“Changing Tomorrow Today” is one of the slogans that synthesizes the urgency of the moment so that the Agenda does not become “business as usual”
By Amanda Proetti, Abong
Concerned about the direction of the 2030 Agenda – the United Nations’ (UN) sustainable development agenda – global civil society mobilized in various ways in recent years to influence intergovernmental negotiations on the process of building the proposal adopted at the 70th UN General Assembly in September 2015. The campaigns Beyond 2015 and Action/ 2015 are two examples of initiatives spearheaded by global civil society around this discussion that mobilized and focused on the agenda until its adoption.
Over the past few months, many civil society organizations and activists who were involved in the abovementioned international campaigns, turned their attention to what comes next. Discussions on how civil society should organize and mobilize around international agreements to ensure the implementation and monitoring of sustainable development goals were held on several occasions in: Tunis (April, 2015); Addis Ababa (July, 2015); New York (September, 2015); Paris (December, 2015); Istanbul (March, 2016), and Bogota (April, 2016).
In this regard, a group of about 40 leaders and civil society representatives from all political-administrative regions of multilateral governance (Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia Pacific and North America), met in Istanbul (Turkey) in March 2016, with the objective of forming an alliance that could actively participate in the process of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Thus was born “Action for Sustainable Development (A4SD) – The global society platform”, a global platform which aims to monitor and focus on the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) with his 169 targets. The initiative was created jointly by the International Forum of National NGOs Platforms (IFP), Civicus World Alliance For Citizen Participation, Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and Climate Action Network – CAN International, entities that had taken part in the Action/2015 campaign. The group met for the second time on April 29 in Bogota (Colombia) for the official launch of the initiative. At the time, they followed up on the work plan built in Istanbul, with emphasis on deepening the debate about its democratic governance structure.
The 2030 Agenda is long-term, but at the same time deserves to be treated with a sense of urgency. “Changing Tomorrow Today” was one of the slogans proposed and debated at the time, summing up the urgency of the moment so that the agenda does not become “business as usual”. For the group, it is important to ensure a significant role of civil society in the Agenda monitoring process.
A4SD adds value to civil society in at least three important aspects: as a space for information sharing on the sustainable development agenda across themes and countries/regions, as well as resources and strategies for advocacy, policies, programs and mobilization; to redress the imbalance in capacity within civil society itself; and promote a more direct and influential participation of civil society in the paths to sustainable development.
While there are differing views in civil society about whether the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change are ambitious enough, almost everyone agrees that civil society should play an active role in keeping the spotlight on these commitments.
Learn about the Platform’s Mission Statement.