The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) Nigerian Platform organized one day Strategic Session on Post MDGs: Developing a Successor Framework among CSOs in Abuja. The event was attended by 34 participants including CSOs, Media and various stakeholders on MDGs. It was convened to articulate CSOs contribution to Nigeria’s positions on issues related to MDGs and post 2015 sustainable development agenda at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to be convened September 2013.
After presentations, discussion and debates on different thematic issues by various stakeholders on the strategy to achieve sustainable in post-2015, the participants observed as follows:
1. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as declared by the world leaders were minimalist development targets, inadequate and not far reaching and lacked accountability frameworks
2. In general terms, we observe that the lopsided nature of global trade rules lack pro-poor components, do not recognize the varying levels of nation’s development and discourage local production, industrialization and disallow domestic trade from benefiting from liberalization.
3. The prevailing International Economic Order remains skewed in favour of developed economies with structures that perpetuate inequalities in economic, political and financial relationships which very few emerging nations have overcome
4. Climate change, natural disasters like flooding have become a major source of concern which was not adequately addressed under the MDGs and have grave implications for food security, internal displacements, forced migrations and other humanitarian challenges
5. Most regional and global agreements, commitments and Alliances aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, sustainable food production and food security are vague on the quality of State investment needed to achieve stated objectives. There are therefore no benchmarks for evaluation and so most states have failed in fulfilling their obligations.
6. The proposal for a comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban appears to specify its application to Weapons test explosions but is silent on non-violence use of nuclear technology.
The participants recommended as follows:
1. The United Nations should ensure that a post 2015 sustainable development agenda must be more far reaching, borne out of consultations, possess an accountability framework and allow for independent monitoring and evaluation from Civil Society
2. The United Nations should employ means of streamlining the multiplicity of Trade agreements and review all existing trade rules and conventions to ensure that they align with the WTO and accommodate the interests of the domestic economies of developing countries
3. The international community must work toward a New International Economic Order that adopts a rights based approach to development and African nations must come together to promote intra-African trade that strengthens them to have a united and stronger voice during negotiations in the global arena.
4. The United Nations should mandate member states to enact national laws that criminalize torture, and similar abuse of human rights and compel governments to provide mandatory training for law enforcement agency who should also be held personally liable of acts of torture committed in the process of performing their duties
5. The international community must incorporate issues of climate change, natural disasters like flooding, consequential occurrences like migration and internal displacements into the post-2015 sustainable development agenda in more pragmatic way for adoption into national development plans
6. Nations should ensure that all regional, bilateral and multi lateral agreements, Alliances and arrangements should contain firm commitments of state investment in agriculture, food production with benchmarks of quality and not just quantity with specific emphasis on aspects that relate to gender, small holder farmers and women.
7. The United Nations should ensure that the ban on Nuclear Test is strictly restricted to weaponry and violent use without foreclosing research into and application of nuclear resources for peaceful and developmental purposes. She should also ensure that this is regulated and the rules for the disposal of nuclear waste is stringent enough the constitute a deterrent and protects the rights of potential victims
The participants thanked the Regional Office of the WACSOF for convening the meeting, the Nigerian Platform for organizing it and realizing that this communiqué could not capture the totality of the issues raised and discussed expressed a commitment to prepare a comprehensive report with the comprehensive CSO demands, that will be crystallized into a Position paper that will form part of the Nigerian Position at the United nations General
Assembly in September 2013
Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani)
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