The role of culture in implementing the post-2015 agenda

written by Roudabeh Jamshid Ein Global Youth Advocate at UNMC

On May 21  we celebrated the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Emphasizing the importance of understanding cultural diversity to raise human living standards, and following the adaptation of UNESCO’S Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001, the UN adopted resolution 57/59 on December 2002 . From that time forward, May 21 has been declared the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. UNESCO celebrated this day with events in Costa Rica, South Sudan, France, and Brazil.  These were streamed on the web and via the radio. The results of these efforts has brought the attention of their population towards the importance of this day for peace building, cultural diversity, and other relevant issues to sustainable development.

Recognizing the importance of overcoming cross-cultural barriers to define the sustainable development goals, we at the United Nations Millennium Campaign celebrated this day as well.

Key priority: Career / Autonomity; “One day I will become president, or the first lady. I want to prove to Ivorian and African society that women have more to offer then only their beauty. Yes I am beautiful but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be smart or have my own career!” -‪#‎bb2015UN‬ Building Bridges

Each specific cultural group has their own logic to interpret any specific notion in their own community. To ensure that we have a diverse and ambitious post-2015 agenda with global ownership, our work has focused on social inclusion and social participation.

Our team at World We Want 2015 supports this day by welcoming all stakeholders with different cultural backgrounds to join the global thematic consultations about culture and development. Understanding development has different interpretation in different cultures. The UN Millennium Campaign recognizes the importance of creating an environment to give a chance for diverse cultures to raise their voices and be recognized globally among others. This has been done by providing a forum, and open space for discussion and participation on the design of the post-2015 agenda. Furthermore, by providing the latest reports and other information such as different case studies and introducing selected publications, our team aims to raise awareness of the key role that culture plays in implementing the post-2015 agenda. The UNDG Dialogues on Implementation was a multi-stakeholder global discussion in over 50 countries and with 6 relevant streams. One particular stream focused on the role of culture on the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.  Cultural diversity and awareness  are and will continue to be central to our efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030.

Key priority: A better education system; “The education system in Morocco is not well organised. If I want to have a good career, I have to study in a private school and these schools are really expensive. I study in a public school and the quality of education is not that good.” – From Marrakesh, Morocco #bb2015UN Building Bridges

If you want learn more about cultural differences on the priorities of the lives of ordinary people around the world we invite you to visit Human of My World’s Facebook page. Through this qualitative data sample culture and humanity of MY World voters are highlighted. For example:  the key priority for the woman featured above from Cote d’Ivoire is job opportunities and autonomy.  For the girl from Morocco, also featured above, a better education  is her top priority.

Compete in the #PeoplesVoices Challenge!

Peoples' Voices Challenge

Let’s use the #peoplesvoices to remind world leaders and policymakers what’s at stake!

The Global Conversation on the Post-2015 agenda has been led by the United Nations and has gathered more than 8 million citizen voices from 194 countries. People from all corners of the world have participated in national, regional and global multi-stakeholder consultations as well as in the MY World survey.

The results from the Global Conversation have already informed Member States and United Nations discussions about the future development agenda, including the proposed Sustainable Development Goals.

As we enter the last stretch in the post-2015 process, it is important that governments and negotiators do not forget the priorities of their people.

Compete in the Peoples’ Voices Challenge!

Access and use the data collected from the Global Conversation, and take action!

World Water Day: Data & Resources

World Water Day is today! As part of this major event, share on your social media accounts what water means to you using the hashtag #WaterIs. You can pretty much put anything because, well, water is in almost everything and is an essential component to life. You would be hard pressed to find something that water isn’t.

There is a lot of water info out there and on the World We Want visualizations page there are a lot of resources you can check out to find out more information. Let’s start with a look at MY World votes for “clean water and sanitation” to see what countries had the top votes. (Access the interactive “heat map” of all of the MY World priorities here:

water heat map

The darker colors show which countries prioritize water & sanitation the most. Interestingly, Senegal has prioritized water & sanitation as their #1 priority. 79% of My World survey takers in Senegal ranked water and sanitation as their top priority. Other countries that prioritize water include Morocco (60%), Mail (50%), China (45%), and Uruguay (43%). Head to the heat map and select “clean water and sanitation” to see what other countries rank water as a high priority. Are there any countries that surprise you?



What are some resources you can access to learn more about water? Check out the Post-2015 Thematic Consultation Report on Water here! This PDF document will give you a complete overview on the state of the water and sanitation MDG. Find some fascinating facts? Share them on your social media outlets to spread the word about how important water is!

Want more resources? The World We Want has tagged UN-related documents and World We Want online conversations with MDG goals, so you can easily search through a theme on this interactive data visualization to find new resources. Find all of the water-related documents here:



Los bosques, la biodiversidad, y el desarrollo humano

Blog Escrito por Juan Chebly, Coordinador del Mundo Que Queremos 2015


Pese a que la agenda post-2015 y los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sustentable presentan un enfoque armónico donde el bienestar del planeta, el desarrollo humano, y los derechos humanos están interrelacionados, la realidad demuestra que la aplicación del paradigma de desarrollo sustentable puede conllevar tensiones entre las políticas centradas en las personas y aquellas que se dedican su entorno(UNESCO 2005)

Esta disyuntiva también conocida como ‘la paradoja del desarrollo sustentable’ parece ser una realidad inescapable del presente. Evidencia de esta percepción son los resultados de la Conversación Global iniciada por las Naciones Unidas en torno al diseño de la agenda post-2015La Conversación Global ha capturado las prioridades y aspiraciones de más de 7 millones de personas en 194 países incluye más de 100 consultas nacionales, 11 consultas temáticas, y la encuesta MI Mundo 2015. Los resultados son capturados y visualizados en la plataforma El Mundo Que Queremos 2015.


La encuesta Mi Mundo 2015 lanzada en 2013 por las Naciones Unidas y aliados de la sociedad civil como herramienta de participación social en el diseño de la agenda post-2015, le permite al votante escoger 6 prioridades de 16. La información demográfica capturada incluye la edad, genero, nivel de educación, país e índice de desarrollo humano del votante. Entre las prioridades a escoger está la ‘Protección de los ríos y océanos’



Cuando observamos los resultados de la encuesta podemos ver una tendencia interesante en cuanto a la cantidad de votos a favor de ‘La protección de bosques, ríos y océanos’ y el índice de desarrollo humano del votante. Lo que podemos observar es una relación positiva entre el índice de desarrollo humano y la cantidad de votos a favor de esta prioridad. En otras palabras mientras más alto es el índice de desarrollo humano de un grupo de votantes, más alto en la lista de prioridades figura ‘La protección de bosques, ríos y océanos’


Una tendencia opuesta se puede observar cuando analizamos la cantidad de votos a favor de mejoras en infraestructura y el índice de desarrollo humano. Tendencias similares se pueden apreciar cuando utilizamos herramientas de mina de datos para analizar la data cualitativa de las consultas y foros nacionales y temáticos. Un ejemplo es el análisis de los estudios de Participate Initative y de ATD Cuarto Mundoconversaciones con los más marginados. A través de estos estudios vemos como las principales prioridades de las personas viviendo en extrema pobreza tienen poca relación con la protección de los bosques, ríos y océanos. 


Si bien los resultados de este análisis pueden resultar un tanto intuitivos, por otro lado existen excepciones y maticesUn ejemplo es el caso de los 112 ciudadanos en pobreza extrema encuestados en los vertederos de basura de Nueva Delhi en India, donde en efecto la ‘Protecciónde bosques, ríos y océanos’ se encuentra de penúltima en la lista. Sin embargo sorprendentemente, ‘Una buena educación y ‘Un gobierno honesto y responsable’ se encuentran entre las primeras 5 prioridades. Esto se puede atribuir a que los votantes pueden percibir una conexión entre una buena educación y un buen gobierno con una vida mejor y con sus derechos humanos


forest3Si bien la gente suele tener prioridades inmediatas que muchas veces se sobreponen a los intereses o prioridades inter-generacionales, la gente también tiene la capacidad de entender la interconexión y relevancia del concepto de sostenibilidadGran parte del problema se puede atribuir a la falta de información. En este sentido, estas percepciones negativas se pudiesen revertir a través de la concientización – ¿y qué mejor herramienta para esto que una agenda o marco normativo ético para el desarrollo sustentable global? – un marco normativo ético anclado en el desarrollo humano y en los derechos humanos, donde el ambiente, los bosques, los ríos, y la biodiversidad son vistos no en competencia, sino como factores interdependientes de un mundo mejor para todas las personas que habitan en ély las que todavía no.

Honoring HE Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka

photo_1_360Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 – New York

On the second floor of the UN Church Center, which serves at the location for the monthly NGO Committee on Sustainable Development meeting, the World We Want 2015 team and Policy Strategy Group, presented its first ever award for “People’s Voices Champion” to H.E. Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations.

This award was created to wish Ambassador Kohona a fond farewell as his term here at the United Nations comes to an end. It was also to recognize his career long dedication to the inclusion of global citizens, specifically youth, to use their skills to strengthen the processes within the United Nations system. Amongst this lifetime of achievements, Ambassador Kohona’s pledge to engage 1 Million youth voices in the MY World 2015 survey, stands as the single highest effort by any MY World partner to exclusively engage youth, and serves as a great example of how youth can meaningfully be included, in the MDG and SDG process.

This historic certificate was endorsed by Ms. Margo LaZaro & Ms. Yvonne O’Neal, the Co-Chairs of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development Executive Board; along with Mr. Ravi Karkara & Ms. Rosa Lizarde, UN and Civil Society Representatives along with Co-Chairs respectively, of  the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group.


Mr. Juan Chebly the World We Want 2015 Coordinator, and Mr. Austin Schiano the World We Want 2015 Coordination Associate, were also able to present the United Nations Millennium Campaign’s “7 Million Voices Report” to several influential figure. The report includes the results of the Millennium Campaign’s vast global outreach to both citizens and their governments. They presented the report to Ambassador Mary Flores Flake of Honduras; Ambassador Caleb Otto of Palau; Patrick Sciarratta, Adviser to the Mission of Sao Tome and Principe and the Executive Director of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation; and last but certainly not least, Ornesha Reagan with the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

This ceremonial presentation occurred at the culmination of what was an enlightening conversation by several of the presenters on the virtues and developments being made in regard to eco-tourism. It included the efforts which are being steadfastly undertaken to ensure that the natural beauty of this world can be enjoyed by all, including preventing the exploitation of, or danger to, flora and fauna by visiting individuals. From the ancient temples that nurtured Buddhist philosophy and untouched forests of Sri-Lanka, to the magnanimous reefs and marine life off the coast of Honduras, this was truly a beautiful and enlightening discussion.  It was especially touching to hear the presenting Ambassadors express and describe the unmatched heritage and geography of their homeland, creating a personal connection that is rarely present in ministerial discussion.

The World We Want 2015 recognizes the fantastic efforts and dedication of the NGO Committee for planning this event, and looks forward to the future promotion of other such congratulations.  It is precisely this sort of event, which allows for us to complete the crucial task of ensuring that the voices of citizens, are brought to their representatives.

-Blog by Austin Schiano, World We Want Coordination Associate

Collecting offline ballots from Millennials in China

China Votes 1.27

Blog post by Ms. Chen, World Youth Foundation Volunteer in China. On 15-16 January, Ms. Chen collected 164 offline ballots at the school where she grew up in Jiangxi Province. 

Today I went to the school in my hometown that I attended 14 yrs ago, promoting the MY World 2015 Survey as an alumna of China’s Millennium Generation. When I walked into the classroom, the students looked at me with their dazzling eyes full of curiosity. They were all born in the year 2000, sharing the same age with current Millennium Development Goals. Although they didn’t know what the Millennium Development Goals are nor how they were developed, they are now part of the new development agenda that is coming alive. Should any of them recall the day they took the survey and what they prioritized, by any chance, many years from now, I hope they will think they have made the right choices.

Data cut of all World Youth Foundation votes from China (

China Votes Data 1.27


Of the total number of Chinese voters in the MY World Survey (18,947 voters), “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans” is drastically higher than the global results, currently ranked 4th instead of 14th. The majority of Chinese voters, or 70%, are youth aged 16-30, who rank it fifth. The 4% of voters who are children 15 and under ranked this as their second priority, similar to Ms. Chen’s results.

Data cut of all votes from China (

Total China votes 1.27

Meet the new UN Millennium Campaign Director, Mitchell Toomey!

millennium campaign

Greetings MY World and World We Want Partners,Photo

With the beginning of a new year, we are pleased to introduce you to Mr. Mitchell Toomey, who has taken on the post as Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign as of January 2015.

Prior to becoming Director of the Millennium Campaign, Mitchell held the position of Senior Adviser of the Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group in UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy. He has led groundbreaking work using digital media and technology to engage the public and civil society organizations around the world in collaborative crowdsourcing of development solutions focused on bringing vital services to the poorest and most vulnerable populations. Mitchell also helped design and launch UNDP’s Global Innovation Facility.

No stranger to MY World and the World We Want 2015 initiatives, Mitchell led the technical design and implementation phases of these platforms and other e-consultations to strategically engage millions of people around the world to participate in the post-2015 development framework. These initiatives and consultations, with the support from partners around the world, offer tremendous insight on priorities for the next generations of global anti-poverty goals.

Before joining UNDP, Mitchell launched two start-ups, served as Executive Producer for an interactive marketing agency, and worked as a management consultant helping traditional firms leverage digital markets and business models. He is an American national and holds a Masters of Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BA in Philosophy.

2015 is a critical year for us to focus on the MDGs’ final push and to ensure that citizen voices are reflected in the new development framework, civil society-led citizen engagement on a local-level is more crucial than ever before. By using an innovative strategy, forging new partnerships, and strengthening existing ones, Mitchell hopes to lead the team to support government, civil society and other partners to build on the momentum generated by the MDGs and carry on with an ambitious and inclusive post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

The United Nations Millennium Campaign TeamHeader

Public Consultations: Belarus' MY World Campaign

students22014 has come to an end and we are glad to look back at the work we have been doing and share some results.

The UN team in Belarus had a chance to seize the opportunity and combine two important processes into one: the MY World 2015 global survey and associated public consultations, which became significant for the preparation of the country strategic document: National Strategy for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Belarus till 2030.


How It All Started

The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus requested assistance with the development of the National Strategy and with conducting public consultations as a part of the process. After a number of meetings, we came to the conclusion that we actually already have a great means for asking people what is important for them – the MY World 2015 global survey. Since the National Strategy document consists of certain development priorities, which coincide a lot with the priorities in the survey, it was a great solution!

gimnasia3 gimnasia1






Continue reading “Public Consultations: Belarus' MY World Campaign”

Carta abierta a los líderes mundiales: Nosotros los pueblos

dearworldleadersQueridos Líderes Mundiales,

ESTE AÑO podría ser el año que cambia el curso de la historia para siempre – el año en que damos un paso adelante decisivo en la lucha contra la pobreza extrema y salvar a nuestro preciado planeta.

En 2015 estaremos confiando en ustedes para establecer nuevas metas de desarrollo, metas que suceden a los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio para proteger esta tierra y que sea un hogar seguro, igual y acogedor para todos los que viven en él.

Más de 7 millones de personas han participado en la encuesta global MY WORLD, porque queremos que ustedes sepan exactamente qué es lo que nosotros, el pueblo queremos. Les pedimos que se tomen en cuenta estos votos que representan las esperanzas y sueños de 1 de cada 1.000 personas en el planeta – esperanzas y sueños para una vida mejor.

Pedimos una mejor educación, salud, empleo, gobierno honesto y responsable y mucho más. Necesitamos un cambio de paradigmas y una unión. La uniformidad de los resultados de MY WORLD muestran que hay más que nos une que lo que nos divide. Hemos sabido esto durante toda la historia y sentido en nuestras propias vidas. Todos sabemos que es verdad.

El tamaño y el alcance de los votos MY WORLD muestran una fuerza inconfundible de este sentir, este es el tiempo para escuchar y honrar ese sentimiento. Vamos a conseguir estos nuevos objetivos para que dentro de 15 años no estamos escribiendo estas mismas palabras.

Vota, escucha y actua en 2015. Trabajando juntos podemos ser la generación que acabe con la pobreza y preserve el planeta.

Nosotros los pueblos.

(Gracias a MY World Jalisco por la traducción de la carta!)