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Global development agenda

Post-2015 development agenda

The international community is working in partnership to design a new global development agenda for the post-2015 period following the Millennium Development Goals which end in 2015. The new agenda will provide a focal point for sustained global efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development and shared prosperity.

The post-2015 development agenda will encompass new sustainable development goals and targets, financing and governance frameworks.

While non-binding, the post-2015 development agenda will be highly influential, shaping development cooperation and finance flows from a range of sources, including donors, multilaterals, the private sector and philanthropic organisations, to 2030 and beyond.

In line with the Australian development policy, Australia will use the new agenda to plan our development programs and guide our relationships with countries and other donors.

Sustainable development goals (SDGs)

The first phase of negotiations on the post-2015 development framework concluded in July 2014 when the UN’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG OWG) forwarded a report of its discussions to the General Assembly.

The goals and targets in the report cover all key elements from the MDGs such as poverty, hunger, education, health, gender equality, water security and sanitation, and proposes new goals on other priority areas such as economic growth, peace and good governance, infrastructure and energy. The proposal also calls for a focus on the sustainable use of natural resources including oceans and biodiversity.

Discussions will culminate in September 2015 with a Leaders’ Summit to agree the post-2015 development agenda.

Australia is actively participating in international discussions to design the sustainable development goals and supports the involvement of all development actors in this important conversation, including NGOs, civil society organisations, private sector and business, philanthropic organisations and academia.

In line with Australia’s development policy, Australia supports a post-2015 development agenda that addresses the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and promotes economic growth, peaceful and inclusive societies and effective institutions, and gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

International development finance

Sustainable Development Financing Committee

The post-2015 finance negotiations have reached the half way mark, with the release of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) report in August 2014, and will culminate with the third International Financing for Development Conference (FfD3) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-16 July 2015.

The finance negotiations are focused on bringing together the development finance agenda and the sustainability agenda (Rio +20). Australia was one of thirty countries to be represented on the ICESDF, along with key partners including UK, Germany, Japan, Korea and Indonesia. The report captures the trends and changes to the development finance landscape, and is well aligned with Australia’s development policy. This includes focusing on domestic resource mobilisation (tax) and the development of domestic capital markets (access to finance) as well as harnessing blended finance instruments (including risk instruments) to crowd-in private sector investment.

Financing for Development Conference

The third a href="">International Financing for Development Conference (FfD3) will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-16 July 2015. This Conference is intended to build on the outcomes of earlier FfD conferences in Monterrey (2002) and Doha (2008). This will include a focus on a broad range of sources of finance including from developing and emerging economies, the private sector and new philanthropic organisations. Importantly, building the right enabling environments in developing countries will promote economic growth and attract investment.

Australia will work to ensure the conference is focused on how developing countries can mobilise and effectively spend all sources of finance.

Global development governance and effectiveness

Australia is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the development efforts through a range of global programs.

Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and the Busan Agreement

In 2011 Governments, NGOs, private sector organisations and other development partners come together to discuss and agree broad principles for effective development cooperation. The Busan agreement recognises the value that all development partners bring to international development cooperation, and sets out broad principles for cooperation: ownership of development priorities by developing countries, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships, transparency and accountability.

Born out of the Busan Agreement the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) aims to bring together all development partners to share knowledge and experience and produce maximum impact for development. Unique in its broad membership the GPEDC brings new opportunities for development cooperation.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs attended the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) in April 2014 and discussed the importance of the global community working together to ensure development is effective.

Development Assistance Committee

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is an international forum for donor governments to exchange policy experience and identify good practice. The DAC is internationally recognised for its development statistics and its peer reviews of members’ development programs are well regarded.

In 2014, the DAC has been reviewing the Official Development Assistance (ODA) rules with a view to modernising them where required. This process will conclude in December 2014. Australia has played an active role in this process. Key issues under consideration include the treatment of concessional loans, targeting ODA to countries most in need, treatment of peace and security spending and whether a new measure of total official support for development should be adopted, in addition to ODA.

Australia also plays an active role in shaping the analytical work of the DAC, including through engagement and support of the DAC Program of Work and Budget as well as work on enhancing peer reviews. Australia is actively engaged in DAC networks, including for gender equality (for which Australia is chair) and governance (for which Australia is co-chair). Australia also works with those bodies and programs that align closely with Australia’s development priorities, in particular on conflict and fragility, leveraging other drivers of development such as domestic finance, and development finance statistics.

High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is a new UN entity, and replaces the former Commission on Sustainable Development. Its first full-length meeting was held in July 2014. The HLPF is mandated to play a coordinating role in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, integrating the human and social development and sustainable development workstreams, reviewing progress against the agreed agenda and providing political leadership on sustainable development.

Millennium Development Goals

The Australian Government is committed to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These include halving extreme poverty, getting all children into school, closing the gap on gender inequality, saving lives threatened by disease and the lack of available health care, and protecting the environment.

The world is making good progress toward achieving the MDGs. Around the world hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. In fact the poverty reduction target was met five years ahead of schedule. The target on improving access to safe drinking water has also been met and other targets, including the target on achieving gender parity in primary education, are likely to be met by 2015.

However, there is still more work to be done. Despite considerable success, several targets are unlikely to be met, including halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger and addressing maternal and child mortality. In the Indian Ocean Asia-Pacific, progress has been mixed and large disparities still exist in overall levels of poverty.


Australia’s new development policy positions us well to support countries as they strive to achieve MDG targets. Through investing in infrastructure and trade, governance, agriculture, fisheries and water management, Australia will lay a foundation for economic development. By focusing our aid on education, health, empowerment of women and girls, social protection and building resilience, Australia will increase standards of living within our region.

Australia is investing 90 per cent of our country and regional program funding to accelerate efforts in our region. This is where we can make the most difference. Australia is also using lessons learned from the MDG experience to contribute to global discussions on the design of the post-2015 development agenda, which will succeed the MDGs.

Last reviewed: 17 December, 2014