UNDP Conference: Opening Remarks by Ambassador Thoms on“Measuring Human Progress - Can HD Measurement Inform the Post-2015 Agenda?”

Mar 10, 2014

Dear Khalid Malik,

dear Minister Benmokthar,

dear Minister Giovannini,


Ladies and gentlemen!

I would like to thank UNDP for the kind invitation to deliver the opening remarks today for the Third Converence on “Measuring Human Progress – Can Human Development Measurement Inform the Post-2015 Agenda?”.  

The international community is currently consulting on, discussing and – in the framework of the Open Working Group – already negotiating suggestions for an agenda for the post-2015 period. Developing this agenda is one of the central political processes that will set the parameters for action for both national and international development policy and cooperation for a considerable period of time.

As outlined in the outcome document of the Special Event in September 2013 the post-2015 development agenda should reinforce the international community's commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development.

For Germany, a "Global Partnership" is to be the overarching framework of the future agenda for sustainable development, which should take into account and be adapted to planetary boundaries. The purpose of the Global Partnership should be to induce a paradigm shift, breaking with traditional views such as the classic North-South or donor-recipient thought patterns and defining joint goals for reducing poverty, creating economic, political and social opportunities, and transforming economies worldwide, making them more sustainable.

The German government focuses on the following four strategic issues:

(i) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, secure a life in dignity,

(ii) Preserve the natural resource base and ensure its sustainable use,

(iii) Achieve the creation of decent jobs and adequate income through ecologically sound growth and

(iv) Strengthen good governance, anchor gender equality, protect and foster human rights, secure peace.

Goals should be people-centred and planet-sensitive, ambitious, realistic and limited in number, impact and results orientated and global in nature, universally applicable while taking into account different national realities and provide  direction and promote accountability.

Germany’s understanding of poverty is holistic and multi-dimensional. Up to now the causes of poverty have been addressed rather separately, also within the framework of the MDGs.

Indices such as the Human Development Index or the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) can be helpful to complement conventional monetary measures of poverty and wellbeing. They can provide an integrated and holistic approach that transcends sectoral thinking and reflect the interconnectedness of different thematic areas by summarizing the level of human development.

Indices are often understood by and easily communicable to the broader public – one of the strengths of the MDGs, which should be carried forward to the post-2015 Agenda.

The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index, for instance, is increasingly being internationally recognized as a helpful complement to the traditionally used 1,25$ poverty measure. The MPI can be used to identify households and groups affected by multidimensional poverty and hence make policies addressed to reduce poverty more effective and impact oriented. The German government has supported the Human Development Report Office´s work on MPI computation, documentation and sensitivity analysis as well as today´s and last year´s conference on “Measuring Human Progress”. We look forward to the continuation of this fruitful collaboration.

Among others, the report of the High-Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda called for better data and statistics to help governments track progress and make sure their decisions are evidence-based. It also highlighted the need to invest in building relevant capacity in advance of 2015.

Today’s third conference on „Measuring Human Progress“ thus comes at an opportune time to provide further impetus for this matter.

I wish you fruitful discussions and a successful conference!

© GermanyUN

Development, Environment and Sustainability

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More than one billion people in the world – almost one in five – have to live on less than 1.25 US dollars per day. Every day thousands of young children die of hunger and illnesses. Poverty reduction is therefore a cornerstone of Germany's engagement at the UN.

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The Millenium Development Goals set targets to be achieved by 2015. What comes after that date and what is Germany's input to the new post-2015 development agenda?