During the visit to Bogota of the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Marie Chatardová, Cepei, WWF Colombia, The Externado University, The Colombian Confederation of NGOs (CCONG), the Association of Business Foundations (AFE), The Nature Conservancy and Transforma participated in a meeting to discuss the implementation and monitoring process of the 2030 Agenda from civil society perspective.
Colombia and the Czech Republic are jointly organizing the ECOSOC Special Meeting 2018, to be held in May, in New York City: “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through the participation of all.”
In preparation for the Special Meeting, the presidency of the ECOSOC has organized 4 multi-stakeholder meetings in which representatives of Colombia, the Czech Republic and several partner countries have participated.
Additionally, between March 26-27, another meeting will be held in Prague with Czech and Colombian representatives (Head of the DNP and Permanent Mission to the UN), where Cepei has been invited.
In this context and as a side-event on the official agenda, the presidency of the ECOSOC met on February 5, 2018, in Bogota, with members of the Colombian civil society to be informed about their views and perceptions on the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda. The meeting was also an opportunity for civil society organizations to consult on the process of Spotlight reporting or Shadow reporting*, a mechanism for responding to the National Voluntary Reports presented by the countries at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, to be held in July, in New York.
“Civil Society Organizations help promote accountability among citizens, encouraging better delivery of service by public officials, but also aligning their own advocacy and program implementation objectives to international commitments and national policy objectives and priorities”.Isabel Cavelier, Co-director, Transforma
Involvement of colombian civil society organizations (CSO) in the Voluntary National Review process can positively impact the accuracy, quality and cohesiveness of the information and the results to be presented at the High Level Political Forum 2018.
Capacity building in colombian civil society organizations through partnerships with government and international organizations can improve the collection of higher quality and more reliable data to measure the progress of the SDGs.
In Colombia there is a strong participation of civil society organizations in the ground. Its proximity to local communities and knowledge of regional contexts are essential for the decentralization of public policies and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda.
Platforms for stakeholder engagement between government and civil society organizations are useful for coordination and debate purposes. CSOs can provide useful inputs to government policy making and planning of local development, and they can help to build trust and linkages with local communities.
Identifying and showcasing case studies of civil society contributions to the 2030 Agenda in Colombia is a way to foster, pinpoint and shape possible partnerships with Government institutions within the 2030 Agenda.
It is important to address funding issues as an obstacle for the successful participation of CSO in the implementation and monitoring process of the 2030 Agenda in Colombia.
The intervention of H.E. Chatadorvá focused on telling the experience of the Czech Republic in the presentation of its National Voluntary Review in 2017:
“The Czech Republic had its Voluntary National Review last year in New York. Something must be done with the format of the VNRs because now we have 15 minutes for presenting and 5 minutes for questions and answers, which is not sufficient. Colombia will present its VNR this year for the second time. Our extremely good experience with the presentation was that for the 15 minutes, we had 5 minutes a Minister, 5 minutes a representative from private sector and 5 minutes a representative from civil society. It is possible to involve other stakeholders to do it on behalf of the government. Our experience was very good”.Marie Chatardová, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the UN /President of the UN Economic and Social Council
*Spotlight Report: A report to shine a light on issues and areas of interest.
*Shadow Report: Shadow reporting is an important tool for CSO. By submitting a shadow report to a UN treaty body committee, CSOs can highlight issues not raised by their governments or point out where the government may be misleading the committee from the real situation.