Thursday, September 26, 2013

Climate, human rights key to new development goals

Liz Ford in the Guardian (UK): Decisions on what should be included in future development goals must be accompanied by a robust agreement on climate change and a stronger emphasis on human rights, according to the former Irish president Mary Robinson.

Robinson, a human rights campaigner and founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, said the two major concerns ahead of 2015, when the millennium development goals (MDGs) expire, are creating equitable sustainable development goals and signing a global agreement that would limit global warming to 2C.

"The serious urgency between now and 2015 is to achieve a global agreement on the sustainable development goals and a robust climate agreement to stay below 2 degrees celsius, or preferably 1.5 degrees celsius," Robinson told the Guardian between meetings at the UN general assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday. Robinson said framing future universal development goals on the principles of human rights, which member states agreed this week, could make a big difference to people's lives.

"When the MDGs were developed, the idea was to keep them simple and not to complicate them. We didn't do as well as we should have. Human rights is about targeting the very vulnerable … making governments more accountable and [ensuring] the participation by people on how goals will be implemented.

"The MDGs did give us goals that governments and civil society and business have worked to, and now we realise they can be much more effective if we have some other issues [included]."...

Mary Robinson at the WEF, shot by World Economic Forum, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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