Day 8 at CSD-18

Tuesday already, we’re getting ready for multi-stakeholder dialogues although dialogue at the UN is not what you and I would consider a ‘dialogue’. Still a lot of reading of prepared statements, but with a bit more focus on specific questions posed by the CSD Bureau Interesting sessions though. In the morning, it was about partnerships and what makes them work (or not), and in the afternoon it was about the constraints of implementing previous CSD decisions. Let me just cite you the intervention Lesha gave on behalf of the Women’s Major Group. It can be found on the statements section main CSD-18 website.

“Sustainable development requires the willingness of all stakeholders to think and act for the future; it’s a process. We should not forget this.

This Commission should be proud of its influence on other UN processes. Extensive involvement of Major Groups stays essential to make the transition from policymaking to action at grassroots level. We remind you of the structure UN-AIDS uses to involve Major groups. Cutting back on intervention time by civil society-based organisations is not helpful and is counterproductive to engage civil society.

The horizontal exchange of information, such as between decisions at this Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women is lacking. Agreements are not followed through or linked to other agreements and conventions.

Another constraint for implementation is solely consensus based decision-making; this means that recommendations of CSD sometimes do not get implemented because they are blocked by a (single) nation. The One-UN reform should maybe look into that as well

Side events are often very action-oriented, but their content is not fed back into the main sessions. It is useful to have the inclusion of short summaries on the CSD website, but it would be more useful to have full presentations included to facilitate knowledge sharing.

Greater emphasis on interlinkages and cross-cutting issues is what sustainable development is about. The CSD Bureau and Secretariat should facilitate more intensive preparation for these sessions to make the links between the themes more visible. Allocating only 3 hours is almost an affront to CSD itself: denying the importance of interlinkages and cross-cutting issues, specifically for Sustainable Development.

For example water was agreed as a cross-cutting issue for CSD and UN Water – a good example of cooperation and coordination – published a report last week linking water to all CSD themes. But how many delegations have read this report?

The biggest problem for actions to get off the ground is the lack of funding for institutional- and capacity development of CBOs – most donors are project-orientated in their criteria and not supporting processes like behavioral change. Seed money is needed for developing (bankable) programs and actions – a lot of donors ask for “track records” – thus creating a paradox.

We need more implementation goals with timelines in the agreed conclusions of CSD to ensure real action. A follow-up meeting a year later, like for CSD-17, keeps themes on the agenda.

The outcomes of CSD should be “translated / re-packaged” so it is accessible and connects with the interest of the focus groups and leads to interest and action from their part.”


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