To encourage an open dialogue with civil society, and to seek a true common vision on the future of our planet within the ongoing Sustainable Development and Post-2015 discussions, the UN Department of Public Information (UN DPI) in Baku and the office of the Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan brought together civil society activists and NGO representatives on 17 April, 2013 to jointly step through the looking glass.
“We are really happy that UN DPI continuously seeks cooperation with civil society to give us a chance to not only cooperate around MDGs as we did in the past, but also to take part in the global consultative process towards a new Post 2015 agenda and look jointly beyond 2015,” said Esmira Asadullyeva from the Civic Response Network.
Facilitated by the Centre for Economic and Sustainable Development (CESD) Director, Dr. Vugar Bayramov, a lively discussion on the MDGs and global post-2015 development agenda touched upon a broad range of sustainable development issues and, inter alia, addressed the dimensions of environmental sustainability, shared growth, equity, and social inclusion.
The session also acknowledged that civil society has become a major global player in making progress towards the MDGs, particularly in alleviating poverty, and is expected to play a major role at this time when the UN looks for improvement on this agenda in the best interests of future generations.
The United Nations (UNO) Office in Azerbaijan and its partners will continue their co-operation with a wide range of partners to work towards the most successful global anti-poverty push in history, but at the same time we are happy that ordinary people can take an active role in the ongoing debates, said the UN DPI Representative Envera Selimovic. She added, “We hope NGOs will help us in providing an arena where hard-to-reach, out of site groups such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, and voiceless young girls can enunciate their needs or concerns.”
For Ruhengiz Huseynova from the Women’s Solidarity Society this was the first ‘The World We Want’ consultation that she attended at the UN House in Azerbaijan. The consultation provided the opportunity to draw lessons from the MDGs, from both global and local perspectives, and discuss prevailing assumptions behind the development paradigms to ensure a strategic approach while identifying the sustainable development goals beyond 2015. “I’m truly excited to contribute to the Post-2015 national consultation process which is part of the ongoing UN global initiative,” Ruhengiz said.
UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Antonius Broek, concluded the discussion, thanking the participants and organizers and pointing out that the outcome of the national deliberations will feed into the global debates with the aim of creating a consolidated global position on the vision, purpose, principles and criteria of a post-2015 development framework.
The United Nations will continue cooperation with the Government, NGOs, private sector, and development partners to make progress towards achieving the MDGs by 2015, said Mr. Broek and added, “We will also explore opportunities to build effective partnerships with new powerful drivers and actors, including from civil society, to further advance sustainable development in Azerbaijan.”