Valladolid: IPCM seminar on the “Post-2015 Agenda and Sustainable Development”

01The seminar on the “Post-2015 Agenda and Sustainable Development” (see program here) , was held on 17 March 2015 by the International Platform for Cooperation and Migration (IPCM) with the support of the Spanish Secretary General for International Development Cooperation (SGCID), at the Institute for European Studies in Valladolid. The event aimed to promote knowledge and understanding of policies for participating in the goals of the Post-2015 Agenda and Sustainable Development.

The session was opened by José Ramón González, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for International Relations at the University of Valladolid (UVa), who welcomed all the participants and reaffirmed the University’s commitment towards society for solidarity and outreach. The President of IPCM, Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga, then took the floor to give a brief explanation on the Platform, its aims and its main activities.


02He was followed by María de Diego, Director General for Institutional Relations and Foreign Action of the Government of Castile-León, who spoke about decentralised cooperation, achievements to date and challenges for the future, calling for greater involvement by society in relieving poverty.

The first panel session was entitled “From the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)". It was presented by José Luis Alonso, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Valladolid with participation by Francisco Quesada, Advisor to the Secretary General for Development Cooperation of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SGCID-MAEC).

03The former spoke about the results achieved on a global level by the MDGs, stressing the halving of the population living in extreme poverty, increased access to drinking water for 89% of the population as opposed to 76% in 1990, progress in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis, improved maternal health and the 45% reduction in maternal mortality, elimination of gender differences in primary education, etc. He stressed the need to continue working in areas in which results had not been good such as infant mortality, and also stated that the threat to environmental sustainability has undoubtedly increased in recent years.


Francisco Quesada then spoke about work on the drafting of the Spanish position for the Post-2015, whereby Spain reaffirms its commitment to human sustainable development. He explained that the Spanish position is made up of two parts – Principles for the new Post-2015 Development Agenda, and 12 goals. The principles include recognition of the MDGs, a focus on people with a view to eradicating poverty and reducing inequality, sustainability in all its dimensions and the inclusion of middle-income countries. The following Post-2015 Goals have been agreed on:

1. Eradication of poverty and reduction of vulnerability
2. Reduction of inequality: development with equity
3. Environmental sustainability
4. Democratic governance and human rights, peace and security
5. Gender equality and empowerment for women
6. Food security and nutrition
7. Health: universal coverage
8. Quality education for all
9. Human right to water and sanitation
10. Inclusive, sustainable economic growth. Creation of decent employment
11. Sustainable energy for all
12. Global partnership for the new development agenda.

04The second panel session, “Position of the United Nations on the SDGs”, was presented by Maribel Alañón, Technical Secretary of IPCM and Director General of the Fundación Humanismo y Democracia (H+D). The speaker was Paloma Durán, Director of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who described the action taken by United Nations to guarantee development, in four areas: the new 2015 Development Agenda, the key points of the Post-2015 Agenda, the Post-2015 process and the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Fund.

She briefly explained the synthesis report on all the work being done in relation to the process for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including UN consultations, which was presented in January by the UN Secretary-General and entitled "The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet".

This report proposes a transformational, global agenda for sustainable development, based on rights and in which people and the planet are at the centre. The key points in the Post-2015 Agenda are a call for global action, global partnerships and new agents including civil society and the private sector. 2015 is a key year as the final parameters for the Agenda are to be negotiated over the coming months.

She then focused on the Fund, stressing its initial themed priorities, namely:

1) Inclusive, sustainable economic growth. Creation of decent employment
2) Food security and nutrition
3) Human right to water and sanitation

She also mentioned the cross-cutting themes of sustainability, gender equality and public-private partnerships.

By way of illustration, two examples were given of programmes carried out by the SDG Fund: 1) a programme in Ethiopia to economically empower women, and 2) the creation in Peru of an inclusive value chain for quinoa and other Andean grains.

To close, Paloma Durán drew some conclusions and posed some reflections for all the participants. The UN is placing great importance on adaptation to the risks caused by climate change and resilience: how to assign responsibilities and commitments and monitor compliance, and how to organise participation by all the stakeholders.

05The third panel was entitled “The European Union position on the SDGs” and was presented by Josep Calvó, IPCM Treasurer and President of the Union of Research Centres in the Mediterranean, who introduced Gabriel de Cáceres, Foreign Affairs Advisor at the European Parliament. In his speech, Gabriel de Cáceres described the global context and how work is being done in the European Union (EU) through European diplomacy to negotiate between the various member states on a universal agenda including social, economic and environmental aspects. He explained the work being done today in the EU on this complex process of the Post-2015 Agenda in a converging context in which important divergences remain. He spoke of the Spanish position in the EU, which supports aid to middle-income countries where a large proportion of the population (70%) lives in poverty.


The last panel session at the seminar was entitled “The Agenda for Funding Post-2015 Development” and was presented by María Reina Martín, Deputy President of IPCM and Secretary General of the Associaçao para a Formaçao, Investigaçao e Desenvolvimento Social dos Trabalhadores (FIDESTRA). The speaker was Javier Sota, Coordinator of the Spanish Cooperation Policy Monitoring Programme (FIIAPP Foundation), who outlined the history of development funding since the Monterrey Consensus of 2002 up to the Doha Conference of 2008, which aimed to review the Monterrey commitments in the framework of the financial crisis

The main conclusions of the resulting document were:

1) Maintenance of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments
2) Gender approach and economic empowerment of women
3) Fight against tax evasion
4) Support for Corporate Social Responsibility, the Global Compact and the EITI Initiative
5) Promotion of innovative sources of development funding
6) Promotion of the impact of remittances on development in countries of origin
7) Cooperation with middle-income countries
8) Debt sustainability goal and review of sustainability frameworks
9) Commitment to complete the Doha Round trade talks
10) Support for measures to achieve regional integration, South-South trade and Aid for Trade
11) Guaranteed food security (global partnership for farming and food)

Regarding development funding, stress was placed on classifying the different types of resources by their origin (domestic or international), their nature (public or private), cost conditions for recipients (concessional or non-concessional) and type (financial or non-financial). The following conclusions were then drawn: today there is a wider range of mechanisms to support and finance development, the various sources cannot be considered substitutive, ODA is the most important source for least developed and low-income countries, the Post-2015 Development Agenda will be difficult to implement only with donations, refundable instruments are basic, and skill-building is important as is cooperation in the fields of knowledge and technology.

On the Spanish position regarding the funding of the Post-2015 Agenda, the speaker stated that priorities are to mobilise domestic resources (the fight against tax evasion, tax havens, non-cooperative jurisdictions, etc.), remittances, innovative funding (Financial Transaction Tax), ODA (support for reforming the concept – TOSD) and policy coherence (debt, trade and financial stability). The work done in Spain has been described in an academic document entitled “Global Commitment for inclusive, sustainable development: considerations on the Post-2015 Agenda” coordinated by José Antonio Alonso and discussed with other Ministries and at the Salamanca Forum for Debate.

The reform of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) introduces a new measure for development finance to complement the modernisation of ODA – TOSD (Total Official Support for Development). As to why such a new measure is necessary, the speaker gave the following reasons: new agents and instruments, the donor viewpoint, the recipient viewpoint and the need to restore credibility to the system.

At present 10 countries in the Eurozone (Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain) are studying the introduction of a financial transactions tax in the EU, which would bring in approximately 35 billion euros. This experience might be very interesting for the possible adoption of an international transactions tax linked to the financing of development goals, although this would apparently only be viable once the economic crisis comes to an end and if the participating member countries carry out tax adjustments.


During the closing session, Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga, President of IPCM, thanked the many participants who came from the official Public Administration and regional and local administrations and included professionals and entities from the voluntary sector, including the NGDO Coordination Body for Castile-León, as well as teachers and students from the Master’s course on international cooperation at Valladolid University.

He stressed the role of the International Platform for Cooperation and Migration (IPCM) in creating greater public awareness of the new Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate poverty as from 2015.


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