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Agenda 2030 and Organised Civil Society

Iara Pietricovsky (ABONG – Brazil, IFP member)

Since 2008 we have been in the midst of an economic crisis of incalculable proportions with no prospect of a solution. A very serious crisis of the financial system, generated by the excessive liberalisation of the flows and applications of capital, that began in the USA and expanded to Europe and the rest of the world. There was no less of an impact from the crisis in the developing countries, although each one, according to its internal capacity, tried to save itself from the announced debacle.

The crisis of capitalism is characterised by a failure of the development model that is especially expressed in the energy, climate and food crises on the one hand, and a deep crisis of the political systems of the so-called modern democracies on the other.
Starting from the recognition that the global agenda (governments and multilateral institutions) is captured and directed mainly by private conglomerates, it is still important to stress that Agenda 2030 is crucial in trying to address the serious democratic and socio-environmental crisis that we are experiencing.

Although the UN and some governments try to broaden the discussion through the participation of the global society, through new communication technologies and open data, in order to bring organisations and citizens to the debate, what we have is a bottleneck. Final decisions are not made with the participation of those invited to the global debate, and the final text does not reflect the main demands and concerns expressed by organisations and citizens invited to give their opinions, especially those that have a critical view.
There is a permanent risk of instrumentalisation of the organised civil society that actively follows this agenda, which is being criminalised and weakened internationally and nationally, whilst at the same time being called to participate in official processes. In the official discourse, NGOs are considered necessary, but changes in international cooperation policies are moving in the opposite direction, reducing their capacity to act.

In the real world we have the backwardness, authoritarianism, fascism and radicalism of a class society, where 1% access most of the benefits of wellbeing, technologies, health, education and employment, while the remaining 99% have unemployment and hopelessness. A system that definitively oppresses, discards and rots the planet and its inhabitants.