September 25, 2013, New York: Speaking at the UN General Assembly articulating the Indian civil society aspirations on actions to make the new development agenda work in developing nations that are home to 85 percent of the world's poor, Amitabh Behar representing National Social Watch (India) and Wada Na Todo Abhiyan emphasized that, “for the new development agenda to succeed, we need to move away from a poverty lens to a more holistic justice frame.” The new development frame will succeed the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire in 2015.
Mr. Amitabh Behar, a representative of a coalition of 4,000 Indian civil society organisations under the umbrella National Social Watch and Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, voiced the civil society concerns related to the new development agenda at the UN Special Event on MDGs at the 68th General Assembly in New York on September 25.
“There is a need to be far more ambitious and ensure real transformation by focusing on structural and systemic causes of poverty”, said Mr. Behar. He also noted that, “this has to be built around human rights, around social exclusion relating caste, gender, age, disability, gender justice within public and private sphere, environment justice addressing consumption patterns, just and accountable governance including global governance institutions, financial, trade architecture and corporate accountability, and livelihood rights to ensure people’s rights over land, water and forests.”
Mr. Behar added that, “To accomplish this, the new development frame must stress on role of state without leaning on corporates, put in place clear monitoring mechanisms such as peer review and periodic review, work towards clear process and inclusion indicators as opposed to mere focus on outcome indicators, and finally acknowledge the consultative process in the past couple of years in ensuring people’s involvement in finalizing these goals and working towards them.”
The event saw attendance from all member states, heads of nations Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, global media and all UN agencies. Speaking in the same round table, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh observed that, “the post-2015 development agenda must focus on development more than anything else” but also added that, “growth was fundamental to pursue inclusive policies to eradicate poverty, and we must clearly recognize this imperative.”
The Special Event on MDGs is being organised following a General Assembly Resolution 65/1 (paragraph 78) requesting President of the 68th General Assembly to organise a special event in 2013 to follow up on the efforts made towards achieving the MDGs. In his letter to the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban ki-Moon, Mr. Vuk Jeremic (President of the 67th General Assembly) underscores the importance of this meeting in the context of overall efforts of the UN to advance towards the post-2015 development agenda. More information on the dialogue can be found at