Until recently, 95% of the bandwidth for talking and thinking about the post-2015 agenda was focused on goals and targets.
Now that the Open Working Group (OWG) on the post- 2015 agenda has reported, though, policymakers and opinion formers are starting to think more seriously about the ‘how’ as opposed to the ‘what’ – and what a new Global Partnership on development, as well as the overall political outcome on means of implementation (MOI) more broadly, might look like by the end of next year.
For now, the discussion remains unfocused. OECD governments have yet to start setting out real offers on what additional action they are willing to take on MOI; many developing countries likewise have yet to set out what they want and are willing to do. But unless this changes, there is a risk that the soaring ambition of the OWG’s Goals will not be matched by adequate action on the delivery side. by adequate action on the delivery side.
This would leave the United Nations exposed, through the fault of its members rather than the institution itself, to the charge of being a mere talking shop. Worse, it would create a powerful recipe for disillusionment or acrimony at a point when relations between key groups of member states are already frayed and hallmarked by deep distrust. The world can ill afford these kinds of outcome at a point when the need for collective action on shared global challenges is more pressing than ever – at just the point then the world’s capacity to co-ordinate such action has been called into question by a string of weak or failed summits.
If high ambition governments and their allies in civil society and elsewhere want to use their political capital to full effect, they need to rally around a small number of political objectives – particularly as they approach a range of key summit meetings due to take place over the next eighteen months, especially:
- The OECD Development Assistance Committee’s high level meeting in December 2014, is due to look at a new framework for reporting on aid flows, and its January 2015 Development Council;
- The 2015 G7/G8 summit (due to be held in Germany on 4-5 June);
- The Financing For Development Summit due to be held in Addis Ababa on 13-16 July 2015;