Civil Society Meets with Post2015 and FfD Chairs

In late April, Civil Society participated in a discussion with the co-chairs of both the post-2015 (the Sustainable Development Goal process) and the Financing for Development (FfD) group which is preparing for the Addis Ababa finance meeting. It is important for the two groups to keep talking to each other, since the FfD holds a big part of the answer to the question, “How will we pay for the implementation of the SDGs?”  In an eloquent introduction, co-chair Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya held up that day’s New York Times newspaper, and read a headline about 900 dead African refugees, another about international terrorism, and a third about riots in the streets of the USA. He noted that all these news items were related to INEQUALITY…inequality between nations, and inequality within nations. He reminded us of what the SDGs are about: to end poverty, to reduce inequality, and to protect the planet. To do this they need to combine political will with real resources. This is do-able regarding resources, but can they muster the political will?

“Failure is off the table,” said Ambassador George Talbot of Guyana, a co-chair of the FfD process, observing that if they see their agenda in terms of people they have no choice but to get this done. He said that the three “dimensions” / “pillars” of the sustainable development agenda (social, economic, and environmental) need a fourth—political leadership.