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The voices of the poor and most marginalised must be heard

The High Level Panel advising the UN on the new post-2015 development framework, meeting in London this week (1 November) and co-chaired by David Cameron, must ensure the voices and expertise of those directly affected by poverty and injustice are heard and valued, says the Church of England's International Affairs Adviser.

Prime Minister David Cameron is hosting the meeting of the High Level Panel, of which he is a co-chair and which was set up by the United Nations to create a successor to the existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Speaking at the start of the High Level Panel's meeting in London Dr Charles Reed, the Church of England's International Affairs Policy Advisor, commented: "If we are to learn anything from the way MDGs were negotiated it is that if the post-MDG development agenda is to command widespread legitimacy it can not be defined by a group of experts and technocrats working behind closed doors in a way that leaves unchallenged a model of development centred on the concerns of donors"

Dr Reed, who will be attending the High Level Panel's outreach with Civil Society on 2 November, said: "As a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Church of England obviously has particular issues and priorities close to its heart that we would like to see reflected in a post-2015 agenda. That is only natural. But it is important that all parties step back from selling a particular agenda or prescriptive view of human development to focusing instead on ensuring that the voices and expertise of those directly affected by poverty and injustice are heard and valued."

"As a Church we are committed to working with our partners from all around the Anglican Communion to ensure that their voices are heard fully and directly in the consultation process. A practical proposal from a faith based NGO in rural Kenya should receive as much attention as an idea from the Gates Foundation."


UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed the HLP on 31 July 2012 to develop 'a bold vision to advise on global development after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. The co-chairs were named as Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

This second meeting of the Panel in London will comprise three days:
- 31 October will be a day of seminars for panel members to engage with leading international experts, and discuss how a new international framework could drive poverty eradication. It will focus on issues such as transparency, access to justice and personal security, which are key to
lead to sustained prosperity.
- 1 November will be a full day of discussions among Panel members of issues related to individual and household level poverty, including a particular focus on human development; and jobs, livelihoods and targeting.
- 2 November will be a day of outreach to: civil society, private sector and youth, organised in partnership with these constituencies.

Future substantive meetings of the HLP will be in Monrovia in January/February with a focus on national development and in Bali in March with a focus on global partnerships.

The HLP is due to report to the UN Secretary-General by the end of May 2013.

Dr Charles Reed will be tweeting his reflections and thoughts on the High Level Panel's Civil Society Outreach day on 2 November. You can follow him at @ethicalcomment

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