LIBERIA LAST WEEK hosted the third meeting of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post- 2015 Global Development Agenda. The meeting which was co-chaired by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, President Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and British Prime Minister David Cameron was aimed at recommending a comprehensive report to the UN Secretary General by May 2013 on how to tackle extreme poverty, access to safe drinking water, threats to environment from pollution and climate change among others.
THE PANEL HAS been tasked by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to develop a frame work for a post 2015 developmental agenda. During the meeting which was held at a local hotel from January 30 through February 1, 2013, the Panel took stock of the progress it has so far toward the fulfillment of its mandate.
IN A COMMUNIQUÉ issued at the end of the meeting, the Panel, among other things agreed that it should make every effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, while also framing a single and cohesive post 2015 development agenda that integrates economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.
FURTHERMORE IT NOTED in the communiqué that economic growth alone is not sufficient to ensure social justice, equity and sustain prosperity for all people and that the global community must pursue economic and social transformation leading to sustained and inclusive economic growth at local, national and global levels.
THE PANEL ALSO noted that the protection and empowerment of people is crucial and that this will require peace building and stronger domestic institutions- including effective, accountable and transparent governments and peaceful, just and equitable societies that protect and promote human rights and eliminate all forms of violence.
INDEED, WE WELCOME the commitment of the Panel to eradicating extreme poverty from the world. However, to succeed in this direction, the Panel must identify those hurdles such as corruption that are antithesis to achieving this goal, as it continues to develop a frame work for a post 2015 developmental agenda.
THERE HAVE BEEN many pronounced policies and measures taken by various governments on the eradication of poverty which continue to deprive citizens of decent living and basic needs. But achieving this has been difficult because these governments have not shown the political will towards this. This is why we welcome the initiative by the U.N. Secretary General towards the eradication of "extreme poverty."
CERTAINLY, WE ARE in agreement with the commitment of the Panel in Monrovia which agreed that every effort should be made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, while also framing a single and cohesive post 2015 development agenda that integrates economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.
ACHIEVING THIS GOAL is a challenge but with determination and focus, we are confident that the Panel, of which President Sirleaf is co-chair, will achieve the goal for which it was established.