Zero Draft: Sustainable Development Goals

The Co-Chairs of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals have released their much anticipated Zero Draft, which contains a proposal for goals and targets to succeed the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. The goals are as follows:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all, and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Attain healthy life for all at all ages
  4. Provide equitable and inclusive quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all
  5. Attain gender equality, empower women and girls everywhere
  6. Secure water and sanitation for all for a sustainable world
  7. Ensure access to affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern energy services for all
  8. Promote strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all
  9. Promote sustainable industrialization
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Build inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements
  12. Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Promote actions at all levels to address climate change
  14. Attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas
  15. Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss
  16. Achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions
  17. Strengthen and enhance the means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development

Full draft:

INJUVE DF (Mexico City) Joins the UN MY World Survey

Corinne Woods and María Fernanda Olvera Cabrera sign agreementThe Youth Institute of the City of Mexico (Instituto de la Juventud del Distrito Federal - INJUVE DF) expects to collect the information of 1 million citizens from the City of Mexico for the MY World Survey.

Three thousand young people will carry out the field work throughout Mexico City and a unique partner ID (INJUVEDF) will collect online votes and aggregate online and offline results.

The Government of the City of Mexico announced yesterday, 26 May in the City of Mexico that, through INJUVE DF, it will participate in the MY World international survey following an agreement that was solidified 22 of May in New York between the General Director of INJUVE, Lic. María Fernanda Olvera Cabrera, and the Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, Corinne Woods, both of whom signed the letter of intent.

Following this agreement, the City of Mexico has become the first locality to participate in the survey with a strategy of this magnitude. Through the participation of INJUVE DF, MY World will be able to learn about the post-2015 development agenda priorities of one million people from the City of Mexico. Most importantly these results will be incorporated and ready to be presented to world leaders by September 2014 to inform them about the priorities of people ahead of the development of the post-2015 agenda. To date the MY World survey has collected over 2.1 million votes from all over the world.


INJUVE DF joined this international consultation following the impact generated in the “Youth Trends Consultation 2013,” which collected the opinions of 304,000 youth – an historical figure in this type of exercise. In this new survey, INJUVE DF will take to the streets with three thousand youth representatives. These will canvass public plazas and schools, and visit house by house to spread out and ask people all over the City of Mexico: “What are the priorities which are most important for you and your family?”

The survey will take place from June to August 2014. Besides the field work, the people of Mexico City will be able to choose their 16 priorities on a unique link: Thanks to this link and unique partner ID, it will be possible to see the particular priorities of the people of the City of Mexico in the post-2015 agenda. The results will be part of the MY World Global Survey of the United Nations for a better world. You can follow these results here:

In this respect, INJUVE DF will be adding to the actions of cooperation and partnership between the City of Mexico and the United Nations. The Institute hopes that this represents the first of what will hopefully be many agreements made with the United Nations in favor of the future of young people in the City of Mexico.

2014.05.22 image3.jpgMexico.2014.05.26.Announcement1

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Global launch of the UN sanitation campaign to end open defecation

The UN Deputy Secretary-General launches the UN sanitation campaign to end open defecation
Wednesday May 28, 2014 10:00-11:00am EDT
Watch the event webcast on UN Web TV

The United Nations and its partners are holding a press briefing and campaign launch at UN Headquarters on 28 May 2014 to help end the practice of open defecation and improve access to toilets and latrines for the 2.5 billion people without basic level sanitation.

“It is time to talk about open defecation,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. “To discuss the facts, the consequences and the solutions. And it is time to talk about the many countries around the world where community members, local leaders and politicians are taking positive action to end this practice.”

The campaign aims to break the silence—the silence on talking about open defecation and the silence on the deaths and diseases, particularly among children, that have occurred a result of open defecation practices and lack of decent toilets or latrines.

The campaign will run to the end of 2015. The creative agency Mother, the largest independent advertising agency in the United Kingdom, has generously given time and expertise on a pro bono basis to develop the campaign ideas and materials. It is being launched in response to the UN’s Call to Action on Sanitation, and is focusing particularly on the issue of open defecation, which is seen as “the sharp end of the problem.”

Press Conference
Speakers: Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will officially launch the campaign. He will then take part in a discussion moderated by Andrea Koppel, former correspondent for CNN and current Mercy Corps Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy, H.E. Mark Neo, the UN Deputy Permanent Representative of Singapore and Nicholas Alipui, Director of UNICEF Programmes. A surprise celebrity appearance will be made at the end of the programme.

Time and Place: The campaign launch will take place on 28 May at 10 a.m. (EDT time) at Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium at UN Headquarters.

The event will be webcast live at:

Follow the Meeting on Twitter: @opendefecation, hashtag #opendefecation #sanitation

United Nations Announces the First Global Vote Day

The United Nations will dedicate the first week of May to getting out the vote for its MY World opinion poll, organizing a multitude of activities in more than 50 countries to raise awareness of and boost global participation. The goal is to foster a two-way conversation with the world’s citizens that will better inform the current debate about what should be included in to the next global development agenda being announced in September 2015.

The United Nations Millennium Campaign, the force behind MY World, will bring together over 700 international partners during the MY World Week of Action with one goal in mind- to get as many people as possible to raise their voices and express their views on what matters most directly to the UN.

This week the needle crossed 2 million voters from 194 nations who have participated in the MY World poll through paper ballots, via mobile phones and online. The survey asks participants to rank their top 6 issues of 16 provided. The information, to be collected until 2015, will then be used to guide the UN policymakers and country governments in the formulation of the post-2015 development agenda.

“The MY World Week of Action along with other consultative efforts of the UN System continues to ensure that the process of shaping the Post-2015 transformative people-centred and planet-sensitive sustainable development agenda, remains inclusive,” said Amina J. Mohammed, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning.

“I expect that the votes and aspirations of stakeholders the world over will enrich the deliberations of member states as they work towards an ambitious agenda aiming to achieve lasting results for people’s well-being while protecting the planet.”

The MY World Week of Action is slated to run from May 5 through May 11, with Global Vote Day on May 8, during which organizers will use crowdsourcing in hopes of drumming up an additional 500,000 votes to bring the total to 2.5 million. In support of the Week of Action, the UN’s People’s Podium will be in Trafalgar Square, London to provide a platform to youth groups and ordinary citizens to vote and have their say in creating the world they want. The podium has been touring the world encouraging citizens to vote, and serves as a reminder of the UN’s intention to have an open and inclusive conversation with people everywhere. The week will also coincide with the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, where a MY World voting booth will be available to attendees, and the World Economic Forum in Nigeria, where results will be shared. Final results of the week will be announced at a +Social Good event hosted by the Kofi Annan Foundation, with 700 students and the United Nations Foundation Board of Directors on May 13 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Over the past year, thousands of volunteers have gone out all across the globe and used MY World to offer ordinary people the opportunity to have their say on what they think matters most,” said Corinne Woods, director of the UN Millennium Campaign. “For the new development goals to be truly sustainable, we must all know them and believe in them. This is why we are urging everyone to cast their vote. We, in turn, commit to ensuring these votes are placed before politicians and leaders everywhere. People should be in no doubt that these votes really do count.

With nearly 2 million respondents surveyed, preliminary MY World results suggest the following trends:

1.    Good education followed by better healthcare and ’an honest and responsive government’ rank as the top-3 most important issues, with job opportunities coming fourth among voters overall. That trend essentially bears out among those from low-and medium-income developing countries and for respondents with less than a secondary education.

In fact, among those from very high-income developed countries, better education was the only issue in common with low- and medium-income developing countries. Healthcare and job opportunities fell to 6th and 11th, with access to clean water and sanitation ranking 3rd.

2.    A generation gap of sorts appears to be forming among overall respondents with those under 30 years old worried more about job opportunities than their over-30 counterparts, who seemed more concerned about living under honest and responsive governments.

3.    As for a gender gap, men and women tended to share the same top-7 concerns.

4.    People in poorer countries were much more likely than those in richer countries to choose better communications infrastructure as one of their six. One in three voters in low-income countries chose better transport and roads and better phone and internet access as one of their six options, while only one in ten respondents in high-income countries chose these options.

5.    Of the 2 million surveyed so far, just over one million responded through paper ballot, nearly 380,000 through mobile/SMS and almost 456,000 online.

MY World is the result of a collective effort made possible through the collaboration of its founding members UNMC, UNDP, ODI, core partners like UN Foundation, UNICEF, UNV and IPSOS Mori and more than 700 partners around the world, including NGOs, faith groups, youth movements, academia and private sector.

For more information about MY World and to view more results, please visit

MY World Global Week of Action 5-11 May

Did you know that more than 2 million people have already voted at the UN for the things that would make the most difference to their lives. But there’s more you can do!

Can you get 5 friends to vote this week?

Donate your social media profile before May 8th and be part of the global rally online

Share the MY World Week of Action Campaign- videos, messages & images here:
English: ToolkitThunderclap; TweetsCampaign ImagesIssue-based images
Español: ToolkitThunderclap; TweetsImágenes
Français: ThunderclapTweets
Português: ThunderclapTweets
Other languages 

We need you! Thanks for all your support :)

Best regards,
The MY World Team

For more information contact:
Anand Kantaria at 
Frances Simpson-Allen at

Conference on Inequalities in Africa: Accra, 28-30 April, 2014

The Pan-African Conference on Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation will take place in Accra, Ghana on April 28-30, 2014.

Inequalities are a recurrent theme in the debate on development. The Millennium Declaration recognized the concern over inequalities- although within the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets and MDGs implementation, the issue only received scant attention. The discourse around a post-2015 development framework is cognizant of the need to sufficiently address social and economic inequalities, given the evidence that inter and intra-country inequalities have largely worsened over the 15-year MDGs implementation period.

For Africa, the question of inequalities is critical, especially in light of the conversations about structural economic transformation and the optimistic outlook about the continent’s prospects.

Against this background and in the context of both the African Union’s Agenda 2063 visioning and the United Nations-led post-2015 development agenda process, there is need to create a constructive space where key African constituencies which are concerned with different domains of the inequality question and/or are engaged in conceptualizing and shaping possible trajectories for African transformation can coalesce to share their visions and aspirations and explore possible common paths to social change. This Inequalities Conference is a first step in this regard.

The Conference responds to the call by the African Union (AU) Chairperson for everyone from every sector of society to have a say in defining “the African agenda for 2063. It aims at forging linkages between the ongoing African developmental debates and the discussions on a post-MDGs development framework. The Conference will lead to a statement on The Africa We Want as an input to the global deliberations on the World We Want. Its primary intention is to craft an African agenda on inequalities, especially in the context of the pan-African process aimed at shaping an African vision for the next 50 years. It also draws from and feeds into the post-2015 development agenda discourses.

The Conference and broader movement that may be generated through its preparatory and follow-up processes should catalyse a new coalition of African individuals and institutions that can foster a vibrant agenda for equitable African transformation.

The conference is organized by the Government of Ghana in partnership with the United Nations Millennium Campaign, CODESRIA, DANIDA, ISSER, the Government of Sweden, SID, TWN Africa, UNDP, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and UNICEF.

For more information follow @AInequalities and visit the conference website.

Over 1.5 million voices heard!

Over 1.58 million people have had their say at the UN!

Up to now, the survey results reveal that the top priorities for voters to improve their lives are a good education, better healthcare, better job opportunities and an honest and responsive government. This strengthens the validity of the current Millennium Development Goals and places new issues on the global agenda.

MY World has massive support among the youth. About 70% of all voters are younger than 30 years old.

Corinne Woods, Global Director of the Millennium Campaign highlights that

The people, wherever they live in the world, want the same basic human rights ie health, education and work, and an honest and responsive government.


The United Nations invites everybody to Have THEIR say at the United Nations

The United Nations has launched in Madrid, with the support of Telefonica, the “HAVE YOUR SAY AT THE UNITED NATIONS” campaign, inviting everybody to participate in MY World, the UN global survey for a better world  (

 This innovative initiative invites all people to choose six areas of activity, from a total of 16, which, in their opinion, would represent a major improvement in their lives.  More than 1.5 million people in 194 countries have already voted - through the web, street surveys or on mobile devices – providing, for the first time, real-time information on people’s priorities for the future global development agenda, which is currently being discussed at the United Nations.


Up to now, the survey results reveal that the top priorities for voters to improve their lives are a good education, better healthcare, and better job opportunities. This strengthens the validity of the current Millennium Development Goals and places new issues on the global agenda.

Corinne Woods, Global Director of the Millennium Campaign stressed that “The especially striking message that emerges when we analyzed the data of MY World is that people, wherever they live in the world, want the same basic human rights ie health, education and work , and an honest and responsive government.”

“The MY World Survey aims to meet the real needs of citizens in all parts of the world and educate leaders about the leading priorities for developing programs and initiatives,” stated Alberto Andreu, Head of CSR & Reputation at Telefonica.

Globally, the “HAVE YOUR SAY AT THE UNITED NATIONS” campaign kicks off in Spain, in Madrid and Barcelona at the Telefonica Flagship stores, and at the Chamartin and Atocha train stations in Madrid, with the support of ADIF. The MY World podium is also installed in public spaces – to bring the initiative to the people.

After Spain, it will be implemented in the rest of the world with the support of United Nations and its partners.

The campaign has been developed by the UN Millennium Campaign in Spain with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

To vote:

For up-to-date results:

The African Narrative

The UN Millennium Campaign and the UNDP Regional Service Centre in Africa have published Structural Transformation and the Challenge of Financing Africa’s post-2015 Development Agenda. The paper is a powerful synthesis of a 2-day forum of leading African thinkers, parliamentarians, civil society organizations hosted by the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in order to develop a shared narrative of what the pos-2015 agenda should be about and how such an agenda should be financed, from an African perspective. For the post-2015 agenda to be relevant to Africa, it should  form an integral part of the African structural transformation vision, and Africans must drive such an agenda for Africans. Similar, Africa must plan from the outset how to finance such an agenda, relying substantially on mobilizing and using own domestic resources properly and managing external resources sensibly.

A new form of  global partnerships is necessary, one that is rooted in fairness and justice and basic respect and trust in Africa’s ability to put its own house in order.

Download full report

“Global Financial Crisis Forgotten Too Soon”

Read UN Millennium Campaign African Director, Charles Abugre, weekly column on international economic and development matters at Business Daily Africa.


THE ARRIVAL of 2014 marks the sixth year since Lehman Brothers Investment Bank of the United States was declared bankrupt – marking the beginning of what became the global financial meltdown.

Lehman brothers was the first high profile victim of the burst in the housing bubble – the packaging of housing loans (many of dubious quality – sub-prime) into securities that were traded and kept outside the balance sheets of banks in order for bankers to earn their bonuses.

This party of housing bubble allowed the likes of Barclays Bank’s Investment arm, Morgan Stanley and the Bank of America to thrive making their gamblers wealthier.

More than 1000 millionaires were created in the City of London alone – the one square smile financial centre of gleaming skyscrapers in the metropolis – and luxury yachts were going like toys.

But when the bubble burst, poor tax payers were called upon to the rescue the sinking ships, literally at the cost of many lives.

If you are dealing in high-end real estate in the wealthy areas of Nairobi, or Luanda, Accra or Lagos today, 2008 might seem like a distant dream or in some ways, even a blessing.

The opposite is true for the working or lower middle class person living in Spain, Cyprus, Greece or Italy for who the nightmare cannot end soon enough.

Millions remain unemployed, homes have been repossessed and streets are regularly occupied by angry and hungry protesters left to pay for debts owed to mainly German and British banks and Russian Oligarchs.

When the financial crisis hit – and it did so following hikes in energy and food prices – the predictions about the cost to the global economy were dire – and a lot came true.

As banks began to crumble, scores of homes repossessed, unemployment exploded and panic set in, partly because of fear that the banking system was concealing more debt and junk bonds than they were willing to reveal, governments stepped in, and put in place the most unprecedented policies since the re-emergence of neoliberalism.

Banks and their liabilities were nationalised, the banking system around the world was flooded with paper money printed by Central banks of the United States, the United Kingdom, the EU and Japan (the Advanced Economies -AEs) in particular.

The UK pumped into their banking sector the equivalent of 90 per cent of their GDP, the US, 35 per cent of GDP and Germany, 25 per cent of GDP – all amounting to trillions of US dollars equivalent.

These were accompanied by drastic reduction of interest rates, a measure that both sought to stimulate new borrowing as well as gain export competitiveness.

The impact of the crisis and the measures put in place by the AEs to combat it had both immediate and enduring impacts on developing countries in general and Africa in particular.

One such impact was a sharp decline in economic growth in 2008/9 – largely due to a fall in primary commodity prices and capital outflows from countries with significant exposure to international banks.

The ILO estimated that the crisis put an additional three million people out of work and 28 million people into insecure work.

African Finance ministers claimed that the “crisis was sweeping away firms, mines, jobs, revenues and livelihoods” and threatening efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) went one step further, forecasting civil chaos, and state fracture.

State fracture, of the type forecast by the EIU did indeed occur as regimes collapsed one after the other in North Africa from 2010 but for reasons that can at best be attributable to what Robert Wade of the United States calls “deep causes” – the structural character of the global economy shaped by neoliberalism and extreme greed that gave birth to financialisation, growing inequalities and political discontent.

Many of the impacts endure to date. Although economic growth rebounded quicker than the IMF projected, risks and fragilities associated with the crisis may have deepened in some respects.

Commodity prices flattened in 2013 and may remain so in 2014 due to the slowdown in economic growth in China and other emerging economies and continued crisis in the Eurozone.

Africa’s growth in 2014 is projected to be robust but below the pre-crisis peak. Although capital inflows rebounded in 2010 and increased significantly in 2012 due in particular to the easy money policies of the AEs, these are slowing down as less money is pumped in by central banks.

Moreover, capital inflows to Africa have been largely speculative and short-term looking for quick profits in the emerging equity markets, luxury real estate, mega city projects and natural resources extraction – all of which do little to create sustainable employment or narrow the current account deficits plaguing countries like Kenya, whilst contributing to building financial bubbles and widening inequalities.

Whereas larger developing countries are taking steps to manage these inflows by imposing market-based capital controls, countries like Kenya are dismantling any form of controls and threatening to liberalise capital movements even further.

As 2014 opens, the signs are that capital flows will become more volatile and more costly as the US roles back the pumping of money into the banking sector and money becomes less cheap.

With the global economy projected to grow only modestly, the Eurozone even more so and G20 countries slowing down, commodity prices will come under pressure.

Indebtedness will worsen in many African countries putting pressure on exchange rates. This picture contrasts with the euphoric expectation of our political leaders that foreign capital will flow in droves to “transform Africa’s economy” into an upper middle income one.

Editor’s note: Charles Abugre is Director for Africa of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. This text belongs to a series of weekly columns on international economic and development matters author created to be published at Business Daily Africa. . The views expressed are the writer’s own.