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ARENGUKOOSTÖÖ ÜMARLAUD (AKÜ) Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation

Tallinn, 14 September 2012 RE: PUBLIC CONSULTATION „TOWARDS A POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK“ Dear Commissioner Piebalgs, The Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ)* is delighted that you are actively looking for ways to make European development cooperation more effective and sustainable. We are hereby sending you our response to the public consultation „Towards a post-2015 development framework“, which is based on consultations with the Estonian civil society organisations and wider public. In questions not answered below we are in full support of the positions of the BEYOND 2015 campaign. The public consultation’s questions cover a vast range of topics and it is not possible for us to give comprehensive answers to all of them. Therefore, we will highlight the issues we consider to be of highest importance regarding the debate on the post-2015 development agenda: The MDGs: benefits and limitations The primary purpose of the MDGs is to create a just and sustainable world in which every human being can realise their rights. We sincerely believe that this purpose should also guide any future development framework. Thinking of the benefits of the MDGs, we have concluded that one of the greatest benefits of the current framework is that is has enabled the international community to agree on a common focus for development work and commit resources for the same ends. The framework has supported a continuous dialogue and public debate on development issues. Furthermore, we like that the goals have been relatively concrete and measurable, which is crucial for evaluating progress. On a critical note, we would like to emphasise that the current global development cooperation system is highly Eurocentric. The responsibilities and accountability mechanisms are too often biased to favour the donors’ interests and neglect the greatest common goal of reducing poverty and improving the well-being of people in the developing countries. In addition, there policy coherence for development has not been at the centre of policy making, which means that much of the good done via development cooperation is still erased by harmful policies in other spheres (i.e. trade, agriculture, finance, security). In turn, the incoherencies have forced poorer countries into aid dependency. In particular, we are concerned that the environmental aspects of global development have not been given adequate attention. Sustainable development is too often only a nice political ________________________________________________________________________________ Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148, Estonia Tel/Fax: (+372) 627 0191 1 of 3

ARENGUKOOSTÖÖ ÜMARLAUD (AKÜ) Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation

talking point and the measures taken have not been sufficient to guarantee that future generations can lead their lives is a decent environment. The failure to meet all of the MDGs by 2015 is largely due to the fact that there is no real accountability mechanism, which would motivate all actors to fulfil their numerous promises. A part of this is a lack of adequate monitoring of processes and results. Future framework: feasibility, scope and shape The Estonian civil society believes that the scope of the new framework must be global in order to truly address the global challenges faced by people in low, middle and high income countries. We support the idea that the framework should be guided by the principle of common-but-differentiated responsibility whereby every country has obligations but they may differ to reflect the country context. In any case, all countries should agree to make development progress, both individually and collectively. The emerging donors and all other actors must be consulted for a consensus on these goals, so that the post-2015 framework would have true global legitimacy. It is crucial that all the principles and goals of the new framework are coherent and contribute to the achievement of the overall development objectives. We prefer a focus on a few concrete thematic goals to an overly general approach. The issues that we consider of highest importance are education, development of global civil society and improving development effectiveness, which are the prerequisites for any development. As mentioned above, the coherence of all other policy areas with development goals is a must-have element of the new framework. The post-2015 framework must further express a genuine commitment to mutual accountability which encompasses the impact of richer and emerging countries’ policies in areas such trade, tax and financial regulation etc. and the role of all actors impacting on sustainable development objectives in any way. On a more practical level, it is crucial to put special focus on good governance at all levels. Open governance, empowerment of the civil society and vulnerable groups, transparency, respect for human rights and upholding democracy must not be overlooked in any phase of development. Related to mutual accountability and good governance, appropriate and rigorous accountability mechanisms pertaining to all actors are crucial for the success of achieving goals and turning aspirations or ‘commitments’ into obligations. For the best development results, it is important to guarantee that all actors commit to making progress based on commonly agreed values like human rights. Grounding the post-2015 framework in human rights standards and offering mechanisms for citizens to hold governments accountable are needed at different levels, including at least both the global level and nationally. Furthermore, there is a strong need for a thorough and transparent system on monitoring and evaluation of development results across the world. The prerequisite for this is a set of long-term, realistic and measurable indicators. ________________________________________________________________________________ Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148, Estonia Tel/Fax: (+372) 627 0191 2 of 3

ARENGUKOOSTÖÖ ÜMARLAUD (AKÜ) Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation

Last but not least, we believe that maintaining the current levels of commitment for development financing (i.e. 0.7%) must be the minimum standard to strive for. The currently highly fragmented development financing must to be harmonised and made more coherent, including in terms of the standards applied when it comes to its accountability and transparency. AKÜ wishes you the fortitude to guarantee that the European development policy focuses on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable of the world, and remains open for further dialogue on the best ways to build the best new development framework. Sincerely, Ms. Piret HIRV

Secretary-General Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation * Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ) is an independent not-for-profit coalition of 21 non-governmental organisations that work in the field of development cooperation and global education. AKÜ's main areas of work are advocacy for better Estonian and European development policy and financing, coordinating the national global education efforts and capacity building of the civil society. AKÜ is a member of the European confederation for development and relief, CONCORD and works closely with the TRIALOG project for advancing development issues in the New Member States.

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AKÜ's position on post-2015 goals