The United Nations Millennium Development Goals have helped improve the lives of billions, but much more needs to be done to reduce inequalities and address environmental challenges. Actions must now be urgently stepped up to achieve the MDG targets by 2015. At the same time, different stakeholders are currently actively engaged in discussing a Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The Post-2015 Development Agenda will build on the Millennium Development Declaration, the achievements of the MDGs and address new and emerging challenges. Together we can build a more equitable and sustainable world. To do so, the Post-2015 Development Agenda must be bold and ambitious, improving the lives of all people, both now and in the future. Education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information have the power to induce and support the necessary transformational changes for realizing this aspiration.
The new development agenda needs to balance universality and focus. It needs to be universal in terms of its appeal and contents, while also helping us to focus on what is most urgent - the eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities, and the elimination of discrimination. It needs to place the values of equality, human rights and sustainable development at its core. It must respond to the needs of contemporary societies, in particular by ensuring Education for All, promoting social inclusion, and tackling unemployment, especially amongst the youth. It must help us deal better with environmental degradation and unsustainable practices and behavioural patterns. And finally, it must promote peace and security by urging people to learn to live together in a peaceful and just manner, and giving priority to mutual understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
The Post-2015 Development Agenda will be the result of an open and inclusive process, engaging every citizen of the world in dialogue. Extensive consultations with governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and research institutions are under way. Finally, the delivery of the new development agenda is the prerogative of the Member States, while the UN’s task is to inform the position of Member States with technical advice and the best available evidence.
In addition to over 80 National Regional Consultations, there are eleven Global Thematic Consultations currently ongoing, including e-discussions. UNESCO, together with UNICEF, is co-leading the Global Thematic Consultation on Education. UNESCO is also actively contributing to other Global Thematic Consultations, including those on Water and Environmental Sustainability. This dialogue aims to stimulate creative thinking on how to build the world we want for the future.
UNESCO encourages everyone to join the Global Thematic Consultations online: www.worldwewant2015.org