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Post-2015 MDGs: SBY urged to advocate for developing countries

By farjana - Posted on 27 March 2013

A world forum of civil society organizations is urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to push for greater state responsibility to ensure people’s welfare, especially in developing countries. 

Discussions on a global post- Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) still “lean to a market-based development approach, which means the expansion of the market that minimizes the responsibility of the state,” Sugeng Bahagijo of the international NGO the Indonesian Development Forum (INFID), said on Monday in Nusa Dua, Bali.

“The trend is for each country to recognize voluntary action in implementing the global development framework [which] is not binding and would be detrimental to the people. The responsibility of states must be laid out clearly through a binding universal mechanism,” Sugeng added. 

A 24-member advisory panel will meet on Tuesday after discussions on Monday between scholars, representatives of the public sector, civil society organizations and youth organziations. 

On Wednesday two of the three cochairs of the Bali High Level Panel, Yudhoyono and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will conclude the talks, while cochair UK Prime Minister David Cameron will participate by video conference. 

Yudhoyono’s actions would be important to ensure that a development framework after 2015 could benefit all citizens, especially the poor and those living in developing countries, said Mickael B. Hoelman, Tifa Foundation program manager. 

Ahmed Swapan Mahmud of a Bangladesh civil society group, who cochaired the CSOs Global Forum, said that the post development agenda needed universal leadership.

“We just need real commitment to a just global partnership,” he said.

The organizations urged for any future development framework to replace the inequitable relationship between donor and partner countries, with a global partnership for equitable and inclusive development cooperation.

Neva Frecheville of UK-based Cafod said that efforts to eradicate poverty, uphold equity, justice and human rights and to reach environmental sustainability could not be done without binding commitments.

She added that “governments and decision makers can be afraid to be bold and visionary.” 

Activists also urged the Indonesian government to improve access to law and justice for the poor. 

Chairman of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute Foundation (YLBHI) Alvon K. Parma said the poor were often criminalized and lost their rights to welfare.

Addressing a panel on access to law and justice on Monday, Alvon cited development plans that disadvantaged the poor. 

“[On plantations] many indigenous people in Sumatra and Papua are marginalized as a result of the government’s policies, which aren’t pro justice,” he said. 

“Their lands are taken. They used to have 10 hectares of land, now they only have a few hectares, with some even losing all their land and becoming cheap laborers,” he said.

Suciwati, the widow of the murdered human rights activist Munir Said Thalib, also cited the failure of the government in bringing perpetrators of human rights violations to court. “Even if we ask for justice, we still face injustice. While poor people still receive heavy punishment and are often criminalized because they don’t have access to justice,” Suciwati said.

Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the head of the Presidential Working Unit for the Supervision and Management of Development (UKP4), said Yudhoyono’s approach to sustainable growth with equity had been well received by participants in MDG forums. 

“That means we have placed great attention on many sectors, poor people and economic growth, but also with consideration of the capabilities of all supporting parties,” he