Whose Development, Whose UN?

Reclaiming the UN's Values-Based Framework

The Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015 and the United Nations system is debating »sustainable development goals« for multilateral development cooperation in the coming years. Against this backdrop, this paper takes a hard look at the state of the UN’s historically values-based framework and the interests of the different de­velopment actors shaping the post-2015 development paradigm in order to assess in whose interests the paradigm is being fashioned. The resulting insights offer im­portant recommendations on transparency and accountability for governments, civil society, business and the UN Secretariat.

A new accountability framework, rather than a new partnership for development, should be the priority on the post-2015 development agenda. This would help to ensure that the interests of stakeholders – especially of the most powerful players – are aligned with their stated purpose and do not contradict the values-based stand­ards of the organisation.

The UN should disclose financial contributions from the corporate sector and estab­lish a clear framework for interacting with the private sector and managing conflicts of interest, in particular by differentiating between policy development and appro­priate involvement in implementation.

By Barbara Adams and Lou Pingeot

Published: by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Global Policy Forum Europe

Dialogue on Globalization Paper Series

New York, November 2013

ISBN: 978-3-86498-698-7