Contributing to the future UN Development Agenda – What comes after the MDGs?


The deadline for the achievement of the 2005 Millennium Development Goals is coming up in 2015. The United Nations and the international community are getting ready to define a new agenda which will follow the MDGs and started the so-called 2015 agenda.


The Post 2015 process cannot be considered without taking into account the outcomes of Rio+20 and the general international agenda concerning aid effectiveness and the handling of the economic crisis.


The Post 2015 process will be crucial to define the UN Development Agenda for the next 25-30 years, to continue the fight against poverty and diseases, and to the support sustainable development as a focus of the international community. 


Local and regional authorities, which have been identified as crucial actors for the Rio+20 implementation and  achievement of the original MDGs will need to play an important role in the definition of the this new global agenda, to include urban and local issues. UCLG and its members have actively pursued the achievement of the MDGs since the creation of the World Organization.


In this respect, the President of UCLG, Kadir Topbaş has been invited by Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary GeneralHigh Level Panel of Personalities on the Post-2015 Agenda. As the only representatives of local and regional governments in this panel this is an important opportunity for our organization to make our voices and priorities be heard. 


UCLG is committed to following the process on behalf of local and regional authorities. The present circular aims at providing an overview of the activities which have to date been defined and are on-going. It further proposes some actions to be directly undertaken by members. 


More concrete recommendations concerning our common positions and the possible ways to contribute to the debates will follow.


World Secretariat (WS) involvement in Post-2015 process


Different processes are part of the definition of the 2015 strategy and UCLG will be particularly involved in the following ones:


1. The High Level Panel (HLP) launched in July, it will deliver a report to the UN SG by second quarter of 2013 to be presented at 68th UN GA in September. The panel’s first meeting will take place end of September 2012, and is supported by the UN system task team on the Post-2015, providing content and guidelines.


2. The open working group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), (30 members) will be launched at the next UN General Assembly, September 2012. It should work on developing modalities to “ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders” and submit a report to the 68th UN General Assembly in 2013, containing a proposal for sustainable development goals. Its members are currently being identified by Member States.


3. UCLG Task Force on Post-2015: the WS, jointly with the Regional Sections, propose to create a group of mayors supported by a group of experts to work towards building a joint position for local and regional governments in this process, and assure a close follow-up in support of the Presidency’s participation in the HLP.


4. A Post-2015 Outreach Strategic Planning Group is set up to coordinate media, institutional and civil society efforts for communication purposes. It is in charge of the Global Conversation, which will be based in a web platform making use of new technology (social networks; web based; mobile technology…) to gather inputs from all stakeholders.


Follow the global discussion at: 


UCLG Members involvement in Post-2015 process


The post-2015 process has seen a strong call from UN and Member States to be an open and inclusive consultation process, engaging all stakeholders that should reflect the different voices. The following mechanisms have been defined:


1. National Dialogues will take place in more than 50 countries, outside of OECD countries. They will be led by UN resident coordinators, which are generally attached to the UNDP agency.


The outcomes of these dialogues will be consolidated into the UN Secretary Report launched in 2013 to inform the September 2013 MDGs High Level Event.


(See the list of countries in Annex – please note that 50 additional countries should be soon published)


2. Nine Global Thematic Dialogues are planned on the following issues: inequalities, health, education, growth and employment, governance, environmental sustainability, food security and nutrition, conflict and fragility, population dynamics.


In principle the World Secretariat has identified four of these as particularly of interest for local governments. We are conscious that all of the above are relevant and interesting. However our capacity to influence the topic is probably the strongest in the following:


1. Inequalities

2. Governance

3. Population dynamics

4. Environmental Sustainability


The WS will regularly disseminate more information on the calendar and modalities of these Thematic Dialogues. Common messages will need to be developed to position local and regional governments in these dialogues.


Should a group of members consider it important to follow additional issues a specific group could be tasked to contribute to that discussion.


3. Regional consultations


Ø  at the European level: a consultation is on-going and will close on 15 September.


For more information please consult here.


Ø  at the African level: consultations took place in November 2011 through a regional workshop and an online survey. For more information please see this.


For Action:


Ø  For National Dialogues: Local and regional governments should get in touch with their national associations to contact their country’s UN resident coordinator to be included in the national dialoguesThe UCLG Sections and the World Secretariat are available to the members to support them in making contributions to national debates.


Ø  For Thematic Global Dialogues: committees, working groups and members interested in developing inputs on these topics are invited to contact the World Secretariat and participate in the global forum and conferences.


Ø  For Regional Consultations: the Regional Sections of UCLG should explore how to be implicated in the regional process of consultation.


List of the thematic think pieces produced by the UN System Task Team on some of the key issues of the post-2015 development agenda can be found in the following site.


Ø  Annex: Countries to hold national dialogues