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Stakeholders from across Europe and Central Asia Gather in İstanbul to Share Perspectives on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

ISTANBUL, Turkey, 5 November 2013 — Representatives from governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia and the United Nations will meet in İstanbul from 6 to 8 November 2013 to discuss the contribution of Europe and Central Asia to the global process of defining a development agenda for the time after the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

The event, titled “Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Europe and Central Asia on the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, is part of a series of global inclusive and participatory dialogues engaging over a million people, and is supported by the UN Development Group.

The meeting will start on 6 November with a civil society consultation. On the 7th, the launch of the consultations will commence at Dedeman Istanbul Hotel. The consultations will take place under the auspices and participation of Mr. Cevdet Yılmaz Minister of Development, Republic of Turkey; Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe; Ms. Cihan Sultanoğlu, Chair of the UN Development Group for Europe and Central Asia, and Regional Director UNDP; Mr. Michael Gerber, Special Representative of Switzerland for Global Sustainable Development, and Mr. Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of İstanbul and Member of the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Regional Consultation is a cooperative effort organized and supported by the Turkish government and about a dozen UN entities active in the region, with the core team consisting of UNECE, UNEP, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, UNFPA and IOM. The aim is to bring stakeholders from across the Europe and Central Asia together to provide a regional perspective on priorities that should be contained in the post-2015 agenda.

The highly diverse region captures the challenges in balancing economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion. With the target date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) rapidly approaching, the event provides a regional reflection on priorities for inclusion as a new global development agenda is being formulated.

Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of Development of the Republic of Turkey stated that the Regional Consultation for Europe and Central Asia, hosted by the Ministry of Development, Turkey in partnership with the United Nations, would be held as part of the global processes on the design of post-2015 development agenda.  He expressed that the main objective of the upcoming event of Regional Consultation is to provide a discussion platform to gather the views of the European and Central Asian region on the post-2015 Development Agenda.

“For the new era on the international development agenda, the decision makers have much more responsibility when we evaluate the current achievements of the MDGs on global level” said the Minister of Development.

“Attaching utmost importance to overcome development challenges throughout the world, Turkey increases its Official Development Assistance each year.” said Mr. Yılmaz, adding that the organization of this event is a result of Turkey’s intention to increase its contribution to the international development agenda. Mr. Yılmaz also expressed that regarding its social and economic dynamism and logistical advantages, İstanbul is one of the most convenient cities to hold such a meeting for the region.

Sven Alkalaj, UNECE Executive Secretary and Chair of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia recalled that during this year, the UN System in the region pooled its expertise and formulated a regional post-2015 vision entitled “Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia”, which may serve as a reference for discussions at the meeting and beyond.

“Creating the new development agenda is a valuable opportunity to learn from and go beyond the MDGs. After the Great Recession, we need nothing less than a Great Transformation to ensure the future of the planet and its people. Europe and Central Asia are well placed to spearhead this transformation,” he said.

“Because our fates are now so inextricably interlinked, the delegates at this event will look at the need for a universal agenda that applies to all countries and people,” said Cihan Sultanoglu, UN Development Group Chair for Europe and Central Asia, “This call for a universal agenda resonates in this diverse region, with low-, middle- and high-income countries who all face challenges to reach the socially excluded and grow their economies without inflicting undoable harm to the environment.”

Organized in a series of interactive panels, participants will be able to explore and contribute to the following topics during the discussions:

  • Education and decent jobs
  • Health and social protection
  • Population dynamics and migration
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Natural resource management and green cities 
  • Good governance, human rights, participation and the role of local government in sustainable development
  • Monitoring progress in sustainable development

Across the globe, Europe and Central Asia included, discussions amongst all stakeholders about the new development framework will continue in the hopes that the new agenda will resonate with the needs and priorities of all. Please visit for more information about how to become a part of this global dialogue. 

More information on the Regional Consultation as well as the post-2015 vision of the regional UN System is available at: 

For more information, please contact:

Ahmet Parla
UNIC Ankara Information Officer
Tel: +90 533 500 14 97

Faik Uyanık
UNDP Turkey
Communications Officer
Tel: +90 530 499 25 48



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