International Policy Conference – Istanbul, Turkey

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Istanbul, Turkey was the host city for the Wilton Park Conference organized under the title “Linking peace, stability and development: engaging new global actors in the debate”. Wilton Park positions itself as an international forum for strategic discussion that encourages innovation in global thinking and was the co-host of this policy discussion alongside ASC partner Saferworld.

The ASC participated in the event and served as the rapporteur responsible for reporting back from a group discussion that explored Goal 16 (the peace and security goal) of the Post 2015 Development Agenda. The discussion was well timed as it coincided with the release of the UN Secretary General Synthesis report on Post 2015, affording delegates an opportunity to be amongst the first to engage first hand with the content, alongside expertise from around the world.

The meeting was attended by an impressive list of international government, multilateral institutions, the private sector and civil society representatives including the South African Government Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Director for International Cooperation, Zaheer Laher.

2015 is a busy year for the South African Government, as co-host of the Forum on China Africa cooperation and as chair of the G77, extending the influence it has over developmental thinking and the interconnections between peace, conflict and development. The ACTION Support Centre will seek to build a constructive and cooperative relationship with DIRCO in its efforts to support a progressive transformative development agenda.

The conference provided a useful opportunity for the ASC to check in on the relevance and direction of its current work around Post 2015 and to engage with, learn from and influence the thinking of key actors involved in this key international policy formulation process.

With a focus on the range of global actors supporting development in conflict-affected states, on international development cooperation and commonalities and differences in perceptions regarding roles and responsibilities of different actors the forum provided an ideal space for thinking through the politics of implementation that will be central to policy discussions on Post 2015 this year.

The policy arena this year will be dominated by discussions on Post 2015, with the international UN General Assembly process set to culminate in the first draft of a document by mid-year. 4 Areas of Work have been identified: the drafting of a Political Declaration, Agreement on Goals and Targets, Means of Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation. Each area contains a number of contentious issues that could threaten the ability of global leaders to find the necessary consensus in taking this agenda forward.

The ACTION Support Centre will work alongside our partner the Southern African Liaison Office to organise community based consultations, high level policy dialogue and multi-stakeholder discussion forums, aimed at understanding, engaging and influencing the global agenda.

While continuing our engagement with civil society partners, and through constructive dialogue with the South African Government, our participation in the Beyond 2015 Coalition also provides unique opportunities to broaden our direct influence at the international level in New York where the negotiation process between heads of state and UN members of the General Assembly will unfold.

If you or your organisation are engaged on the Post 2015 policy discussions please make contact with the ASC as we seek to find complementary strategies that influence this critical international policy negotiation process.

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