ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Sub-regional Workshop on Millennium Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda for South- East Asia, Bangkok, November 2012
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Event / Workshop
In 21 to 23 November 2012, Women Research Institute had an opportunity to attend the ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Sub-regional workshop. The theme of this workshop is Millenium Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda for South-East Asia. The meeting was held in UNCC meeting room, Bangkok, Thailand.
The workshops main objectives are to (1) review MDGs achievements and assessing the sub-regional challenges during the remaining period to 2015, (2) collect the views and perspectives of the Member States including, civil society and other stakeholders on the Post-2015 development agenda. Given that a key lesson from the conception and formulation of MDGs has been the importance of the full engagement and inclusive participation at country level of all development stakeholders the workshop format is designed to maximize opportunities for participants to contribute to the discussion.
The Workshop is expected to produce the following outputs:
1) A summary of priorities for the South-East Asian countries (i.e., areas of intervention/support and strategies) in order to accelerate achievement of MDGs between now and 2015. This summary will feed into the preparation of the next ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Regional MDG Report 2012/13
2) A summary of the key priorities of South East Asian Member States (i.e., areas of intervention/support and strategies) for inclusion in the Post-2015 development agenda.
The workshop was inviting 26 delegates from 7 countries, they are from Cambodia (4 persons), Indonesia (i.e., from UKP4 are Heru Prasetyo and Pradita Astarina, and from WRI are Sita Aripurnami and Ayu Anastasia), Lao PDR (6 persons), Malaysia (1 person), Myanmar (2 persons), Philippines (4 persons), Thailand (1 persons), and also Vietnam (2 persons). Beside that, the workshop also invited UN Bodies (UN-HABITAT, UNICEF, UNDP, UNODC, UNFPA, UN-WOMEN, ILO, UNESCO, and UNIDO), Asian Development Bank (3persons), other entities (ASEAN REGIONAL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE ON MDGs, AUSAID, DFID, FOUNDATION FOR OLDER PERSON’S DEVELOPMENT, HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL, and OXFAM) and agency for international development.
Day 1: Wednesday, 21 November 2012
On the first day, the workshop consists of inaugural session and three sessions of workshop:
1) Inaugural Session
Inaugural session is remarks by delegates from ESCAP, ADB, and UNDP.
2) Session 1: Setting the stage
Setting the stage session consists of presentation from committee (ESCAP, ADB, and UNDP). Beside that, this session also have country presentations which is sharing process in their country, and then reflecting their country about needs and priorities to effort achievement on MDGs. In this session, Mr. Anis (ESCAP) just showed that the achievement of MDGs target on MMR is slow in almost ASEAN countries. Therefore, Ms. Sita Ari Purnami (WRI, Indonesia), was setting the stage, gave input that we should delve and putting up the issue of youth reproductive health. Perhaps these situations also appear in other countries and under the issues of health or gender and youth.
3) Session 2: Obstacles to meeting MDGs in Asia-Pacific: Lessons from the MDG Acceleration Framework (UNDP)
The objective of the session is to discuss key challenges and opportunities in MDG achievement with special reference to divergences in health and nutrition goals within South East Asia. The MDG Acceleration framework is being applied to Indonesia, Philippines and Cambodia within South East Asia to give fillip to national efforts on select lagging MDGs particularly on the reduction of maternal mortality rate and gender empowerment. The Session would also highlight that progress on MDG is possible with prioritized, impact solutions, concerted nationally owned and led action based on what works and why drawn from the implementation of MDG Acceleration Framework in the region. The participants are invited to provide their views on (1) what are the specific lessons learnt from the implementation of MDG within the national, sub-national context in their countries to accelerate MDG progress (ii) what are the key monitoring mechanisms to improve MDG outcomes in their country contexts.
4) Session 3: Building on the MDGs in shaping the post-2015 development agenda: Some regional perspectives (ESCAP).
The objective of the session is to share views on how post-2015 Development agenda can be formulated. In particular, participants will be invited to share their perspective (country, areas of work, etc) on the strengths and weaknesses of MDG framework and exchange view on how the post-2015 development agenda should be formulated.
Day 2: Thursday, 22 November 2012
1) Session 4: Key development issues for the post- 2015 development agenda– Convergence, strategies and outcomes (ADB).
This session was discussing first the issue of convergence of the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.
2) Session 5: Key development issues for the post- 2015 development agenda – Resources for delivery of basic services (ESCAP).
The purpose of the session is to have an overview of resource issues in achieving MDGs, in terms of mobilizing, allocating and reallocating resources efficiently for delivery of basic services. It was presenting discussion on the topic during the ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Expert Panel held prior to the meeting. The participants are invited to provide their perspectives, given past the experiences, on how the aspects of sources of financing the development gaps in the sub-region can be reflected in the post-2015 development agenda.
3) Session 6: Key development issues for the post- 2015 development agenda– State capacity, responsiveness and accountability (UNDP).
A new development agenda will depend on effective governance capacities at all levels (global, regional, national and sub-national) and commitment to the rule of law, including political commitment and leadership, and on the empowerment of people, especially those most excluded and vulnerable, to participate in global, national and local decision-making. Accountability is the crucial link that ensures that these individual and institutional capacities are strengthened and root causes of poverty and other development challenges are addressed: If civil society, including individuals, can hold States and other duty-bearers to their commitments through accessible, effective accountability mechanisms at global, national and local levels, it is more likely that those feel compelled to identify and address patterns of inequality, discrimination, exclusion and other structural factors inhibiting human development. Human rights offer principles and tested mechanisms to ensure accountability both at national and global level. In addition, human rights offer standards that help define goals and targets for a global development agenda more precisely. It will therefore be necessary, as part of a broader discussion on governance and accountability, to consider who should be responsible for ensuring the achievement of post-2015 goals, how global goals and targets can be aligned with international commitments and how they can be tailored as needed to the national level. The participants are invited to provide their views on (i) what should be the building blocks for responsive and effective governance in a post-2015 agenda (ii) how we can ensure an accountability framework that takes into account human rights principles and obligations to assure effective delivery on the post-2015 development agenda. In this session, Mr. Heru Prasetyo (UKP4) from Indonesia led the discussion as chair.
2) Session 7: Formulating and monitoring the post- 2015 development agenda – Lessons from the MDGs (ESCAP).
This session discuss issues related to formulating and monitoring the post-2015 development agenda in light of experiences and lessons learned in monitoring the progress of MDGs.
Day 3: Friday, 23 November 2012
1) Session 8: Social protection for the post-2015 development agenda (ADB).
The main objective of this session is to identify recommendations and next steps how developing countries and development partners can better collaborate to strengthen design and implementation of social protection programs. South-South Cooperation can potentially offer knowledge platform for governments and development partners on social protection issues such as assessments and analysis on social protection systems, budget needs, institutional capacity development, etc. Thus the main output of this session is to define the objectives, the focus and implementation arrangements of a demand driven sub-regional South-South Cooperation platform on social protection. It will also discuss on role of development partners, and measurement of effectiveness of such platform.
2) Group work
Individual country participants to hold consultations among themselves to identify 5 areas to be reflected in the Post 2015 development agenda to be presented in the next session. The consultation aims to receive feedback on how development partners and South-South Cooperation Networks can better support governments in their endeavour, to establish sound social protection systems, which will also accelerate achieving mitigate the impact of shocks not just on the poor but on societies as a whole, and to secure recent gains in poverty reduction and political stability achieved.
3) Session 9: The Post-2015 development agenda: Country perspectives from South-East Asia
Unfortunately, the last session had ended earlier because of anti-government rally (they calling for Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down) where UNCC office is located very close to the rally site.