UK Parliament Report Supports Post-2015 Focus on Environmental Sustainability, Poverty

22 January 2013: The UK Parliament's International Development Committee (IDC) has published a report on the post-2015 development goals. The report supports the argument of David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, that the post-2015 agenda should aim to eliminate extreme poverty, noting that this goal is achievable. The report also supports a focus on environmental sustainability and poverty reduction.

The IDC report recommends that the post-2015 agenda address, inter alia: environmental sustainability; disabilities; gender; inequality; job creation and poverty. It recommends simple and measurable goals that are universal but have national indicators and targets. Noting room for improvement on how progress is measured, the report recommends disaggregating data by gender and region.

On the relationship between the UN High-level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Committee said “the majority view is that the end result should be one combined set of global goals, covering both post-2015 and sustainability agendas.” It recommends incorporating sustainability into the post-2015 framework, and merging the two agendas.

Given Cameron's role as a Co-Chair of the HLP, the IDC report aims to inform his role on the Panel, according to MPs. It calls on Cameron to provide a “clear and consistent” definition of the “golden thread,” a term he has used to refer to governance-related issues since 2005. The report supports Cameron's view that “good governance is fundamental to development,” and recommends including the “golden thread” concept in the post-2015 framework and goals.

The report also calls for greater transparency on HLP meetings, saying it is “regrettable that no notes…are available to the public,” especially given the private nature of its meetings. The report suggests meeting notes could help achieve public buy-in of the HLP recommendations, and urges the HLP and Cameron to develop an international campaign to secure support for HLP recommendations during the intergovernmental process.

The IDC report includes: an introduction on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the HLP and the SDG process; a section on the process related to post-2015 goals, including the HLP's progress, processes for taking forward the HLP's recommendations, and consultations; a section on the potential content of post-2015 goals, including the “Golden Thread,” health, employment and education; a section on the potential structure of post-2015 goals that discusses “getting to zero,” inequality, targets and indicators, timescale, and simplicity and measurability. [UK Parliament Press Release[Publication: International Development Committee: Eighth Report - Post-2015 Development Goals]