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WHAT'S ON TAP

Weekly Newsletter from the Transparency, Accountability & Participation (TAP) 
Post-2015 Network 

VOL. 4, ISSUE 4

25 JUNE 2015
Message from the TAP Coordinators: Another week of negotiations and heading into July

Dear TAP Friends, 

Another week of Post-2015 negotiations have come and gone, with four jam-packed days of meetings here in New York. Thanks to all TAP members who were in New York that were able to join our meetings with Member States, as the demand for meetings has been very encouraging! We've had a very productive week with meetings, and with Paul Divakar, co-chair of the TAP Network Steering Committee delivering a statement on behalf of the TAP Network with our recommendations for the Post-2015 Zero Draft. You can find the full statement here, and a link to the UN webcast recording here

You can find our full notes from the Post-2015 IGN this week, along with our notes from meetings with Member States, on the TAP Network website here

Tom Wheeler has also returned from the first meeting of the Praia City Group on Governance Indicators, where he delivered TAP's work around Goal 16 and governance issues, which you can find here. You can find Tom's full notes from the meeting on the TAP Network website here as well. 

Final negotiations on the FfD3 Conference outcome document will continue on into the weekend again, after last weekend's marathon sessions spanning all hours on Saturday and Sunday. You can find the latest version of the FfD3 outcome document here

We'll have our next TAP Network conference call next week to debrief from this past week's negotiations, as well as to coordinate around the Financing for Development Conference in a few short weeks. Please fill out the doodle here to help us determine what day/time works best for most members. 

Thanks again for all of your support in this critical month ahead, and we look forward to speaking with you all more next week! 


Best Regards,
TAP Coordinators
John & Liam
www.tapnetwork2015.org
TAP NETWORK UPDATES

TAP Network Speakers during Post-2015 IGN next week and HLPF

Around the Post-2015 IGN, we’ve had several meetings with delegations and TAP Network members who are here for the IGN, with several more meetings tentatively scheduled next week as well. 

On top of our bilateral advocacy, we also had an opportunity to deliver a statement during the IGN’s Interactive Dialogue with the co-facilitators, where Paul Divakar, co-chair of the TAP Network Steering Committee spoke on behalf of the Network. The statement was prepared by a handful of TAP Network members who engaged in the thematic clusters work facilitated by UNDESA and NGLS over the past week, and also included contributions from a few other organizations and Major Groups outside of the Network. 

You can find the full statement delivered by Paul Divakar here, and you can watch the statement on UN webcast here (1:55:21).

Meeting of Group Praia on Governance Statistics Praia, Cabo Verde, 17-19 June 2015

Thomas Wheeler, Saferworld the topline points to communicate are: 

  • Wide variety of participants: different countries’ NSOs, international organisations – but only one CSO. Need to widen participation as plenty of scope for mutual learning, partnerships, different set of perspectives between civil societies and NSOs. Also a need for developed countries to send their NSOs (rather than statistics people from aid departments).
  • See notes below on Cabo Verde presentation in Session One for an overview of plans for Praia Group (PG). The key next step is to create a roadmap and submit it to the UNSC by November 2015. 
  • PG will, by the end of its mandate in 2020, develop and disseminate a handbook on governance indicators. While this will be the main focus of its work, it will try and do more than this. 
  • Other key exercises ahead: formation of secretariat, mapping of existing governance indicator initiatives and progress made, mapping of demand for governance indicators, and work on Goal 16. 
  • Identifying the boundaries of what is – and is not – included in conceptualisation of governance will be key (e.g. crime? Justice? Global governance?). Political issues re: overlap with UNODC/Mexico NSO process on crime.
  • Plenty of NSOs in PG are already measuring governance, but in different ways. For example, some focus on performance of government while others focus on state-society relations or accountability. See below a number of presentations from different NSOs. Interesting things to learn from and engage with. 
  • PG has a clear mandate to wok on Goal 16. There are two main areas for engagement: 1. With IAEG members who are also PG members (7-8 NSOs). Efforts will be made to hold a pre-meeting before next IAEG of PG NSOs involved in that. 2. Handbook to guide setting of national, regional or thematic level indicators, including not only a list of possible complementary indicators but also methodology of how to use them. 
  • UNDP and Saferworld gave a presentation on third party data providers. This went well, lots of interest in partnerships, though many NSOs remain insistent that official statistics are more reliable and, in a few cases, that they should have the final say on SDG reporting. Interesting questions over how far NSOs can go in measuring sensitive political issues. There is plenty of room for more discussion on this agenda as it remains undefined, Praia is a good grouping of NSOs to have it with. 
  • A Steering Group will be created. So far it looks like it will include Cabo Verde, UNDP, OHCHR, African Development Bank. They may extend to include one NSO from each region. They also want one CSO to sit on the group. A secretariat of some sort will be established. Likely just one person based within INECV. 
  • Desire to advocate on Praia’s work and legitimacy through outreach with other NSOs and engagement in global initiatives such as OGP, FfD process, GPEDC, at UNGA, etc.
  • An outcome document will be shared.
  • Full briefing notes can be found here.
Meetings with Member States during the Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document) 22-25 June 2015:

Key points from meetings with Member States
  • Need to balance being “overly prescriptive” in follow-up and review chapter, with many Member States speaking out this week on this very point.
  • Most were supportive of the recommendation of “people-centered” nature of the agenda, but mixed reactions on “reaching those furthest behind first,” as a practical issue of Member States fearing commitments that are far too aspirational to be achieved, and being held accountable.
  • General support for the value of third-party data in the Post-2015 agenda, but mixed reactions on how this can practically be applied through these processes. Some concerns about “trusting” these sources and comparability of these data sources.
  • Broad support for participatory mechanisms for Post-2015 processes going forward.
  • Concerns broadly from Member States in negotiations on being “too prescriptive” for follow-up and review processes.
Meeting with France
  • Francois Gave and Laure Serra from Permanent Mission of France and Claire Vancauwemberge from French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (Paris)
  • Welcomed the efforts of TAP to produce a common output on behalf of all endorsing organizations. While they were supportive of the idea, they mentioned that there might be some political resistance to the concept of committing to “reaching those furthest behind first,” as it is a massive challenge for Member States, including from the global south, and Member States might be hesitant to commit to be ambitious to that degree, for fear of not meeting these commitments.
Meeting with Japan
  • Meeting with Shinobu Yamaguchi, Deputy Director of Global Issues Division for Japan MOFA, (Tokyo)
  • Very new to the position – 1 or so months in to the work on Post-2015. Very open to “learning” from us and our experiences and perspectives when it comes to this Post-2015 work. They support our call for people-centered and participatory nature of the follow-up and review process and broader Post-2015 agenda. Also very supportive of idea of including third-party data sources to complement official data, and suggested that we think about what areas can third party data contribute towards specifically, and to compile and suggest best practices and examples of official processes that have harnessed third party data previously. He suggested that this would be a valuable resource for Member States and NSOs that are particularly skeptical of the role of third party data, to show them that it can be trusted and where it has been used in the past.
Meeting with Mexico
  • Meeting with Roberto Dondisch, Director-General for Global Issues, Mexico Secretaria De Relaciones Exteriores
  • Very elaborate meeting on a wide range of issues, and having worked in the civil society realm in large networks previously, he was very impressed by the efforts we have undertaken to identify key areas and recommendations as a Network. Particularly supportive of the need for increasing capacity of data generation and use, and for comparability. Suggested that the regional level discussions in particular needed to be strengthened in this sense, as it provides an opportunity for countries in similar situations to come together to identify solutions together. Very supportive of the participatory nature of the entirety of the Post-2015 processed, and pledged to be the first to speak up in negotiations if attempts were made to limit participation of civil society in next couple of months, or beyond. Was supportive enough of the role of third-party data that he suggested hosting an event in partnership with Mexican government on this very topic around July negotiations.
Meeting with Switzerland
  • Meeting with Maja Messmer from Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN and Lynne Calder from Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (Bern)
  • Switzerland is very supportive of our positions, particularly regarding follow-up and review and role of stakeholders in Post-2015 processes and follow-up. Highlighted that our reference to leaving no one behind and reaching those furthest behind first has seen some hesitance on behalf of some Member States, as it raises concerns again about data capacity to measure against these ambitions, and issues with increased responsibility to implement these principles in practice. When discussing the indicators process, they had the view that arbitrarily selecting a number of indicators to measure SDGs was unproductive and unhelpful. Additionally, they feared that this work could not even take place through the IAEG-SDGs unless there was a sound framework for how these indicators will be selected. On follow-up and review, they indicated that there is a fear of overloading the agenda and negotiations with too much detail on the follow-up and review chapter, particularly since separate negotiations will have to take place on the operational elements of the HLPF, post-September.  
Meeting with Canada
  • Meeting with Jonathan Arnold, Head – Post-2015 Task Force, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
  • Very encouraging meeting, where he expressed his appreciation for the work that has been undertaken by the Network. Very open and receptive to the ideas we presented, and indicated that some of the language from the TAP response had even been taken up by the Canadian delegation, including language on reaching those furthest behind first. However, he posed the question of how we actually implement this principle in practice, as it’s a huge undertaking. Stressed that accountability is a high priority of their delegation, and that participation in the HLPF is also an issue they have explored extensively.
Meeting with Georgia
  • Meeting with Nino Shekriladze from Permanent Mission of Georgia to the UN
  • Encouraging meeting, in which they expressed their appreciation for our work around Goal 16 issues, as it is a priority for their government. Highlighted that measures and reforms have been undertaken by their national government on the issue of corruption in particular, and felt as if their national experience in measuring progress against these national targets could be used through our work going forward. Responses to the Zero Draft from various Georgian agencies will be complied and synthesized, with TAP’s inputs being reflected here where applicable through the Mission’s inputs. Expressed a desire to work together going forward, particularly around Goal 16 issues. 
UPDATES/INTEL
Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document) 22-25 June 2015:
 
Background programme/documents/statements can be found at:
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/negotiationsoutcome1
 
Summary of key highlights:
  • There were numerous calls to change the title of the document, with some Member States proposing crowdsourcing it.
  • Issues raised included:
    • Concern about picking and choosing some goals to prioritize in the declaration and the preamble, such as the nine objectives proposed by the Co-Facilitators, and consequently, whether the preamble should remain or be removed in the document.
    • The relationship between the FfD3 outcome document and the MOI chapter of the post-2015 outcome document.
    • The need to strengthen the environmental dimension of sustainable development in the declaration.
    • Whether the entire OWG outcome document (including the preamble and reservations) should be included in the outcome document.
    • The need to reference a better and “fit for purpose” UN system to help countries respond to development challenges and support the implementation of the agenda.
    • The need to reference the positive aspects of migration for sustainable development in both countries of origin and recipient countries.
    • How to develop a common understanding of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).
  • There was emerging consensus that the declaration should be short and accessible and highlight the transformative nature of the agenda.
  • In the discussion on goals and targets, the G77 called for including the report of the OWG in its entirety in the text, including the chapeau and the reservations.
  • They also warned against reopening the targets to technical “tweaking.”
  • Developed countries asserted that: the Co-Facilitators’ introduction to the goals and targets is largely sufficient; there is no need to include the chapeau or reservations; and the technical tweaking of the targets is necessary because Heads of State cannot agree on unfinished text or endorse targets that are not aligned with international conventions and the Rio+20 outcome document.
  • In the discussion on follow-up and review:
    • While many delegations appreciated the text, some said it was too prescriptive, and others questioned the references to the roles of and interlinkages between national, regional and global follow-up and review processes.
    • There was support for a process that is voluntary, country-led, multi-level, transparent, inclusive, and evidence-based.
    • There was overwhelming support for stakeholder participation in national-level follow-up and review.
    • India stated they are uncomfortable with the term “accountability” and called for the removal of the word “meaningful” from the Follow-up and Review section of paragraph 14 during the follow-up and review segment.
    • While support was voiced for the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development as the “apex” of the review framework, there were different interpretations of what the global-level review would look like and the nature of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR).
    • There was also concern about the UN developing guidelines for national reports and review processes, as opposed to leaving this to governments.
  • In the discussion on MOI some Member States welcomed the zero draft’s indication that the MOI targets are only included as a “placeholder” pending the FfD3 outcome, many others said the two processes are distinct and that the FfD3 agreement will not be sufficient to ensure implementation of all the SDGs and targets.
  • The Co-Facilitators noted that they would produce a “final zero draft” within the next couple of weeks, before the final, two-week negotiating session that begins on 20 July 2015.  
Key highlights from Member States Interventions:
  • Costa Rica called for the participation of civil society, private sector and parliamentarians and add references to how citizens should be part of the process.
  • Egypt stressed to avoid new language in Goal 16 during the general statements and declaration segment.
  • Latvia stressed the principles of transparency, accountability and participation should be included in the zero draft during the general statements and declaration segment.
  • Republic of Korea stressed good governance, based on transparency, accountability and participation should be more highlighted in the zero draft during the general statements and declaration segment.
  • India stated they are uncomfortable with the term “accountability” and called for the removal of the word “meaningful” from the Follow-up and Review section of paragraph 14 during the follow-up and review segment.
  • Germany stated the involvement of Major Groups and civil society, the private sector, the scientific community and the UN system at all levels of the review architecture will be crucial for us to be able to get the full picture and truly know whether we are on track towards achievement of the goals. Therefore they very much welcome that this is clearly stated in the zero draft during the follow-up and review segment
  • Palau called for the follow-up and review section should strengthen accountability between states and citizens, supported by environment that enables active and meaningful participation of all stakeholders.
  • Mexico stated for a transformative development agenda which should constitute the basis of the global review mechanism it should include transparency, accountability and participation of major groups.
  • Full briefing notes here.

2015 HLPF: General information on HLPF (26 June-8 July):

An information note on the logistical arrangements for the upcoming HLPF (26 June-8 July), including pass pick up for registered participants, meeting room arrangements, webcast etc. can be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/HLPF-Info-Note

Background information on the HLPF including the latest programme, official documentation, list of side events and the SD-Learning Programme, is posted at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2015.

The theme of this year’s HLPF is “Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015″. As per the programme, most of the HLPF meetings will be held as interactiveround tables related to the theme. Time permitting, representatives of major groups and other stakeholders can participate in the question and answer sessions that follow the presentations by the panellists and lead discussants in each round table.

Also, on Monday, 29 June, from 8:30-9:45 a.m., the President of ECOSOC will convene a meeting on with representatives of social and natural sciences on “How science and inform policy making”, and on Tuesday, 30 June, from 8:30-9:45 a.m. the President will have a meeting with major groups and other stakeholders on ” Reinforcing major groups and other stakeholders’ participation”.

Please find available resources on TAP Network activities and outputs on our official website at http://www.tapnetwork2015.org
Follow us on twitter @TAPNetwork2015: 
Please follow TAP Network Twitter account at @TAPNetwork2015. We will update this twitter feed regularly and we will use it to share relevant information or resources, and possibly even live-tweet from negotiation sessions, with statements on TAP issues from Member States.
TAP Network Calender of Post-2015 Events
Upcoming United Nations Meetings/Events:
 
June 2015
 
 
July 2015
 
1 July: TAP Network side-event during the HLPF "Transparency, Accountability and Participation: Building a Post-2015 Review Architecture that is Fit for Purpose"
13-16 July: Third International Conference on Financing for Development Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

13 July: FfD3 side-event organized by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and Transparency, Accountability & Participation (TAP) Network “Transparency, Accountability and Participation: Laying the Foundation for a Transformative FfD3 Agenda” Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
15 July: FfD3 side-event organized by the Open Society Foundation & Transparency, Accountability & Participation (TAP) Network “Stolen Asset Recovery and Resources for the Financing for Development and Post 2015 Development Agenda” Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
20-24 July: Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations
(Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document)

27-31 July: Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document)
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