Volunteer Groups ask Member States to look beyond traditional means of implementation to support people-led approaches to development

The fourth session of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda (New York, USA, 21-24 April 2015) focused on the means of implementation and global partnership for development. The session also hosted discussions about aligning the Financing for Development (FfD) process with the wider post-2015 process.

Representatives of Volunteer involving Organizations (ViOs) gathered in New York to participate in the April negotiations sessions and to meet in a side event on "The power of volunteerism as a cross-cutting means of implementation". The side event was organized by several members of the post-2015 Volunteering Working Group: CUSO International, the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (FORUM), Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and the UN Volunteers (UNV) programme.

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Highlights from the interactive dialogue (23 April 2015)

Ms. Elisabeth Kisakye, a VSO volunteer from Uganda working with the Girls Education Challenge project in Mozambique (in the photo, third from left), spoke on behalf of Volunteer Groups.

She reminded the audience that "it is important to ... focus on more than financial means of implementation; to talk about investment in and support for people-led approaches to development." Her statement resonated with the one given by a member of Beyond 2015, Mr. George Ndung'u, who stated in his speech that "we also hope that volunteerism will be recognized as a powerful and cross-cutting means for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda. People must be part of the global partnerships for sustainable development and we call upon Member States to make this clear in the outcome document." (Full speech)

The interactive dialogue for the April session, chaired by the co-facilitators, involved stakeholders from the post-2015 process (Major Groups and other Stakeholders) and from the Financing for Development process (civil society and business sector).

Highlights from the ViOs side event (22 April 2015)
  • The meeting highlighted that volunteerism should be a crucial component of the proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17. Goal 17 ("Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development") currently covers issues relating to finance, technology, capacity building, trade, systemic issues, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and data, monitoring and accountability.
  • ViO panelists called for shaping the means of implementation component in a way that looks beyond financial and technological means and also includes people-centred approaches. ViOs also agreed to produce a shadow report presenting examples of impact of the contribution of volunteers towards development outcomes as expressed in the SDGs.
  • Ambassador Hiroshi Minami, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, stated that he saw three possible opportunities for volunteerism to fit in final post-2015 agenda, namely in the Declaration (although volunteerism may not be specifically mentioned since the Declaration is envisaged to be short); in the Means of Implementation section; and in the Global partnerships section, since volunteers should have an important role as stakeholders of global partnerships. Mr. Tim Mawe, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN, also reaffirmed that volunteers will play a major role in the implementation of the SDGs and that the role of volunteers should be enhanced.

The zero draft of the post-2015 development agenda will be released after the next session of the intergovernmental negotiations that is scheduled for 18-22 May 2015.

In a joint session between the Financing for Development (FfD) process and the post-2015 process, the respective co-facilitators urged that the two processes must work together for each to be successful, and called for the FfD outcome to match the ambitious nature of the post-2015 development agenda. Possible arrangements for a technology facilitation mechanism as well as other science, technology and innovation issues were also discussed. The zero draft of the Outcome Document of the Financing for Development Conference (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-16 July 2015), providing a framework for financing the sustainable development goals and a platform for specific deliverables, was released just before the April sessions.