sustainable development goals we need institutions at all levels that are effective, transparent,
accountable and democratic. In addition, member states highlighted the importance of
human rights, including specific human rights standards such as the right to food or the right
to water and sanitation, and agreed a number of criteria for global goals, including
consistency with international law. This builds on an understanding that the structural,
economic and social causes of poverty, and not just its symptoms, must be tackled, based on
human rights and addressing inequality as essential to realise the vision of sustained,
inclusive and accountable development.

Experience to date has shown that, in many cases, sustained progress towards the MDGs has
been underpinned by strong democratic governance and womens empowerment, and
hampered by their absence
. Across the world, democratic deficits lie at the core of critical
development challenges related to state fragility, transitions, social and political violence,
inequality, increased demands on the natural environment and a global crisis of confidence in
the integrity, capacity and legitimacy of the state to deliver human development.

The process for developing the post-2015 framework

With the 2015 MDG deadline fast approaching, the UN Secretary-General has outlined the
UN-led process to determine the post-2015 development framework. To contribute to the UN
system-wide effort, the UNDG has been asked to: 1) facilitate national consultations in at least

See, for example, UNDP (2002) Human Development Report: Deepening Democracy in a Fragmented World; UNDP (2010) The Path to
Achieving the MDGs: a synthesis of evidence from around the world; UNDP (2010) Beyond the Mid-point: achieving the MDGs.


50 countries; 2) hold global thematic consultations on key issues pertaining to the post-2015
development agenda; and 3) create a web portal for interaction and information exchange.
The results of these efforts will serve as input to the work of the High-Level Panel of
Eminent Persons..

The global thematic consultations will be organised in partnership with civil society,
academia, the private sector and decision makers and will be based on the following nine
Growth & Employment;
Conflict & Fragility;
Environmental Sustainability;
Food Security and Nutrition.

The thematic consultation on Governance in particular is a response to an increasing demand
from various actors over the past few years, especially civil society
, to discuss governance
and accountability bottlenecks in the context of the MDGs, and how these gaps could be
addressed in a new global development framework. As with all global thematic consultations,
this consultation will feed into the UNs overall post-2015 process and provides the
opportunity to advocate for meaningful participation through global outreach which factors in
national and local priorities shaped by multiple stakeholders, and championing the universal
rights and values enshrined in its charter.

Governance and the post-2015 framework

The post-2015 framework will lay out a development agenda agreed by the Member States of
the United Nations, building on the normative and political commitments contained in the
Millennium Declaration, experiences of the Millennium Development Goals, and the
outcomes of the 2010 MDGs Review Summit and Rio + 20.

The importance of governance for sustainable development was clearly underlined by the
SGs High Level Global Sustainability Panel which stated that democratic governance and
the full respect for human rights are key pre-requisites for empowering people to make
sustainable choices.
Furthermore, the right to take part in government is articulated in
provisions of a number of international human rights instruments, such as the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (art. 21), the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (art. 25), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women (art.7), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (art.29) to
name just a few.

A new development agenda will depend on effective governance capacities at all levels
(global, regional, national and sub-national) and commitment to the rule of law, including

See, for example, IDS/CAFOD, 100 Voices Southern Voices on What should come after the MDGs,
UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (2012) Resilient People, Resilient Planet: a
future worth choosing. New York: United Nations. p10


political commitment and leadership, and on the empowerment of people, especially those
most excluded and vulnerable, to participate in global, national and local decision-making.
Accountability is the crucial link that ensures that these individual and institutional capacities
are strengthened and root causes of poverty and other development challenges are addressed:
If civil society, including individuals, can hold States and other duty-bearers to their
commitments through accessible, effective accountability mechanisms at global, national and
local levels, it is more likely that those feel compelled to identify and address patterns of
inequality, discrimination, exclusion and other structural factors inhibiting human
development. Human rights offer principles and tested mechanisms to ensure accountability
both at national and global level. In addition, human rights offer standards that help define
goals and targets for a global development agenda more precisely. For example, under each
human rights treaty, Member States have specific obligations with regard to realization of the
rights set out in them. It will therefore be necessary, as part of a broader discussion on
governance and accountability, to consider who should be responsible for ensuring the
achievement of post-2015 goals, how global goals and targets can be aligned with
international commitments and how they can be tailored as needed to the national level.


This consultation will focus on governance systems and their accountability mechanisms,
underpinned by human rights standards and principles. In practice, governance at the global,
regional, national and sub-national level covers many areas of concern to Member States and
their peoples. Focus areas that this consultation seeks to address are:

Civic participation (level of individual, community or group):
- Ensuring civil society organizations engagement, including through e-
participation, to ensure accountability and transparency and better inform decision-
- Fostering the right to take part in government, transparency and the right to access
information about public affairs, the freedom of expression and opinion, access to
justice and encouraging states to adopt and implement legislation ensuring broad
access to information by the public, including through the use of mobile, social
media and other appropriate technologies.
- Empowering people through participation in decision-, policy- and law-making and
monitoring implementation.
Capacities of public institutions (level of national or sub-national institutions):
- Strengthening institutions and human resource capacities at all levels (including in
parliaments, electoral bodies and related institutions, national human rights
institutions, the security and justice sectors, and public services) for cross-sectoral,
integrated and inclusive decision-, policy- and law-making, as well as planning and
- Ensuring that public institutions are effective, responsive, accountable and
representative through e-government and other means, including by fostering
public sector capacities and public-private partnerships at national and subnational
levels, strengthening regulatory framework for businesses, preventing corruption
and promoting the transparent and sustainable management of public goods and
financial and natural resources;
Global governance (level of global institutions, mechanisms and instruments)


- Advancing the discourse on global governance within the development agenda,
including principles and mechanisms to foster responsiveness, transparency and
- Identifying and addressing weaknesses in governance over international finances
that affect the full realization of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights

In addition to different areas of governance, there are a number of core issues that are being
increasingly discussed among Member States and other actors in relation to the integration of
governance and accountability in a post-2015 development framework. For example, how
will Member States capture the multiple dimensions of governance in a global
development framework? Would it be desirable and feasible to propose governance
goals and targets in specific areas? Or should countries commit more broadly to
governance as a goal, accompanied by nationally-determined operational targets in
specific sectors, for example working to enhance taxation, court administration or
statistical capacity at the national level?

Another approach would be to mainstream governance issues into sectors so as to ensure
synergy and contribute to policy coherence. Would it be better therefore to reiterate a set
of well-established principles for the exercise of political and administrative authority at
national and local levels, drawing on international human rights instruments and other
major agreements with near universal participation?

Whatever solution is chosen, we need to ensure that we learn from the experience of the
MDGs where principles unaccompanied by measurable goals were not prioritised. Since
2000, there is more clarity on the specific ways to measure progress in the various areas of
governance, which makes it possible now to identify actionable targets and indicators. In this
context, the global thematic consultation offers a valuable opportunity to identify
accountability gaps in the MDGs and contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of
governance, participation and accountability for a post-2015 agenda focused on sustainable
development - for example, how different levels of accountability (sub-national, national,
regional and global), dimensions of accountability (horizontal and vertical) and national and
international mechanisms of accountability (e.g. judiciary, elections processes, national
ombuds offices, election commissions, anti-corruption commissions, international tribunals
and courts, human rights treaty bodies, regional human rights commissions, etc.) are related
and interact with one another. .

In summary, the consultation seeks to explore the following core issues:
Lessons learnt on the importance of specific components of governance for
achievement and sustainability of the MDGs and other IADGs;
The measurement, including goals and targets, of governance issues in the post-2015
development framework.
An accountability framework that takes into account human rights principles and
obligations to ensure delivery on the post 2015 development agenda.


The global meeting will have the following overall objectives to:


- Contribute to a broad-based dialogue on the role of governance and accountability in
the post-2015 development framework that includes civil society and other non-state
- Build a shared vision and ownership of how global, regional, national and sub-
national governance and accountability should be integrated within the
intergovernmental process to inform on the post-2015 development agenda;
- Ensure that findings of the thematic consultation related to governance and
accountability are directly linked to and feed back into national consultations, as well
as into ongoing global processes.


As a result of the global consultation, the co-leading agencies will prepare a report which
- Identify key issues related to governance and sustainable development, taking into
account the experience of the MDGs and specific challenges and opportunities at the
global, regional and country levels;
- Suggest, based on the above, a succinct number of recommendations, e.g. on
integrating governance and accountability in the content of the post-2015
development agenda and related research gaps
ensuring governance and accountability underpins the format of the post-2015
development agenda (e.g. measurement of progress) and related research gaps
how to engage with key partners, consult and include the voices of the
majority of people living in poverty around the intergovernmental process
towards 2015.

This report will be used to engage with the Secretary Generals High-Level Panel on Post
2015, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and with other key
processes in preparation of the General Assemblys special session in 2013 and beyond.


UNDP (led by the Democratic Governance Group within the Bureau of Development Policy)
will co-organize the global meeting with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR) together with other partners such as UNDESA, UNICEF, and CSOs to
ensure that diverse viewpoints and ideas are part of the process. The consultation is supported
through a generous contribution of the Government of Germany and Deutsche Gesellschaft
fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

To ensure a broad consultation, partners will be instrumental in helping identify concrete
issues and themes, as well as the manner in which they will be discussed. The lead agencies
will therefore establish a Reference Group to consider the approach that will be taken and
take forward detailed discussion on the consultation activities as well as to consolidate their
results into the final report. In addition, a Steering Committee including representatives of the
co-leading agencies as well as the hosting and donor countries will be formed to lead and
manage the process of the consultation.

The global consultation will also use input from other consultations on the post-2015
development agenda. The outcome of the Rio+20 Summit provides an important starting
point for the discussion.



The global thematic consultation on governance and accountability is seen as a process rather
than a one-off event. It will therefore include two key streams of activities which will take
place in parallel or sequence.

Participatory Outreach

Knowledge collection: Existing research within the scope of the consultation will be
collected (e.g. post-215 Governance Interface & Policy brief series by UNDP, OHCHRs
publication on accountability etc) and some additional research may be commissioned.
This research will be used in a number of ways, e.g. it will be shared through some of the
other activities described below (e.g. e-newsletter and website), it will feed into the
consultation meetings and it may be further deepened based on the results of and
following the consultation meetings.

Facilitate virtual exchanges:
The global post-2015 web portal will be used to ensure people can contribute to the
discussions via blogs, facebook, twitter or other social media.

Regional Outreach and Technical Meetings:
To ensure broad outreach, including South-South networking with CSOs and social
movements, preparatory consultations will be held at regional level as possible. Existing
civil society networks and other constituencies will be engaged, e.g. those related to the
Oslo Governance Forum, recent Youth meetings etc. The consultations will most likely
be held as facilitated discussions that form part of existing events or initiatives of key
constituencies, for example the annual meeting of the Pan-African Parliament in South
Africa in October 2013.

Strategic Communication

Media outreach at country and global level in order to ensure visibility and attention
of key actors, including member states.

Website and e-newsletter -: The global post-2015 web portal will be used to post
information on the Governance Consultation and to profile relevant news-paper articles,
interviews and all information related to the post-2015 governance agenda. Strategic e-
list to send a Post 2015 governance updates to civil society organisations, think tanks,
key media actors etc. (e.g. total number of six between July and October).

Strategic and Political Engagement
In order to share and promote the results of the consultation effectively with member
states and other key stakeholders such as the High-Level Panel and the Open Working
Group those actors will be engaged strategically throughout the consultation process, for
example by providing tailored briefings organizing General Assembly side-events or by
engaging key actors in some of the outreach activities. .

Activities to be financed by Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit
Consultation Meeting


Based on the outreach activities, the final report will be drafted by the Steering
Committee with support of the Reference Group. The global consultation meeting will
provide an opportunity to present and discuss key messages and recommendations of the
draft report with a targeted audience and to take their feedback into account for the final
version of the report.
It is intended that the global consultation meeting be held in South Africa, a location with
a history of transformative change that encompasses the emerging international
development environment and allows for participants from North and South to engage
constructively in the consultation. The consultation is scheduled for late February or
early March 2013.
Participation at the meeting will be determined by the Reference Group but will
include practitioners, policy-makers and other experts from different constituencies,
including governments, national human rights institutions parliaments, the private sector,
trade unions, private foundations, civil society, academia and think tanks, and the media.
Participants will come from across the regions. Members of the HLP, the OWG and / or
the Post-2015 Secretariat will be invited to the global meeting in order to share key
results of the consultation with them.
Different discussion formats and media will be used to ensure that maximum visibility
and participation is achieved. Options may be live streaming, professionally moderated
panel discussions, etc.

Marcia V.J. Kran
Research and Right to Development Division
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi
Democratic Governance Group
United Nations Development Programme

For further information see: www.worldwewant2015.org