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UN member states must support civil society to implement an ambitious global agenda for sustainable development, says leading civil society network

In New York this week, during the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the global civil society network IFP (International Forum of National NGO Platforms), has called on the governments of all UN member states to fully support and resource civil society to implement the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Agenda 2030 is an ambitious universal agenda which is the successor framework to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Agenda 2030 was adopted by all UN member states in 2015. A fifteen-year timeframe was agreed for the achievement of its sustainable development goals and targets.

The IFP launched its new policy paper: “Developing the capacities of civil society for a successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda”(project-07-eng-digital) in New York this week as part of the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF). Forty-four governments are presenting their progress reports during the HLPF on how Agenda 2030 is being implemented in their countries.

The IFP believes that civil society organisations (CSOs) everywhere will need capacity development to be able to deliver on the promise of this new global agenda.

“The international community urgently needs to move in the direction of sustainable development” says Miguel Santibañez, IFP Chairman. “Agenda 2030 is a new global blueprint to promote development that is socially fairer and more environmentally responsible. Governments correctly see civil society as an important partner in the realisation of this new global agenda”.

However, Mr. Santibañez says that “governments everywhere are fooling themselves if they think that CSOs can be important actors in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 without significant investment in developing their capacities.”

His colleague and Director of IFP, Magda Elena Toma says: “There is an urgent need for the international community to plan for, and fully resource a coordinated approach to the capacity development of civil society around the world. We believe that a systematic and objective identification of the capacity development needs of civil society is needed. These processes should relate not just to the internal capacities of NGOs but also to their ability to engage externally in partnerships with other actors such as the private sector, and to positively influence their environments”.

The IFP has called for the UN to establish a “Global Fund” to develop the capacities of different stakeholder groups involved in Agenda 2030 monitoring and implementation, including civil society. It believes that this Global Fund should be distributed in a way which respects the diverse needs of civil society organisations and is equally accessible to smaller, less well-resourced CSOs as to the larger ones.

IFP also launched the findings of its recent pilot study in New York which explores the capacity development needs of civil society organisations linked to Agenda 2030. “The initial results of this pilot survey indicate that civil society is very clear about the kind of capacities it needs to develop to enable it to properly implement the Agenda 2030″ says Ms. Toma. “The IFP will continue to identify the capacity development needs of its member organisations. But we also need governments to provide the resources and supports required so that civil society can deliver on this exciting new global agenda”.*

About IFP
IFP is a Global Network of 64 engaged national platforms and 6 regional coalitions which gather over 22 000 NGOs promoting transformative political, economic and social change to achieve a fair and sustainable world for all.

For further information, please contact:
Magda Toma – / + 33 634 78 05 04
Miguel Santibáñez – / +569 6360 6317

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