Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the first edition of the Drums of Change for the year 2015. In this tenth volume of our publication we have a series of interesting issues and articles. To our first-time readers, we would like to welcome you; and to our regulars, we hope you will find this issue insightful. The Drums of Change is a collaborative effort initiated by the ACTION Support Centre (ASC), seeking to provide a platform where community voices can be heard alongside policymakers, sharing insights on conflict, peace and development.

With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) coming to an end, global issues such as poverty, the high rates of child mortality, environmental degeneration, and the increasing spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases remain global challenges. World leaders have called for an ambitious, long-term agenda to improve people’s lives and protect the planet for future generations. This post-2015 development agenda is expected to tackle many issues over the next fifteen years and by 2030 the agenda hopes to have made substantial strides towards ending poverty, transforming lives and protecting the planet.

With 2015 now upon us, we have reached the final and exciting stage in which the new agenda will be consolidated. This issue of Drums will be focused on the negotiation process around establishing the post-2015 development agenda, and exploring the transformative potential of the envisaged global development goals, highlighting the challenges, obstacles and opportunities for tapping into this transformative potential.

Paul Okumu, who is the Head of the Secretariat of the Africa Platform, emphasises the importance of overcoming structural barriers and citizens being their own agents of change before they can see the world they want. In this riveting article, Okumu presents a balanced view on the implementation of the Sustainable Goals (SDG) while recommending an all-inclusive way forward. In her well-researched piece ‘From Paper to Practice’, Holly McGurk takes an in-depth look at implementation strategies for the post-2015 agenda, and the risks and opportunities associated with this.

While the Post 2015 Development Agenda is a global initiative, it co-exists with regional agendas, such as the AU Agenda 2063 which was recently adopted for implementation in Africa. David Makwerere explores the differences and similarities between the two agendas, and concludes that while there are significant divergences, both share the same ultimate purpose of motivating substantial change, and improving the lives of people. At the same time, Africa and China, despite each having their own development agendas, have forged a partnership, sharing a motivation to make the Post 2015 agenda relevant to their needs. While they differ on some issues, the potential of the cooperative partnership remains strong.

The current MDGs have not incorporated peace and security indicators; Goal 16 of the SDGs presents an opportunity to do so. In an article written by Laura Spano of the World Federation of the United Nations Associations, it is proposed that the global community should focus on ensuring that Goal 16 is strengthened and implementable, especially because this has been a highly contested goal.

Research has shown that the youth make up a large percentage of the global population, however some of the challenges faced by the youth are not prioritised as they should be. Tendaishe Tlou argues the need for global leaders to start addressing the challenges of the youth, particularly in developing countries, as the youth are key in being able to achieve the other goals within the post-2015 development agenda.

In a similar way, although there is a goal devoted to gender, a focus on women is important for all parts of the Development agenda, and for the success of all the other goals as well. Peace and security is a particularly important issue for women, and the involvement of women has been linked to greater success in all kinds of development endeavours. These are just some of the points raised by Dr. Arundhatie B. Kundal in her article on gender, violence and peace in the post-2015 agenda. Finally, Naiara Costa shares her thoughts on the importance of adopting an all-inclusive approach in the implementing of the SDGs, in line with the call to “leave none behind”.

These are just some of the articles included within this issue, but we encourage you to browse through to see what else we have in store for you. We hope you will find this issue to be informative and a valuable reference source.

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the ACTION Support Centre or the ACTION for Conflict Transformation network movement.

Please send your thoughts and feedback to info@asc.org.za, and we encourage discussions and debates to continue through our Facebook page

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