Civil society actors not aware of mechanism & processes of VNR - Pradeep Baisakh
The meeting of the UN high-level political forum (HLPF)on sustainable development took place in New York to discuss the progress made on the sustainable development goals(SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda. Forty three member nations presented their report.
Before the meeting, the governments undertook long consultations to prepare their reports. Was the exercise worth? However, there was significant apathy or antipathy among governments to consult and include suggestions from civil society actors in the Voluntary National Review (VNRs).
There was also a visible lack of awareness among civil society actors across the world about the mechanism and processes of VNR. The secretariat of high-level political forum (HLPF) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has no place for carrying the shadow reports on of sustainable development goals(SDGs) of civil society organizations.
A survey done in 20 Voluntary National Review nations (VNRs) by action for sustainable development(SDGs), a global civil society organization’s platform on SDG’s , suggests : “ In many cases, although there is a sense that the SDGs are included in existing national plans, the ‘transformational’ aspect of the agenda has been significantly diluted or lost”.
The shadow reports prepared by civil society on sustainable development goals (SDGs) find that the scale of inequality is constantly raising while governments “austerity” measures of cutting public investment in the social sectors is continuing. There is simultaneously reduction in the corporate taxation. This is worrying as the UN Secretary General’s Report finds that in 2016, only 45% of the world’s population was protected by some social protection system.
A clear road map needed to address pressing challenges of refugee crisis, terrorism, fundamentalism, increase in the in-equality and climate change.
(Pradeep Baisakh works with global campaign on poverty and in-equality).