John Patrick Ngoyi (JP), from Justice, Development and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria, and member of Together 2030 Core Group presented a civil society perspective during the second day of the 2017 High Level Political Forum (HLPF).
During the Thematic review on eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world: Multi-stakeholder perspectives, JP exhorted Member States to move from promises to action, budget allocation and implementation. Naiara Costa, from Together 2030 International Secretariat moderated the session.
Below is JP’s full speech.
We are grateful for the opportunity to share the perspectives of Together 2030 at this important meeting.
At this second year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we are far from seeing that the transformational promises are actually being translated into change. It is time to move from promises to action, to budget allocation and to implementation.
Despite the higher number of countries volunteering to present their voluntary reviews this year, concerns remain both on the level of stakeholder engagement and on how the SDGs are actually delivering for people. As an example, a perceptions survey conducted by Together 2030 showed that only 44% of respondents in VNR countries had the necessary information on how to engage and contribute to their national reviews. 41% of the respondents of the survey – both in VNR and non-VNR countries – were not aware or only somewhat aware of their countries plans to implement the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. This is concerning.
Participation by ALL stakeholders is both a means and an end in the context of Agenda 2030. As a means, participation allows the expertise and contributions of all groups to speed up and enhance the quality of delivery on the SDGs. Participation is also an end as it is part of the goals and targets themselves and creates the crucial space for accountability and public scrutiny of commitments.
Enabling civic spaces generate opportunities for the poorest and most disadvantaged, particularly women, children, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, people living with HIV, LGBTI and others to engage in decisions that affect their own lives, expressing challenges and devising solutions and strategies. The ‘furthest behind’ and those ‘left behind’ need to be known and made statistically visible as a valuable resource at the global, national, and subnational scales. Unfortunately, since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the political landscape in many countries, in different regions, is generating environments that hinders participation, silences voices and oppresses diversity.
So far, civil society experiences of participation in the implementation, follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda vary and, in several countries, efforts to include civil society are still tokenistic.
Funding continues to be a major barrier for the participation of civil society. Efforts should also be undertaken at all levels to engage stakeholders beyond the “usual suspects” and consultation has to be cross-sectoral and country-wide, not restricted to capitals and other centers of power.
Paragraph 89 of the 2030 Agenda, which calls on major groups and other relevant stakeholders to report on their contribution to its implementation, is still a missing piece of the global follow up and review architecture. We, again, ask UN Member States and the President of ECOSOC to establish clear and meaningful mechanisms – beyond online platforms – to collect, publicize and analyze reports on the contribution of civil society and stakeholders to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at all levels. This will be a critical step towards the achievement of the SDGs.”