(Wang Le is the Deputy Country Director, Director of Advocacy, PDQ for Save the Children in China)
While my family and friends celebrated Chinese New Year back home, I was in the coldest winter that New York had experienced in the past 20 years. Engaging with the Post-2015 Agenda processes - to create the next set of global development goals. I was there participating in meetings with different missions from UN Member States and delivering Save the Children's statement at the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations at the United Nations held on19 February 2015.
As a direct result of our advocacy efforts and our work in the Post-2015 processes, the discussion document for the Declaration circulated to UN Member States after the meetings, made an explicit reference to our call - 'no target will be considered met unless it is met for all economic and social groupings'.
A little bit about the Post-2015 development agenda discussion
Together with Helen Morton, the Post-2015 lead from Save the Children UK and colleagues working on Post-2015 at the New York Advocacy office including Nicole Cardinal and Catherine Woodin, we attended 21 face-to-face lobby meetings with UN Member States from high, middle and low–income countries including my own, the Chinese Mission to the UN. In these meetings, ambassadors and delegates welcomed Save the Children's recommendations for the Declaration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including the main ask to include the statement - "No target should be considered met unless it is met for all social and economic groups" - supported by 3,200 organizations worldwide.
With all of the excellent work being done by Save the Children's Post-2015 team across the organization, Save the Children has established credibility in the international political space and is regarded as a professional player and broker between different UN Member States and civil society representatives.
My experience as the official speaker
It was an eye opening experience for me to engage in direct discussions with UN Member States on such an important global agenda, especially given that space for similar conversations doesn't exist back home..
It was an honour to be officially nominated by Save the Children and selected as an official speaker - as a representative of civil society from around the world - to share our views and position. It is also really important for those of us working at a country office level to have our voice heard and gain understanding and insight into how the complicated international systems works. As an international organization, it is our responsibility to assist stakeholders in our country and the communities we are working in to understand this Post-2015 framework, be part of it and own it once the Head of States adopt it in September 2015. More importantly, it will be our responsibility to put the framework into practice in our countries.
Celebrating our advocacy success
The hard work has paid off, and our call for the language of 'no target met' was made in national statements from: the US, UK, Israel, Costa Rica and Monaco. Crucially, it also featured as a key ask in the statement from the EU (representing 28 countries) and Benin (representing the 48 Least Developed Countries)
Most importantly, with our support and lobby, the Mexican government led a cross regional statement (signed by 14 UN Member States from across the political spectrum – 10 of whom we lobbied directly) presented at the negotiations. It called for 'Leave no one behind', disaggregated data (data broken down to cover all groups), and that 'targets be considered achieved when met for all' - to be included in the Political Declaration for the new framework. Having the statement - 'no target will be considered met unless it is met for all economic and social groupings' - in the declaration will push all governments to put those people furthest behind, first, when it comes to the implementation of the new framework from 2016.
I have been with Save the Children for eight years now, and this experience has really showed me the power we have as a global movement and the responsibility we have as an advocate for children of the world. We can make the future a better place for children if we work together as one Save the Children.
Background information about Post 2015 process to date
2015 marks a critical year as the United Nations defines the next global agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals that expire this year. The Post-2015 Agenda refers to the processes to discuss, negotiate and draft the next set of global goals to be in place until 2030. The process began in 2010 and seeks to be a comprehensive agenda covering a number of issues, including environment and sustainability. The Post-2015 process is momentous in that it is the first time in development history that every UN Member State will discuss and agree on a universal agenda for the world. These last six months of the process remain vital as part of the once in a lifetime opportunity to define how we achieve a sustainable future for everyone.