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CSOs united in Nepal for Sustainable Development Agenda

United Nations Sustainable Development Summit held in September 2015 in New York adopted the new global development agenda “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The ingredients presented by this agenda are progressive, inclusive and gender sensitive and its formulation process remained participatory and inclusive.

Daya Sagar Shrestha

Directeur exécutif de la Fédération des ONG du Népal

United Nations Sustainable Development Summit held in September 2015 in New York adopted the new global development agenda “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The ingredients presented by this agenda are progressive, inclusive and gender sensitive and its formulation process remained participatory and inclusive.

The new agenda reaffirms international commitments; and formulates the principles for review and accountability. Elements in Goal-16 such as peaceful, inclusive and just societies; promoting good governance; and rules of law at all levels are fundamental. New goals such as ending inequalities within and between the countries, and sustainable consumption and production are very welcomed. However, all development actors need to address the structural and systematic causes in order to reduce poverty and inequality and “leave no one behind”.

In the context of Nepal, untouchability, ethnic-caste based discriminations, gender disparities, unequal and unjust distribution of resources and opportunities, unequal access to governance process and lack of political accountability are the major causes of poverty and inequality.

United Nations should play an important role to comply the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). Similarly, UN should guarantee the trouble-free and equitable access of Nepal to international development cooperation as well as to trade and transit facility (being LDC and LLDC).

On the other hand, political parties and their leaders in Nepal should commit with the 2030 Agenda, reorienting the existing policies and programs. The political transition must come to an end and political parties should develop a common minimum program according to the spirit of Constitution of Nepal 2015.

Moreover, government has to establish an accountability system for the implementation of the SDGs, spelling out the role of provincial and local governments and ensuring functional, constructive and inclusive participation of CSOs in every phase. A multi-stakeholder mechanism should be formed in order to prepare a national report every four years. For this purpose, the national statistical system should be strengthened as well as ensure availability of updated, accurate and disaggregated data in the country.

Government needs to increase its own capacities as well as inter-ministerial and vertical coordination in order to maximize available resources. Partial development budgets could be flown through CSOs to increase its delivery rate. Government should hold the local election according to the provision of new constitution and follow a zero tolerance policy against corruption. Government should intervene and regulate on essential needs and services such as supply of food, education, health and drinking water as well as make the private sector more accountable, more human rights friendly and supportive to environment protection. The 50:50 target of participation of men and women in all sectors should be achieved, following Nepal’s international commitments.

Foreign aids must complement to the domestic resources. At the same time, the country should decrease its dependency on foreign aids gradually. ODA should enhance capacities of national systems and institutions moving towards self-reliant societies. In order to increase internal resources, the negotiations for debt cancellation should begging on the basis of 68/224 resolution adopted at UNGA68.

In this context, representatives of more than ten thousands Nepalese CSOs along with Local Authorities’ Associations, Social Campaigners and Human Right Activists assembled on 25 February 2016 in Kathmandu and formed a common civil society forum called CSOs Forum on Sustainable Development in Nepal (Nepal SDGs Forum). The NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN) will act as the Secretariat of this Forum and facilitate the civil society process.

The mandates of the forum are : sharing information; advocacy for enabling environment and expansion of civic space; capacity development; mobilization; support to CSO development effectiveness and accountability; promote CSOs’ involvement; engage with government and other stakeholders; participate in monitoring, follow-up and review process; engage with sub-regional, regional and global platforms; review the contributions of CSOs; knowledge management, research & publication; and mobilize resources. Its first coordination meeting held on 8 June 2016 has identified 23 constituencies and 19 major thematic areas for intervention (visit www.ngoederation.org for more information).