France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development is currently preparing the country’s position for the July summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Abeba, which will deal with development funding and more broadly the issue of the future Sustainable Development Goals to be defined in New York in September. GRET has been contributing through its presence at several preliminary consultation meetings with civil society and the various stakeholdeers.
On 30 March GRET and the Groupe Initiatives took part in the work group set up by the Comité national du développement et pour la solidarité internationale (CNDSI – National Committee for Development and International Solidarity) on development funding through combined private and public stakeholders. The Groupe Initiatives is drawing up several recommendations for improving these coalitions such as dealing with territorial issues and developing local economies as a priority, bolstering institutional capabilities for building solid institutions which promote coherent public policies, clarifying the contractual terms and arrangements regarding responsibility in the event of uncontrollable risk management failure, and recommending long-term innovation rather than a predefined result logic. Read the Groupe Initiatives position(in French)
on the 30th of March 2015, Pierre Jacquemot, GRET Chairman, and Marc Lévy, Director for Forward Planning, took part in a meeting between the ministry and representatives of civil society organisations. The ministry informed civil society of what went on at the last session on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York: Everybody needs to be aware of the balances reached in order to set the 17 goals and 169 targets; In other words, it would be very difficult to change anything, the message being that it is a package. On the 300 indicators proposed by the United Nations to all the statistics institutes in the world, a hundred or so of the latter responded: 70 targets have indicators which can be monitored, but 60 have no indicators of this quality and considerably more work will be required to set them. The biggest need is for investments regarding indicators on the new subjects (climate), but those of the previous MDGs are documented, especially concerning governance, which is good news. The final list should be defined for next March. Those NGOs present, including GRET, insisted on the need to involve civil society stakeholders, considering the SDG monitoring/evaluation criteria, on the need to strengthen statistical capacities and on the advantages of turning to qualitative rather than exclusively quantitative methods. They insisted that achieving the SDGs should not based solely on growth, but also on human rights, the regulatory role of the State and getting civil society into action.
These consultations ended in agreement on the fact that climate and development issues go hand in hand, on the need to change model and on the necessary involvement of the private sector. But questions remain: How will this private sector involvement be regulated?; How will funding be regulated?; How will France apply SDGs which have now become universal? The challenge will also be to carry over the results of the Addis Abeba negotiations to the final summit in New York.