The Retreat “Global Development Agendas – Complementary of Antagonistic?” took place on 13-14 March 2014 and was organised by CEPEI. It brought together leaders from the developing world to share information and exchange points of view on the challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean, all within the global debate on the Post-2015 agenda, Rio +20 and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.
- Inequality must be a key part of post-2015. The theme of inequality came through the meeting, most powerfully in Alicia Barcena’s presentation, but also in many other interventions. Some delegates who had not seen it as so fundamentally important to the post-2015 were convinced. The question then is how it should be integrated into the post-2015 goals.
- Post-2015 is a transformation, not just an evolution. The context within which the SDGs are being written is fundamentally different to the MDGs, because all countries are genuinely involved, and efforts have been made to consult communities and nongovernmental organisations. The universality of the goals (i.e. that they will apply to all countries, not just “developing” countries) is a paradigm shift with profound implications. Equally, the concept of sustainability implies a more structural approach than “poverty eradication”.
- Post-Busan is not the how of post-2015, but it is a part of the how. The two processes need not necessarily be in competition, but care has to be taken regarding a) legitimacy/open negotiations and b) scope. A few participants consider the relevance of the Post-2015 process unquestionable for the region; whereas they consider the Global Partnership only relevant for a few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. They suggest that the future contribution of the Global Partnership should be to focus on how donors can make their co-operation flows more effective, and to host discussions on SSTrC on another platform.
- The term partnership is often used, but sometimes lazily. A true partnership must have shared and fairly concrete objectives, with each partner clear on the role they play. In particular, the role of the private sector in furthering publicly desired objectives should be carefully managed – profit will always be the driving force of private companies.
- How (precisely) will the post-2015 goals influence progress in LAC? Clearly the role of financial aid is less relevant in most of LAC than in other regions, so what will signing a piece of paper in New York actually mean for development in LAC. The answer is in two parts: first, how will national policies be enhanced by the promises of governments; second, how will the international community support progress, both with direct interventions, but also, perhaps more importantly, by building the “enabling environment” for sustainable development.
effective development co-operation.