Over 200 participants, mainly from civil society organizations, were part of the SDG Forum in Vienna, Austria, where Philipp Schönrock, Director of Cepei, was invited as a keynote speaker, with a presentation on the role of civil society in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
In autumn 2017, SDG Watch Austria was founded, a civil society platform with more than 140 member organizations. Together, they support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Austria. They aim for a society that eliminates poverty, protects the environment and ensures sustainable economic activity.
At the first Austrian SDG Forum (2017), SDG Watch Austria took stock of Austria’s performance in the past year on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda: had there been any progress to improve the future prospects and life prospects of all people? At the same time, the Forum asked what needed to be improved in the coming year.
With concrete answers to achieve the SDGs, SDG Watch Austria organized its second Forum in 2018, to encourage the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at all levels. The Forum was carried out through panel discussions and working group workshops.
The Director of Cepei, Philipp Schönrock, was excited to participate in the Forum with a keynote speaker presentation, and conducting a workshop on the role of civil society in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Find below some key messages of his intervention.
Key Messages of the intervention
A first step to be taken is recognizing that the 2030 Agenda adoption has resulted in national development governance framework changes. We have identified three institutional arrangements: 1. The establishment of new institutions to which the mandate to implement and follow up on the 2030 Agenda at the national level is given; 2. Creation of governmental bodies aimed to foster coordination between institutions responsible for the 2030 Agenda implementation and follow-up; 3. Continuing to implement the 2030 Agenda through pre-existing institutions, without introducing institutional changes.
The 2019 HLPF meeting will be the stage in which 51 countries will present its Voluntary National Review reports. Considering that Austria has committed to do that in 2020, this HLPF session could be a good exercise to explore how countries are building their VNRs, how national civil society organizations are being involved in the processes, and to meet civil society organizations from countries that are presenting reports to learn from their experiences.
To strengthen civil society organizations capacity to achieve better results for 2030 Agenda implementation, they can seek to build partnerships with other stakeholders, from the private sector to the academia, aiming to promote the integration of all non-governmental actors into the debate processes currently taking place at the governmental level. Partnerships can be established through different more or less standardized channels, that range from non-institutionalized networks to national SDGs support platforms. Identifying capacities and synergies that arise from that partnerships can provide relevant information for coordinating and drafting joint working plans towards the attainment of the goals.
“We need both an increasing coordination among civil society organizations and a careful selection of scenarios where we can concentrate our advocacy efforts to fulfill the 2030 Agenda commitments”.
“To strengthen civil society organizations capacity for 2030 Agenda achievement it is necessary to develop an analysis of the national landscape for SDGs implementation, taking into account a mapping of activities and stakeholders, as well as the availability of disaggregated data to monitor SDGs’ targets”.Philipp Schönrock