Queen Rania Attends First Meeting of the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

September 26, 2012

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department- New York) – Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, along with 25 other members of the UN Chief’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, met for the first time at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday. The panel, which was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August, is assigned to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Secretary-General, who also attended the panel’s first meeting, has appointed three co-chairs: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. The panel -- half of whose members are women -- includes representatives of governments, the private sector, academia, civil society and youth.

“We, the three co-chairs and all members of the panel, have just concluded our first meeting of the high-level panel of eminent persons on the post-2015 development agenda. Our meeting was very productive,” H.E. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in a news conference following the initial meeting.

“One thing is clear in our deliberations which is that our ultimate goal of the post 2015 development agenda is to end world poverty and to improve the well-being of our citizens. It is also clear that the agenda must be built upon the MDGs’ achievements as it sets new goals and targets,” the Indonesian president said.

“We have a very challenging year ahead. It is my fervent hope that we will garner the strong support from member states and stakeholders in this historic journey,” he added.

“I think we have a clear objective and that is the ending of global absolute poverty. The eradication of poverty, that is the goal we should set ourselves,” said UK Prime Minister David Cameron. “In doing that we are not here to get rid of the millennium development goals, we are here to urge countries to complete and meet the millennium development goals.”

On Monday, Her Majesty Queen Rania and other members of the panel, met with representatives of international civil society organizations and activists, to get their feedback, aspirations and expectations for the panel’s work.

“I think your input will set the tone and give us the perspective that we need … Because with so many people left behind and left out by global progress, I think the next set of development goals needs to be as universally inclusive and responsive to those directly affected by poverty and injustice as possible,” Her Majesty told the meeting on Monday, held in the run up to Tuesday’s first official meeting of the high-level panel.

“Now, the world today is very different to what it was in the year 2000 when we had our first set of (development) goals and we cannot cut and paste the strategies of yesterday and apply them to the needs of tomorrow, but one thing we can do is learn from 12 years of experience.”

“And I think if there is one thing that we’ve learnt, working in isolation doesn’t work, working collaboratively gives us the results that we need,” Her Majesty added at the civil society meeting.

“When we align goals, objectives, experiences and data across organizations, and across individuals, and governments and businesses, that’s when we get the multiplier effect and that’s when we create the impact and that’s where you all come in and we’ll need you to help us reach our goals,” Her Majesty told the Monday meeting.

She said the input of civil society was important both in implementation and in the design of the new set of goals.

“We all have a stake so we all have to have a say … I know for sure that civil society is at the heart of development so your input is absolutely invaluable and we look forward to have you as partners,” the Queen added.

High Level Panel on Post 2015 Development agenda is expected to submit a report to the Secretary-General in the second quarter of 2013.

Members of the advisory panel also include former German President, Horst Kohler; former Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan; Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson; co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, Tawakel Karman of Yemen; Commissioner for Development for the European Commission, Andris Piebalgs; member of the Secretary General’s MDG Advocacy Group, Yingfan Wang of China; former Director General of the French Development Agency, Jean-Michel Severino and the Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbas.

According to a UN statement, the Panel is part of the Secretary-General’s post-2015 initiative mandated by the 2010 MDG Summit. Member States have called for open, inclusive consultations involving civil society, the private sector, academia, and research institutions from all regions, in addition to the UN system, to advance the development agenda beyond 2015.

The work of the Panel will reflect new development challenges while also drawing on experience gained in implementing the MDGs, both in terms of results achieved and areas for improvement. The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design Sustainable Development Goals, agreed at the Rio+20 conference. The reports of both groups will be submitted to Member States for their further deliberations.