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Justin HUANG
on Fri, August 23, 2013 at 08.48 pm
Justin HUANG

Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Europe and Central Asia on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Preceding Civil Society Consultation: Wed, 6 November 2013 (View agenda)

Start date: Thu, 7 November 2013

End date: Fri, 8 November 2013

Place: Istanbul, Turkey

Conference Venue: Dedeman Hotel


Documents from the Consultation

Presentations and Speeches

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Friday, 8 November 2013

Conference Background Documents

Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia

cover page(in PDF file format):

Создание общества на основе большей инклюзивности, устойчивости и процветания в Европе и Центральной Азии

cover page(в PDF формате):

Media Accreditation

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The Regional Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda “ Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Europe and Central Asia on the Post-2015 Development Agenda” will be held on 7 and 8 November 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The high-level event is hosted by the Ministry of Development of Turkey and organized in partnership with the United Nations Development Group and the Regional Coordination Mechanism.


The post-2015 framework will shape development efforts for many years. The diverse region of Europe and Central Asia encapsulates many of the global challenges. It is therefore crucial that this region makes a thoughtful contribution to the process of formulating the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Taking forward the decisions of the UN General Assembly’s Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (New York, 25 September 2013), the Regional Consultation provides a timely opportunity to identify regional priorities for the post-2015 UN development agenda and discuss how these priorities can become part of a coherent global framework. The event also aims to review regional experiences and lessons learned from the MDGs, spearhead ways to deepen regional cooperation, and review proposals for measurement of sustainable development in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.


The Regional Consultation will be a multi-stakeholder event, bringing together representatives from governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, academia and media. The meeting will feature a series of thematic panel discussions and conclude with an open forum that will identify regional priorities for the post-2015 agenda and formulate the regional contributions to the global debate.

The meeting will be preceded by a civil society consultation.

Inputs and related work streams

  • UN Development Group’s national and global thematic consultations on the post-2015 development agenda
  • Report of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • Work of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
  • Post-2015 vision for Europe and Central Asia currently being formulated by the UN System in the region
  • Civil society consultation
  • UNICEF youth consultation


Ministry of Development of Turkey (host), in cooperation with the UN Development Group for Europe and Central Asia and the Regional Coordination Mechanism, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

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International Women's Health Coalition
Fri, December 20, 2013 at 07.28 pm
The following are comments from the International Women's Health Coalition on the draft report from the regional post-2015 consultation for Europe and Central Asia, held in Istanbul, Turkey from 7-8 November 2013.

Remaining MDG challenges in the region:
The report importantly notes the need to accelerate efforts to achieve the MDGs "in areas where progress is lagging behind" (page 1). However, it is important to highlight here, as was done during the consultation itself, that the two goals farthest from being met (MDGs 3 and 5) are those focusing on women and girls.

Overall considerations for the new agenda:
While the report later addresses the need for the SDG agenda to be grounded in human rights, it is important to explicitly note that this is a clear converging message and must be recognized as an overall consideration.

It is also important to note that there were consistent calls for gender equality to be incorporated into the SDG framework as both a standalone goal and in the form of cross-cutting targets. Gender equality should not be seen merely as a means for spurring on economic growth or as a "key driver of development" (page 2), but rather as foundational to the realization of human rights. Participants also made clear calls for the need to go deeper in addressing the root causes of gender inequalities.

With respect to vulnerable populations, the report fails to account for the heterogeneity of these populations. In addition to the unique needs and rights of people living with disabilities (which the report clearly references), participants addressed the urgent need to protect and fulfill the rights of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, sex workers and young people, especially girls.

Implementation of the new agenda:
The report notes some of the calls made by young people, but does not comprehensively represent these demands. Please see the youth statement developed at the consultation by members of the Major Group for Children and Youth: Beyond being viewed as partners in development, young people called for the recognition of their sexual rights, the decriminalization of abortion, access to comprehensive sexuality education, and for governments to fulfill their existing human rights commitments and obligations.

Health and social protection:
"Speakers underlined the role of social, economic and environmental determinants of health for human well-being" (page 3), but it's important for the report to identify some of the specific social determinants raised during the consultations. These include gender inequalities and discrimination on the basis of age, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, or other status.

The report recalls several speakers and participants underlining the importance of integrating sexual and reproductive health and rights in the future development framework. Specifically, calls were made for universal access to a comprehensive and integrated package of sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion and post-abortion care services and comprehensive sexuality education. Several participants also made calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. Calls were also made for governments to repeal existing discriminatory laws and policies which violate individuals' human rights.

With respect to the reference to "sexual education" (page 3), the semantics should be very clear here. Participants called specifically for comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), which is evidence-based, grounded in human rights, addresses gender inequalities and equips young people with the tools to make free and informed decisions about their bodies and sexuality.

As the report notes, health is a cross-cutting issue; therefore the report itself should accurately reflect the links between health and social protection across each thematic area (i.e. in relation to inequalities, decent jobs, population dynamics, environment etc.) The same can be said for other cross-cutting issues identified, such as gender equality, young people, and human rights. A clear rationale was presented during the consultation for a rights-based health agenda.

Education and decent jobs:
Unemployment is a major concern for young people in the region, but it's important that this not be represented as the only concern that young people have. It's also essential that young people not be represented as commodities or investments, but rather as rights-holders who are entitled to decent livelihoods. The report references the need to make better links between school and the "business world" (page 3), but young people have aspirations that extend far beyond the private sector. School-to-work transition support is important, but this does not mean heavily linking educational programs to private industry.

It is essential that early childhood education be recognized as more than a vehicle for ensuring "demographic dividends" and "economic returns" (page 3). The right to quality education is a fundamental human right.

Beyond a "focus on life skills and knowledge development" (page 4), education programs should also include comprehensive sexuality education for all young people, in and out of schools.

Population dynamics and migration:
This section of the report narrowly focuses on demographic trends and does not sufficiently address the sexual and reproductive health and rights issues inherent to the subject. Indeed "any policy aimed at addressing population dynamics and migration must respect human rights and specifically women's rights" (page 4), but the report should go further in outlining what this would mean. In the context of the discussions on aging populations and demographic dividends, many participants raised concerns about coercive population policies and restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion.

Natural resources, sustainable production and consumption, and green cities:
Young people specifically made links between the effects of climate change, health, and human rights. The youth statement widely circulated during the consultation called upon those governments who contribute most to climate change to take leading roles in alleviating its effects and compensating those most affected.

Making the new agenda work - governance, human rights and local level engagement:
On participation, planning and accountability, it is important to note the need for governments to consult specific groups of non-state actors, with a focus on young people and marginalized populations who face unique barriers to participation. It is also important to acknowledge the inherent limitations of e-consultations, as access to the internet remains a privilege in many context.

The power of measurement: new forms of monitoring progress in sustainable development
Here it is worth noting the need for age and gender disaggregated data. In relation to the call for "citizen-generated data" (page 6), it is imperative that all people, regardless of migration or other status, and especially young people, women and girls, and marginalized groups play leading roles in the collection and analysis of data for monitoring purposes.
CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality
Mon, December 16, 2013 at 04.57 pm
During the consultation, youth representatives from Europe and Central Asia raised their voice on important issues involving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, decriminalization of abortion, Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Meaningful Youth Participation in all aspects of decision-making. The young people from the Major Group of Children and Youth presented their document "These are our Bottom Lines" during the consultation to address the urging challenges and needs.

Even though these issues were dominantly present in the discussions during the consultation, they are hardly addressed in the document "Key messages from the discussion". We urge you to amend the document for it to fully reflect the following perspectives from our region:

1. Meaningful Youth Participation
We strongly believe that the text in paragraph "Implementation of the new agenda" of the document "Key messages from the discussion":

• "Young people ask to be included in policy design, monitoring (e.g., quality of education) and implementation of global development agendas. They are ready to participate, take action and responsibility. They can provide good ideas and solutions. They ask not only to be seen as, future generations but also our partners of today".

does not do justice to the input of the young people during the consultation. As young people we were vocally active during the consultation and addressed important issues. Therefore we urge you to adopt the following language:

• "Young people should be meaningfully included in all aspects of policy making and the processes involving the global development agendas. They need to participate, take action and responsibility. They provide good ideas and solutions for pressing issues. They are not a target group but partners and stakeholders in all processes of the development agendas".

2. Decriminalizing Abortion

We miss the dominant call for the availability and access to safe abortion facilities and the decriminalization of abortion that was repeatedly made in the discussions by numerous participants and key speakers. Therefore we urge you to include the following language under “Health and Social Protection”:

• “Speakers and participants emphasized and urged the importance of availability and access to safe abortion facilities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as well as the decriminalization of abortion.”

3. Comprehensive Sexuality Education

To affirm the internationally agreed language used during the consultation and present in the Civil Society Outcome document "Key messages from the discussion", we urge you to change the following language under “Health and Social Protection”:

• "Several speakers and participants underline also the importance of integrating sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as sexual education, in the future development framework".


• "Speakers and participants underline the importance of integrating sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as comprehensive sexuality education, in the future development framework".
Action Canada for Population and Development
Fri, November 29, 2013 at 03.16 pm
Comments on “Regional Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Inclusive and Sustainable Development – Perspectives from Europe and Central Asia on the Post-2015 Development Agenda”

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the summary of outcomes from the Consultation. We welcome this opportunity and look forward to providing additional comments on the full report. Please see below feedback regarding the key elements of the draft report.

Voices on the Post-2015 Agenda: Equality, Accountability and Sustainability

Overall considerations for the new agenda:
As made reference to, gender equality is "a key driver of development," and thus should be covered by a stand-alone goal on gender equality in the new development framework as well as a cross-cutting issue under the other elements of the agenda. Alongside this, it must be recognized that gender equality requires the empowerment of women and girls, as a matter of fundamental human rights and a basic precondition for equitable and sustainable social and economic change.

Given extensive discussions during the Consultation on the needs and realities of young people, particularly young women and girls, we recommend identifying them as a priority group in this section. This point should include an acknowledgement of young people’s health, education and employment needs, recognizing young people as rights-holders. On this point, it is critical that the new development agenda take concrete actions to realize young peoples’, specifically young women and girls’, sexual and reproductive rights, as these rights have historically been systematically denied and ignored by Governments and other development actors throughout the region.

Implementation of the new agenda:
On the point of engaging young people in decision-making, it should be recognized that young people have a human right to participate in decision-making that affects their lives. It should also be acknowledged, as was during the Consultation, that specific measures must be taken to meaningfully engage the most marginalized youth. They include, but are not limited to: girls, women, young people who are disabled, LGBTQI, living in rural areas, indigenous, Roma, ethnic minorities, out-of-school, sex workers, domestic workers, undocumented workers, living with HIV, in conflict zones, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, living on the street, working in the informal economy, and deprived of freedom.

Health and social protection:
On the point on sexual and reproductive health, it must be recognized that Governments have the responsibility, and obligation, to provide all individuals with equity in access to an affordable, accessible and quality comprehensive package of information and services, which includes modern contraception and safe and legal abortion services.

On this point, the issue of addressing the legal and policy context must also be recognized. The new development agenda must include accountability mechanisms that empower individuals to hold their Governments accountable to eliminating laws and policies that create barriers to the realization of their right to health – these barriers include those which criminalize access to safe abortion services, require spousal or parental consent laws for young people’s access to health services and information, among others. Governments, on their own, also have an obligation to remove existing laws, policies and programmes that violate individuals human rights.

It must also be recognized that achieving progress on the realm of health and sociall protection requires, as was recognized during the Consultation, of existing levels of stigma and discrimination facing those throughout the region. This is particularly relevant for those who transgress dominant norms relating to gender and sexuality which can lead to marginalization, limited access to social services, loss of employment and other factors which can contribute to poverty. Situating individuals’ needs and realities at the centre of development creates opportunities to address the multiple and intersecting factors that lead to and perpetuate inequalities.

When discussing the integration of health into the new development agenda, it must be grounded in human rights-based approach. This requires that Governments take an integrated and cross-sectoral approach to health and well-being.

Finally, one missing issue from this section is that of violence against women. Violence against women is worldwide known to be major health risk factor. Women who experience violence are twice as likely to experience unintended pregnancies. It is therefore essential that survivors of sexual violence, and all women, have immediate access to critical services, including, 24-hour hotlines; psychosocial and mental health support; treatment of injuries; post-rape care, including emergency contraception, post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention and access to safe abortion services in all cases of violence, rape and incest; police protection, safe housing and shelter; documentation of cases, forensic services and legal aid; and referrals and longer-term support.

Education and decent jobs:
Critical to young peoples’ overall health and well-being is their access to comprehensive sexuality education that is age-appropriate, includes education about human rights, human sexuality, gender equality, relationships, and sexual and reproductive health through the provision of scientifically-accurate, non-judgemental information and the development of decision-making, critical thinking, communication and negotiation skills. This allows young people to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, to promote values of tolerance, mutual respect and non-violence in relationships, and to plan their lives

Population dynamics and migration:
It is critical that a ‘rights-based approach’ be integrated throughout this section. This is particularly important when discussing laws, programmes and policies that consider take into account population dynamics. Without explicit reference to a human rights-based approach in this context, Governments risk implementing approaches that violate individuals rights to make free and informed decisions regarding their reproductive health, including if and whether to have children, and their bodily autonomy, among other internationally recognized human rights.
Women for Women's Human Rights New Ways Association
Thu, November 28, 2013 at 01.30 pm
We welcome the Key Messages Document form the Regional Consultation on the Post - 2015 Development Agenda, which took place on 7-8 of November 2013, in Istanbul.

We would like to reiterate some of the key points we have made during the meeting.

- Overall considerations for the new agenda: While agreeing with the characteristics of the agenda outlined in the document, we insist that the agenda should be human rights based.

- Overall considerations for the new agenda: As mentioned gender equality is "a key driver of development," and thus should be covered by a stand-alone goal on gender equality in the SDG agenda as well as a cross-cutting issue under the other SDGs.

- Health and Social Protection: As the sexual and reproductive health and rights are under attack for different reasons in the region and globally, we feel that we need further emphasis on this issue. The sexual and reproductive health and rights, including but not limited to access to safe abortion services, access to sexual and reproductive health services, freedom from gender-based violence, privacy of personal information should be ensured in the Post - 2015 agenda.

- Education and Decent Jobs: Gender equality should be established at all educational levels. Comprehensive sexuality education should be provided in an age-appropriate manner in all levels of education, and monitoring for early dropouts and school attendance rates.

- Education and Decent Jobs: Access to age-appropriate human rights and gender equality based, youth and women friendly comprehensive sexuality education should be ensured.

- Education and Decent Jobs: Women’s full and equal access to full employment should be assured and the unbalanced burden of care on women should be recognized and redistributed to secure women’s labor force participation.

- Population Dynamics and Migration: Population Dynamics should not be utilized as an excuse to violate women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and to coerce women into having more or less children.

- Natural Resources, Sustainable Production and Consumption and Green Cities: In the distribution and utilization of resources women have always been in a disadvantaged position, their access to natural resources should be integral to the Post – 2015 agenda.

- Making the New Agenda Work – Governance, Human Rights and Local Level Engagement: Women and youth should have equal and full participation to the decision making and agenda setting processes and mechanisms in all levels of governance. Civil society should also be a participant in every step.

- The Power of Measurement: The MDGs focused on very specific quantitative goals. While allowing for statistics to increase, MDGs did not allow for transformative changes in the issues undertaken. Therefore, we ask that the upcoming SDGs to focus on human wellbeing, rather than on statistics. Thus, the goals should have more qualitative structuring than quantitative targets.
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