Sustainable Development Goals: At the heart of the post-2015 negotiations in New York
I recently attended the first Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the UN in New York.
It was a great honour to be nominated by the Stakeholder Group on Ageing to represent them. Additionally, I was selected by UNDESA to be on the steering committee to support civil society in engaging in the negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda.
Good start to the negotiations
It was an excellent start to the negotiations and a great opportunity for civil society and Member States to exchange ideas on:
- MDGs: Member States agreed that more should be done to achieve the current Millennium Development Goals in the remaining period before the SDGs come into being.
- UN Secretary General’s Synthesis Report: The report was positively acknowledged by Member States, civil society and other stakeholders; particularly for its focus on human rights, dignity and wellbeing.
- SDGs: All agreed that the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without a suitable means of implementation and global partnership. Civil society called for science, technology and innovation to be accessible, as well as gender and age sensitive.
- Follow up and review: The need for a comprehensive, robust and transparent follow up and review with involvement of multiple stakeholders was also discussed.
Better data collection needed
It was encouraging to see the majority of the Member States and other stakeholders agreeing that the post-2015 agenda should be universal and ensure that no one is left behind. It was also agreed that none of the goals or targets should be considered met unless they are met for all groups.
Member States and civil society agreed that the post-2015 agenda should promote values such as universality with human rights, mutual accountability, equality and dignity, the wellbeing of present and future generations and the planet as corner stones.
Making older people's issues explicit
As the Major Group on Ageing, we continued to push for the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing to be mentioned in the declaration, as issues of older people are not always explicit and well articulated.
However, it was encouraging to hear people agree that the sustainable development agenda cannot be achieved without the inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups such as older people, people with disabilities, women, children and indigenous people among others.
The issues that affect older people such as the increase in non-communicable diseases and the need for decent jobs and access to financial services have not been fully explored, understood and incorporated in this process, despite rapid global population ageing.
Global population ageing
Indeed, By 2030 there will be 1.4 billion older people; about 16% of the global population. Older people are often the backbone of communities due to their role as workers, entrepreneurs, unpaid carers, farmers and mentors.
For the framework to achieve its ambition of universality and to ensure no one is left behind, deliberate efforts must be made to improve data disaggregation by age.
Adequate financing to explore the trends and implications of demographic changes should be considered to ensure equality across the life course is promoted.
I was able to interact with a wide range of representatives from Member States, the UN system and other Major Groups. This helped me learn but also share messages about older people's rights and issues.
I hope that the people I met embraced our conversation and will join us in supporting the wellbeing of older people and their inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Read more about our work to ensure older people are included in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Watch Roseline's statement at the UN (skip to 1:36:20).