Southern Voice Alert 10: November 2013

Southern Voice Alert 10: November 2013
  • CEPA Symposium on “Making Sustainability the Next Metric”

Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals (SV) partnered with the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), Sri Lanka, in organising a symposium titled Making Sustainability the Next Metric: the Post-2015 Development Agenda on 6-7 November, 2013. The co-organisers of the event wereCentre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh; Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Pakistan; Practical Action (PA) and the South Asia Policy Research Institute (SAPRI), Sri Lanka. The meeting addressed various dimensions of sustainability that are relevant in shaping the post-2015 international development discourse. The post-2015 agenda in the South Asian context was also discussed extensively at the meeting.

Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair, SV and Distinguished Fellow, CPD, delivered the opening address on the Current Debates and Activities in the MDG/SDG Global DiscussionsIn his presentation, Dr. Deb pointed out that, the MDGs did not address a basic aspect of development challenges facing the low-income countries, i.e. the need to transform their productive capacity. Foreign aid flows, often, have been concentrated on humanitarian assistance and social sectors. While these are also recognised as important priorities, it needs to be noted that development of physical infrastructure did not receive adequate financing. In this backdrop, ‘building productive capacity’ may be delineated as a standalone target in the post-2015 agenda with a view to accelerate the structural transformation of the developing economies.

A number of members of the Southern Voice network participated  as chairs, presenters and discussants in various sessions, including Ms. Priyanthi FernandoMs. Karin FernandoDr. Udan Fernando and Dr. Vagisha Gunasekara from CEPA; Dr. Fahmida Khatun from CPD; Dr. Shehryar Toru Khan and Mr. Asif Saeed Memon from SDPI; Dr. Saman Kelegama and Ms. Kanchana Wickramasinghe from IPS; Dr. Nidhi Sabharwal from IIDS.  Later an outcome document of the symposium was widely disseminated.

  •  Southern Voice at the International Parliamentary Conference in London

Chair of the Southern Voice on Post-MDGs and Distinguished Fellow, CPD, Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya spoke at the session on Financing for Development Post-2015 of the International Parliamentary Conference on the post-2015 Development Agenda, which took place in London on 26-28 November 2013.

Dr. Deb in his presentation highlighted the need for concessional long-term financial flows for infrastructure building in the low-income countries. He also underscored the need to stop illicit financial flows from these countries so as to enhance their potential for domestic resource mobilisation.

Professor Paul Collier, University of Oxford and Ms. Marilou Uy, a Sector Director of the AFTFP, World Bank were the other speakers at the session.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, UK, in collaboration with the UNDP hosted the conference. Sixty parliamentarians from 32 parliaments of Commonwealth and Non-commonwealth States joined the meeting. They discussed the role of national legislatures in sustaining the post-2015 development process. ‘Building capacity for good governance’ and ‘exchanging information or holding its implementation to account’ were the focus of discussion at the conference. An Action Plan was laid out at the end of the conference, which highlighted democratic governance, human rights, sustainable development, equality and global partnership in underpinning a new framework of international development cooperation.

  •  Southern Voice in the High Level Panel in Brussels

Dr. Deb Bhattacharya, Chair, SV and Distinguished Fellow, CPD was a panelist at the closing session of theEighth European Development Day which took place on 27 November in Brussels.  Issues highlighted by the High-Level Panel of the UN on Post-2015 had been the focus of discussion at the EDD13 Conference.Hon’ble Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and a Co-Chair of the UN HLP; Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General, UN; Mr. Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development; Ms. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International and Sir Paul Collier, Director, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford were the other members of the High-Level Panel. The session was moderated by Mr. Simon Maxwell, former Executive Director of ODI.

Dr. Deb in his intervention mentioned that the post-2015 international development agenda has to be ‘ambitious enough’ in terms of goals and targets, ‘appropriately balanced’ in terms of its framework components and their scopes, and ‘adequately endowed’ in terms of resources for its implementation. Noting the imbalances in global power relations, he pointed out ‘participation deficit’ and ‘knowledge asymmetry’ suffered by the Southern actors in the ongoing post-MDG debates.

  • New Studies from Southern Voice Partners
  1. CEPA. (2013). Making Sustainability the Next Metric: The Post-2015 Development Agenda. Outcome Document of the South Asian Consultation. Colombo: Centre for Policy Analysis(CEPA).Available at:
  2. Keane, J. (2013).  Post-2015 Agenda on Trade, Climate Change and Food Security: A South Asian Perspective. Policy Brief 26. Kathmandu: South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE). Available at:
  3. Dr. Fahmida Khatun, member of Southern Voice Network and Research Director, CPD also contributed in this Policy Brief.
  4. Bhattacharya, D., Khan, T. I., Salma, U. and Uddin, G. J (2013).  Lagging Behind: Lessons from the Least Developed Countries for a Development Agenda Post-2015. Perspective Series. Berlin: Global Policy and Development department at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES). Available at:

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Categories: Southern Voice Alert

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