Post-2015 Development Agenda - Government of Canada Priorities


The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set to expire in 2015, guided and galvanized global efforts to meet the needs of the world's poorest and most vulnerable. Over the past several years, stakeholders from around the world, including Canadians, have been working to develop a Post-2015 Development Agenda that addresses the unfinished business of the MDGs, and integrates social, economic and environmental priorities. An intergovernmental process of the Member States of the United Nations (UN), the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, produced a report which now serves as the main basis for the negotiation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Other inputs are also being considered, including reports and recommendations from: global consultations; private sector and civil society organizations; the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing; the Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development; the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda; and the UN Secretariat. Formal intergovernmental negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda started in January 2015 and will culminate in a UN Summit in September 2015, where a final Agenda is expected to be adopted.

Canada's Principles

Canada is committed to pursuing a realistic, focussed and measurable Post-2015 Development Agenda that integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic, and environmental. The Agenda should focus on the eradication of poverty, with an emphasis on the world's poorest and most vulnerable, especially women and children. As multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships will be essential to success, Canada is promoting the participation of civil society and the private sector in the Agenda's development and implementation.

Canada's Core Priorities

  • Maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) – Together we can end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation. Canada is, therefore, striving to ensure that MNCH has a prominent place in the Post-2015 Development Agenda by advancing strong targets, and by underscoring the importance of key determinants of maternal, newborn and child health, such as nutrition and immunization.
  • Job creation / sustainable economic growth (SEG) – As private sector-led growth and job creation are key drivers of poverty reduction, Canada is striving to advance a goal and targets that capture the basic elements necessary to foster sustainable economic growth. These elements include creating a strong investment climate, growing productive businesses, and building a skilled workforce. All of these elements need to be embedded in an Agenda that is focussed on eliminating poverty, promoting inclusive growth, and increasing environmental sustainability.
  • Accountability – As it is vital that the Post-2015 Agenda mobilize action, Canada is encouraging a focus on realistic, achievable and measurable goals and targets, and is advocating for a strong global monitoring framework that leverages existing mechanisms. Canada supports credible monitoring systems that use reliable, disaggregated data, and are supported by strengthened civil registration and vital statistics systems, drawing on lessons learned from the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. Canada further supports the Data Revolution as a way to enhance new technologies in support of data and data analysis, and which aims to build statistical capacity in developing countries and support measurement of progress in achieving the Post-2015 goals.

Canada's Cross-cutting Priorities

In addition to its core priorities, Canada is also advocating for the following cross-cutting issues to be addressed across the breadth of the Post-2015 Agenda:

  • Child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) – As CEFM hindered the achievement of six of the eight MDGs, Canada is working to ensure that CEFM is meaningfully addressed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda by advocating for the inclusion of a target on ending CEFM as well as related targets under relevant goals, including poverty reduction, health, education, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
  • Empowerment of women and girls – Gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, and the promotion and respect of their human rights are prerequisites for sustainable development. Canada is advocating for a stand-alone goal, as well as cross-cutting targets and indicators focused on eliminating the structural drivers of gender inequality, including: ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls; ensuring their access to and control over productive resources and other benefits of development; promoting their leadership and participation in decision-making at all levels; and engaging men and boys as partners in advancing equality.
  • Child protection – All children have the right to survive and thrive, thus enabling households, communities and nations to sustain growth and stability. Canada is advocating for comprehensive, measurable, cross-cutting targets and indicators that aim to: eliminate all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse against women and children in all settings; create a safe learning environment; end child labour; and build civil registration and vital statistics systems. 

In addition to advancing its principal priorities, Canada is engaged on the full spectrum of issues that make up the Post-2015 Development Agenda. As half of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people are expected to be living in fragile and conflict affected states by the end of the timeframe for this Agenda (2030), Canada supports goals and targets that promote peaceful and inclusive societies while addressing the underlying causes of instability and insecurity, with a particular focus on women, peace and security. As freedom (including religious freedom), democratic governance, human rights and rule of law are cornerstones to the achievement of sustainable development, Canada supports efforts to ensure that these rights are integral components of the Post-2015 Agenda. As global hunger and malnutrition remain fundamental development challenges, Canada supports efforts to confirm a significant place for food security, nutrition and agriculture in the Post-2015 Agenda while ensuring that targets capture the multi-dimensional nature of food security. Canada is also working to ensure a goal and targets that promote inclusive, quality education whereby female and male learners from childhood to adulthood are able to acquire the skills and knowledge that they will need to make a positive contribution to their families, communities, economic growth and poverty reduction. Natural resources can also play an important role in supporting poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth. Canada is, therefore, also promoting the inclusion of sustainable and responsible management of land, forests, energy, minerals, biodiversity, water and agriculture. The financing needs for meeting the sustainable development goals are estimated to be in the trillions of dollars annually, far exceeding traditional Official Development Assistance (ODA) volumes. Although ODA is still critically important for development, particularly for least developed countries, new and innovative policies and mechanisms will need to be formulated and promoted to channel other financial resources into development.

Request for Feedback

The request for feedback on Canada's Post-2015 development priorities is now closed. The comments we have received will help to inform Canada's approach during the negotiation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. To add to the transparency of this process, a summary of submissions is available here. Please note that submissions are not attributed in the summary.