UN DPI Outcome Document DeclarationIn Statement
65th Annual DPI/NGO Conference Outcome Document Declaration (excerpts)
SECTION I – VISION
The participants of the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference, representatives of non- governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world, assembled at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 27 to 29 August 2014;
We declare that our vision for the post-2015 Development Agenda is that of an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable world where every person is safe, resilient, lives well, and enjoys their human rights, and where political and economic systems deliver well-being for all people within the limits of our planet’s resources. Consequently, it is a world where all human rights are realised, inequalities have been properly addressed and thus, poverty has been eradicated; natural resources and the environment are treasured and safeguarded; where there is social justice, and where peace, safety and human security are a reality for all including refugees and people displaced by human induced and natural disasters. …
We acknowledge that civil society bases its work on the ethics, values and spiritual principles that are reflected in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The fundamental freedoms of expression, media, association and assembly, reflecting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, underpin the ability of people to truly engage with the development agenda. These rights are the fundamental building blocks of good governance, empowering people to actively participate in achieving development goals and holding governments to account;
We urge governments to develop and ensure a framework that embraces all our human diversity; that is anchored in a human rights-based approach to sustainable development, upholding the universality of human rights regardless of cultural and religious practices and that civil society bases its work on the ethics, values and spiritual principles national laws, that should ultimately result in a more just and equitable economic and social environment; and that guarantees human rights accountability including of the private sector;
We reaffirm that human rights, including sexual rights, as well as the rights of children, are not controversial and cannot be compromised; they are not up for negotiation. Our rights cannot be questioned, traded, or violated. Along with economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, any successor framework must include commitments to protect freedom of association, expression, assembly and political participation if it is to ensure an enabling environment for an empowered civil society;
We reaffirm that multi-stakeholder partnerships between all levels of government, civil society, diaspora communities, academia, the private sector, and the philanthropy community will be essential towards implementation and should be empowered; …
We call upon governments and multilateral organisations not to allow failures within certain segments of society to hide behind improved overall average values and to understand that leaving anyone behind will require disaggregated data by all groups as listed above;
We denounce the growing scarcity of resources to civil society organizations, oppressive action against social movements and the increasing criminalization of environmental and indigenous movements in many countries by governments and large multi-national corporations;
We reaffirm that civic participation, including volunteering and faith-based organisations, has been a valuable partner in a broad spectrum of peace and sustainable development activities. We call on governments to ensure that volunteerism and citizen engagement are incorporated in all global, national and local actions plans for implementation of sustainable development and human well-being, to commit to the creation of an enabling environment for citizen engagement and voluntary action.
We urge governments to ensure the full participation and meaningful engagement of all stakeholders in these months of discussions and negotiations to come until the adoption of the SDGs and a new climate action framework. We will only accept a participatory structure that provides us, at minimum, the same level of access and engagement that was granted to us throughout the UN SDGs Open Working Group, which we commend; …
SECTION II – MONITORING & ACCOUNTABILITY
We underscore that if the Post-2015 Agenda is to have the transformative impact that is so irrefutably needed, it is essential that it includes rigorous accountability systems that are firmly rooted in human rights norms, standards and mechanisms;
We reaffirm that a system of voluntary reporting on development commitments will not be enough to deliver a just and sustainable world for current and future generations. It is crucially important that all actors be held accountable under the new system, including high-income countries, international institutions, donors and corporations;
We note with dismay that the outcome document of the UN SDGs Open Working Group does not provide anything approaching such a framework;
We stress that real progress requires that a broad spectrum of accountability mechanisms, at the national, regional and international levels, function cohesively to create an effective system of accountability;
We strongly recommend new SDG-specific bodies to function in complementarity with existing accountability mechanisms, including parliamentary, judicial and administrative bodies, along with UN human rights monitoring bodies;
We recognize that a strong governance mechanism underpinning the Post-2015 Development Agenda is needed. Currently, the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) has been proposed as a mechanism for providing accountability to the framework. We call upon UN Member States to strengthen the mandate of the HLPF and, at the same time be mindful of the changing nature of intergovernmental processes as well as the changing nature of global challenges;
We note that human rights-based accountability is multifaceted. It requires public participation in the design and implementation of programs to address and monitor state obligations and commitments;
We further underscore that the creation of meaningful participation processes at both the national and international levels, along with achievement of the mooted “transparency/data revolution”, will likewise be necessary preconditions to facilitate the kind of transformative accountability systems that are necessary;
We note that for the Data Revolution to take place it is required that countries collect data that is disaggregated and publicly accessible, and use it to consistently report via accessible and effective monitoring mechanisms through accessible ICT infrastructure;
We call for capacity building mechanisms to be structured and implemented towards the Data Revolution, particularly in the Least Developed Countries.
1. Rigorous human rights-based accountability systems, based on compulsory reporting, must be established at both the domestic and international levels as part of an effective system of accountability.
2. We must be equipped with effective monitoring and implementation mechanisms. A hybrid “AMR-UPR+” accountability mechanism similar to, but building upon, the successes of both the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the Human Rights Council. Reports would be delivered on an annual or semi-annual basis.
￼3. The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is designated through the Rio+20 Outcome Document and resolution 67/290 to be the preeminent forum within the broader UN family to coordinate, facilitate, review and create policy on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and it will be the home of the SDGs, review its functions, identify emerging issues and set agendas. The HLPF has been charged with a heavy agenda, and needs an independent and strong position within the UN hierarchy. As it lacks a Bureau, this must be established and UNDESA must be given the responsibility to function as the secretariat for the HLPF.
4. A ‘multiple accountability’ approach should be applied to track development actors’ performance with regard to gender equality and girls’ and women’s rights, including sexual and reproductive rights.
5. Existing barriers to accessing justice, such as violence and discrimination, particularly for women, people living in poverty, and all other disadvantaged or marginalized groups, must be eradicated.
6. The right to effective remedy through accessible, effective and impartial justice systems at both national and international levels must be guaranteed.
7. Citizen-led “participatory monitoring” systems of performance in meeting the goals must be ￼established. Individual and collective “Volunteer action” in support of such systems must be established. Volunteer organizations must be recognized as assets to support such effort.
8. The view of citizens and non-state actors must be integrated in the process through mechanisms of independent shadow reporting. The framework must be inclusive, participatory and multi-layered using a human rights-based approach. The Inclusion of civil society will ￼strengthen legitimacy and credibility of the monitoring structure. Individual and collective “Volunteer action” in support of accountability for implementation of the SDGs must be taken into consideration within such a monitoring structure.
9. Monitoring and accountability systems must also address fiscal policy, including taxation, so ￼as to ensure the sufficiency of resources available for development and the equitable ￼distribution of costs and benefits. Accountability over financing requires complete transparency and enhanced participation in these areas.
10. In light of the emphasis on private sector partnerships in development, the accountability of this sector should be assured through legislative and regulatory measures – in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – and mandatory human rights and sustainable development impact assessments of the activities of these actors.
11. There must be a mandate to follow up on the implementation of voluntary commitments and provide entry points for civil society to sufficiently provide the accountability framework going forward.
12. To promote a data revolution that puts people at the center and that promotes access to open and relevant information and data. Access to information and data is essential to the realisation of this accountability and the development goals.
SECTION III – RECOMMENDATIONS AROUND THE SDGs
3. Fully take advantage of the potentials of information and communication technologies (ICT) to attain inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.
1.Achieve the inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels and proactively improve the legal enabling environment for all people as a way tool to mitigate conflict.
2.Implement effective regimes for access to information and data, and ensure that legal and regulatory frameworks are in place to guarantee that freedom of media, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly is protected.
3. Halt illicit financial flows globally, increase stolen asset recovery and return, tackle all forms of organized crime, reduce corruption and bribery in all its forms and at all levels.
This Declaration constitutes one of the parts of the overall Outcome Document of the Conference and reflects our position on the vision, recommendations and monitoring and accountability framework for an “Action Agenda” on poverty eradication, sustainable development, human rights and climate change. The Declaration must be read in connection with the Resource Document that constitutes the other part of the Outcome Document. The Resource Document reflects joint statements by UN Major Groups & Stakeholders from civil society, which have been prepared through transparent and inclusive input and consensus processes and submitted to the UN SDGs Open Working Group earlier as official positions.