TWN Info Service on UN Sustainable Development (May15/03)
19 May 2015
Third World Network  

Dear friends and colleagues, 

We are pleased to share with you the Women's Major Group Recommendations for Accountability, Monitoring and Review of the Post-2015 Agenda released on 18 May. This is aimed at delegates meeting at the UN headquarters in New York this week (18 - 22 May) for the 5th session of the post-2015 Development Agenda process. The official theme for the week's discussion is "Follow-up and Review of the Post-2015 Development Agenda". 

Below is a summary and the full paper here. 

With best wishes, 

Third World Network

Women’s Major Group Recommendations for Accountability, Monitoring, and Review of the Post-2015 Agenda
May 18th, 2015

- Universal in scope
- Based on Human Rights
- Open, democratic, transparent, and participatory
- Grounded in Common but Differentiated Responsibilities
- Monitoring and accountability should be an integral part of the Agenda, not an optional add-on
- Promotes joint or mutual accountability

- Promote acceptance, credibility, ownership and effectiveness
- Data-driven, evidence-based, and verifiable
- Regular, timely, and results-oriented
- Facilitate dialogue
- Integrated approach
- Draws from existing best practices such as the Human Rights’ Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Architecture of Accountability for the Post-2015 Agenda 

The accountability architecture for the Post-2015 Agenda must be multifaceted and reflect the key principles and characteristics outlined above. States should recognize that by participating in accountability mechanisms for the political commitments under the new goals—including by rigorously monitoring progress, correcting setbacks, hearing from civil society and constituencies affected and addressing their concerns—they  are helping  to ensure implementation at all levels. 

Review Mechanisms for the Post-2015 Agenda
All review mechanisms should be grounded in principles of respect  for and protection and fulfillment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including sexual and reproductive rights, in accordance  with  the principles of equality and equity, gender equality, free, prior and informed consent, transparency, accountability and rule of law.

National Level Monitoring and Review
- National-level reviews should be the cornerstone of accountability for the Post-2015 Agenda
- Create a national action plan for implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda, taking into account the state’s particular circumstances but also providing ambitious benchmarks  that reflect the state’s human rights obligations
- National action plans will provide further mechanisms for civil society participation, transparency, and accountability
- Develop national-level targets and indicators, in line with global-level targets and indicators, tailored to their particular circumstances
- Establish a new body or appoint an existing body or bodies that is dedicated to conduct monitoring and review of implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda.
- Reports annually on their progress in implementing their national action plans and the
Post-2015 Agenda overall
- Consult with and include the views of a wide range of civil society organizations involved in implementing or monitoring the Post-2015 Agenda

Regional-level Monitoring and Review
- Transform regional preparatory meetings into periodic reviews at the regional level through Regional Commissions meetings
- Share  experiences, best practices and lessons learned in implementation among countries with similar development backgrounds and histories
- Identify regional-level trends and challenges, as well as strategies to address them, including through cross-border approaches;
- Facilitate south-south and triangular cooperation to accelerate implementation, as well as other means of implementation; and
- Identify regional-level priorities for the HLPF
- Ensure mechanism for participation of civil society organizations, other constituencies and major groups

Global-Level Monitoring and Review
- High Level Political Forum (HLPF) should serve as the main venue for “follow up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments.”
- Establish a universal peer review mechanism that builds on existing mechanisms such as the African Peer Review Mechanism and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council
- This voluntary, state-led review can help to incentivize action to implement the post-2015 development agenda, at the national level, regional level and globally by increasing pressure on countries internally and among peers to show positive results
- Global review calls for State to be reviewed three times between 2016 and 2030
- Comprehensive reporting that feeds into reviews, including member state reports that are developed through national accountability processes; reports from major groups, recognized  constituencies and  rights holders; as well as United Nations reports, summarizing the assessments of UN agencies as well as the outcomes of other relevant reviews
- Sufficient support and meeting time for the HLPF, including sufficient meeting time to conduct 40-50 reviews each year and an adequately staffed, permanent secretariat; and
- Open,  participatory, and transparent  modalities and a meaningful role for the major groups and recognized constituencies, and rights holders
- A web of effective monitoring and accountability where the HLPF review should be
Complemented and informed by efforts at the national and regional levels

Civil Society Participation
- Civil society organizations must be involved at every stage of the accountability process, including as representatives on the accountability mechanism, key  witnesses at any hearings or evidence-gathering sessions, and have the ability to  publicly respond to reports or statements relating to the post-2015 framework
- At the global level, follow-up and review modalities for post-2015, and particularly the HLPF, should ensure the enhanced participation of civil society through Major Groups and other organized civil society constituencies with  a clear mechanisms for accountability, transparency and diverse membership
- The meaningful participation of civil society will enable governments to better understand the issues being faced by particular populations or in key regions, and will contribute to the development  of better policy and programming to support governments in achieving their targets

Key recommendations
The Women’s Major Group places a high premium on ensuring accountability for the commitments made in the Post-2015 Agenda, to ensure full and human rights-based implementation of that Agenda. A strong system of accountability should include:

  • Transparent accountability and reporting mechanisms for all stakeholders involved in financing sustainable development, including UN agencies, international financial and trade institutions, implementing agencies, transnational corporations, and other relevant actors in the private sector and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations
  • Strong systems to collect transparent, disaggregated, and ethically collected data. At a minimum, data should be disaggregated by age, sex, gender, geography, income level, race and ethnicity to ensure that sustainable development programs are inclusive of people in all their diversity
  • Data should be quantitative and qualitative, assessing both development outcomes and processes by which those outcomes are achieved, in order to ensure conformance with human rights obligations.  Data must be ethically gathered, with full confidentiality guarantees, in particular where data relates to stigmatized or marginalized groups
  • A means of implementation framework that reflects the various types of resources needed to achieve sustainable development
  • Private sector accountability, including for transnational corporations, international financial institutions and multilateral development banks
  • Any partnerships for sustainable development must respect Extra-territorial obligations and compliance with human rights standards.
  • Create a binding corporate accountability mechanism to monitor the human rights impacts of private sector activity overall, and particularly in the context of thePost-2015 Agenda.
  • Guarantee civil society participation at all levels, including through major groups and other organized civil society constituencies, and ensure adequate funds for independent civil society participation in the accountability and monitoring framework.
  • Stronger capacity building and more resources for the monitoring and accountability of developed country policies that are key to the success of the new development agenda.
  • The need for international action to meet the SDGs, strong global review mechanisms are necessary, which can be modeled on the UPRs for human rights. Since sustainable development is multi-sectoral, such reviews will require the United Nations to convene the highest level of political decision-making of all key global institutions.

For questions and comments contact: 
Marisa Viana:; Shannon Kowalski