UNITED NATIONS, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Thursday presented the first findings from an unprecedented global conversation through which people from all over the world have been invited to help member states shape the future development agenda after the year of 2015.
A new proposed development agenda will be built on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after their target date at the end of 2015, UN officials said here, referring to a set of eight anti-poverty targets to be reached by 2015 as the deadline.
The snapshot report of initial findings entitled "The Global Conversation Begins" was delivered to more than 100 representatives of member states who will negotiate the future development agenda that is likely to build both on the MDGs and sustainable development agenda from Rio+20, also known as the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which was held in Brazil in June last year.
"We are reinventing the way decisions will be made at the global level," said Olav Kjorven, the UN assistant secretary- general and director of Bureau for Development Policy at UN Development Programme (UNDP).
"People want to have a say in determining what kind of world they are going to live in and we are providing that opportunity by using digital media as well as door-to-door interviewers," Kjorven said.
Three emerging priorities for the future development agenda, referred to as "the post-2015 agenda," can be identified:
-- First, the progress on the MDGs should be accelerated and adapted to contemporary challenges, such as growing inequalities within countries and the impact of globalization.
-- Second, the consultations point to the need for a universal agenda to address challenges like environmental degradation, unemployment, and violence.
-- Third, people want to participate, both in the agenda- setting as well as monitoring the progress in implementation of the post-2015 framework.
"There is huge energy and appetite to engage in these global consultations," said John Hendra, co-chair of the UN Development Group MDG Taskforce and deputy executive director of UN Women, which jointly led the discussions on how to address inequalities with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
"Of course this report is only preliminary, but it's already clear that inequality is a universal concern, and in that context, people are calling for gender equality and women's rights to be at the centre of the post-2015 agenda," he said.
Hendra also noted that the emerging priorities are broadly consistent with the UN Task Team report "Realizing the Future We Want For All."
The United Nations engaged so far more than 200,000 people from 189 countries through a mix of digital media, mobile phone applications, conferences, and paper ballot surveys in this initiative officially launched last week at UN Headquarters in New York City.
The United Nations teams in member states are making sure that groups usually absent from participation in global processes -- for example, women, indigenous communities, the youth, people with disabilities -- are consulted on what they see as priorities for development of their communities, UNDP officials said.
In Peru and Ecuador, the UN Country Teams are placing a particular focus on consulting communities from the Amazon region.
In Uganda, a mobile phone text message campaign has reached 17, 000 people who have voiced their opinions on issues that they care about.
In Zambia, the post-2015 agenda discussion is supported by the First Lady, Christine Kaseba Sata, and celebrities from sports and arts.
There are several tracks available for people to participate in framing the next development agenda: there are almost 100 national consultations in member states; there are eleven thematic consultations on issues such as inequalities, food security, and access to water; people continue to contribute their ideas through the World We Want 2015 website; and people vote for six out of 16 priorities through the MY World survey.
Findings from the global conversation will be delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, heads of state and government attending general debate of the UN General Assembly, slated for September, and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.
The report of "Global Conversation Begins" will be also presented to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Indonesian President Susilo Yudhoyono, in the panel's meeting to be held in Bali, Indonesia, at the end of this month, the officials said.