RCEM is collaborating with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to facilitate online regional discussions on sustainable development.
This e-discussion is facilitated by Wardarina, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Your views may directly inform and influence the upcoming regional dialogues on sustainable development, including the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development and theAsia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. We look forward to your active participation!
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Today, we find ourselves in a world defined by deep and entrenched inequalities – inequality in wealth, power, and resources between countries, between rich and poor and between men and women. The current dominant architecture of development has resulted in wealth being concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority of obscenely rich individuals. Globally, the 85 richest people in the world have as much combined wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest, which is half of the world’s population, and 80% of the world’s population still lives on less than $10 per day. In Asia Pacific, 0.001% of the population own 30% of the region’s wealth. These few people own seventeen times more wealth than the least developed countries in Asia combined.
The historical inequality of power between states has led to deeply inequitable economic architecture that has diminished the capacity of states to meet their economic, social and cultural human rights obligations. It has created rules that benefit multi-national corporations, push down wages, and privatise public resources. Unsustainable consumption and production have led to massive extraction of natural resources, environmental degradation, and large scale land grabbing.
We are now rapidly exceeding the Earth’s planetary boundaries and heading towards catastrophic climate change as a result of existing economic and political arrangements. , Gender inequality and violations of women’s human rights remain a persistent and entrenched problem fuelled by globalisation, militarization and growing fundamentalisms.
It is clear that the current negotiation of post-2015 development agenda should address these converging and interrelated crises of inequalities and climate change.
Since 2013, civil society in Asia and Pacific has called for a new development model, a model of Development Justice. Development justice is a transformative framework for development that aims to reduce inequalities of wealth, power, and resources between countries, between rich and poor, and between men and women and other social group. It places people – that is the majority poor and the marginalized – at the heart of development. It is a paradigm that recognises the importance of sustaining the Earth’s planetary boundaries over sustaining profits. Development justice requires past injustices to be remedied and new just, sustainable and democratic systems to be developed.
Development justice is grounded in five transformational shifts: Redistributive Justice, Economic Justice, Gender and Social Justice, Ecological Justice and Accountability to Peoples. It has been discussed in civil society and intergovernmental spaces in the region and globally. It has been used as a framework to analyse the outcome documents of key forums on sustainable development, including the post-2015 development agenda. The AP-RCEM has also called for development justice.
This e-consultation aims to solicit broader inputs and recommendations from Asia-Pacific civil society on the current negotiation of goals and targets – with a focus on indicators – from the perspective of development justice. The e-consultation will start on 18 March 2015 and end on 15 April 2015. The summary report will be posted soon after. The result of this e-consultation will feed into Asia Pacific civil society submission for Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) 2015 and other relevant post-2015 process. The report of the consultation will be launched during the side event of AP-RCEM in the APFSD 2015 organised by UNESCAP next May on “Civil Society Participation and Role in Monitoring and Review of Sustainable Development Goals”
Guiding questions for discussion:
- The UN Statistics Division has shared list of preliminary indicatorsbased on the current 17 goals and 169 targets proposed by open working group. From your perspective, what are the key principles for indicators? And what are the concrete indicators that would most advance development justice, and why?
- What role should civil society play in the accountability mechanism for the post-2015 development agenda, and how?
 OXFAM, 2014, Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality, OXFAM Briefing Paper 178, http://www.oxfam.org/ sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economicinequality-200114-en.pdf
 A Shah, Poverty Facts and Stats, Global Issues, accessed 28 October 2014,http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-andstats#src1