Cepei participated in discussion with NGOs in preparation for the 2018 ECOSOC Special Meeting

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN, invited Cepei’s Director, Philipp Schönrock, to take part in a discussion with non-governmental organizations and Member States on the participation of all in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in preparation for the 2018 ECOSOC Special Meeting.

The Discussion, held on November 27th in New York, was organized as part of the priority topic of the ECOSOC Presidency: “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all,” and was the first in a series of 4 conversations with different stakeholders: 1) Non-Governmental Organizations, 2) Local Government, 3) Private Sector and 4) Academy.

Marie Chatardová, ECOSOC President, welcomes NGOs and Member States representatives, November 27th 2017, New York. © Together 2030. 

The ECOSOC Presidency recognizes the importance of including Non-Governmental Organizations in the 2030 Agenda implementation, follow-up and review, therefore, this meeting represented an opportunity to discuss how NGOs perceive their contribution to the 2030 Agenda processes and how they complement or not national efforts. It also provided a platform to explore collective actions on participation and inclusion within the context of the 2030 Agenda.

Some considerations that motivated the meeting:

  • The space granted to non-governmental organizations to fully play their role as actors, promoters and advocates of the promises contained in the 2030 Agenda remains fragile. It is too often deliberately restricted, thus weakening  democracy rather than promoting inclusion and participation.
  • Collective reflection is necessary so that NGOs can make full use of the global normative instruments in support of inclusion and the democratic space.
  • There should be new mechanisms to facilitate the interaction of NGOs with political actors, be they Government representatives, Parliamentarians or regional and international organizations.

Taking the above considerations into account, the discussion was guided by the following questions:

  • How can Non-Governmental Organizations best mobilize the peoples of the planet in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?
  • Which mechanisms involving civil society should be established, or strengthened, to increase accountability to the commitments made in the 2030 Agenda and foster sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies?
  • How can the work of Non-Governmental Organizations in support of the 2030 Agenda be best showcased, supported and promoted in international fora, including ECOSOC, its subsidiary bodies and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development?
Cepei’s Director comments on his experience  in scaling LAC engagement in global development agendas, November 27th 2017, New York. © Together 2030. 

“We need to hold each other accountable for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and this includes government and stakeholders roles”.

—Philipp Schönrock, Director of Cepei

In addition to the presentation made by Philipp Schönrock, interventions were also made by: Bonian Golmohammadi, Secretary General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations; Tatana Gregor Brzobohatá, founder of Beauty of Help, a foundation committed to the well-being of the elderly in the Czech Republic; Naiara Costa, International Secretariat of Together 2030, a civil society initiative that promotes the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and Arelys Bellorini, representing World Vision, among others.

Tatana Gregor Brzobohatá, Founder of Beauty of Help, reminds the long-term work and the direct contact with peoples, characteristic of the work of NGOs, November 27th 2017, New York. © Together 2030. 
Arelys Bellorini, World Vision, mentions need of improvement at global level on how civil society inputs are taken on board at VNRs and the HLPF, November 27th 2017, New York. © Together 2030.