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Tens of thousands across the country are joining to define the "Serbia We Want"


Belgrade, 28 March 2013 - People from across Serbia have joined the United Nations' effort to define the "Serbia We Want" and the "World We Want" after 2015. The worldwide consultation rolled out in Serbia in mid-January 2013, and people are sharing their hopes, dreams, opinions and concerns that will define Sustainable Development Goals.

UNICEF Area Representative Judita Reichenberg said that "the UN has reached out through face to face interviews, focus groups and crowd sourcing platforms to engage as many people as possible - we have literally reached hundreds of thousands of people from across the country, including the children, elderly, people with disabilities, ethnic and other minorities - people whose voices must be heard."

The "Serbia that people want" is one with secure jobs, higher living standards and lower levels of poverty. It is one with more transparency, better enforced rule of law, and responsive institutions. Many want to restore a culture of tolerance, accountability and inclusiveness. (More on preliminary results pls. see here).

"Serbia is among the countries invited to shape the world by defining new Sustainable Development Goals that will guide development worldwide in the period after 2015. It is a middle income and pre-accession country with views that reflect the growing cohort of countries that are consolidating democracy and moving along the path of market -oriented economic reform"- said William Infante, UN Resident Coordinator.

"People in Serbia are aware of the gap between strategies and real needs. People want development strategies that are aligned with their needs and interests. People want to be involved in defining priorities that affect them and their local communities in the future - and they are grateful that their voices will finally be heard" - said Marija Babovic, SeCons Program Director.

To date, through social networks, over 250,000 people were reached and informed about the process. More than 10,000 have been directly included in the national consultation via web portal, face-to-face interviews, focus groups and other outreach methods.

In 20 different events throughout Serbia 1,000 people participated in workshops and discussions, including children, youth, elderly from remote rural areas, trade unions, employers' associations, farmers, women's associations, Roma, migrants, refugees and internally displaced people, students, workers, unemployed, NGOs, experts and decision makers.

In order to further engage children in the process, the UN launched photo and drawing contests with the theme "Serbia We Want". A group of famous musicians contributed their talent and commitment by composing a song "Life is beautiful" and producing a music video.

When the consultation process is finished, and all responses are analyzed, a report will be produced and released in Serbia. This report will also be submitted to the UN headquarters in New York, together with reports from other countries where the consultation process is ongoing. Serbia's report will be an integral part of a global joint report that will be presented to the UN Secretary-General. The global report will include the voices of people in Serbia, and will be presented at the 68th UN General Assembly on the 23rd of September 2013 in New York.

About the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The outcome document of the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs requested the Secretary-General to initiate thinking on a post-2015 development agenda and include recommendations in his annual report on efforts to accelerate MDG progress. Following the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, which initiated an inclusive intergovernmental process to prepare a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs), there is broad agreement that there must be close linkages between the two processes and agendas.

The Secretary-General established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. Chaired by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme, the team assembles more than 60 UN agencies and international organizations.

In its first report to the Secretary-General, Realizing the Future We Want for All, the Task Team outlines a vision for the post-2015 development agenda and suggests four key dimensions which can help to guide goal setting. In addition, members of the Task Team prepared a set of 18 think pieces which explore how different themes could potentially be reflected in a new framework.

The mandate of the Task Team has recently been extended to include two new working groups on the partnership for global development and on monitoring and indicators. Moreover, the Technical Support Team to provide initial inputs to the Open Working Group on the SDGs, has also been established under the umbrella of the Task Team to ensure early convergence of the two processes.

In July 2012, the Secretary-General launched his High-level Panel of Eminent Persons to provide guidance and recommendations on the post-2015 development agenda. The panel is chaired by the Presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and members include representatives from the private sector, academia, civil society and local authorities. The report of the Panel will be published in May 2013.

These two processes are complemented by national consultations in more than 60 countries and a set of eleven thematic consultations organized by the United Nations Development Group. The eleven thematic consultations are: conflict and fragility; education; environmental sustainability; governance; growth and employment; health; hunger, food and nutrition; inequalities; population dynamics; energy; and water.



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