More Stakeholders Get Involved in the NEA Multi-stakeholder Forum on SDGs than ever before since 2017: CSOs, Youth, and Local governments
Since 2017 when the NEA Multi-stakeholder Forum on SDGs has launched as an official SDGs follow-up process at a sub-regional level by UNESCAP, we have had one more step forward in terms of the number of participants, and the quality of presentations and the CSO statement: informative and insightful.
Around 180 people registered to join 3 pre-session in total that is almost twice the last year.
For the past 4 years, only the CSO meeting has been organized voluntarily, but for the first time, 2 more stakeholder groups, Youth and Local Governments, organized themselves this year. Considering the presence of the Persons with Disability group in the NEA Multi-stakeholder Forum in 2019 and 2020, 4 stakeholder groups are already organized voluntarily to get involved in the North-East Asia sub-regional SDGs follow-up process.
In the case of the CSO session, a total of 90 participants from 5 countries registered in 2021 that 8.8% decreased compared with 2020. Total 12 stakeholder groups registered and more than 50% are from NGO groups. For the collective work, a total of 22 volunteers, largely from youth groups, have joined working groups for communication and drafting of the statement.
Russian SDGs Network join as a national focal point eventually, but Chinese one still in vacancy
For the past 4 years, only 3 national CSO networks from Japan, Mongolia, and the Republic of Korea have joined the sub-regional process as a country-level focal point in order to coordinate the participation of national CSO groups. Only a few Chinese and Russian stakeholders including CSOs have participated in the sub-regional forum according to the invitation of UNESCAP since 2017 because there has not been an organized nationwide CSO network for SDGs implementation. However, as a Russian CSO coalition for SDGs was established in early 2021, they could respond collectively to the international processes at different levels for SDGs follow-up eventually. Thanks to their coordination, we can learn about Russian civil activism more comprehensively. On the other hand, unfortunately, we are still looking for a Chinese CSO partner to coordinate Chinese national practices covering all SDGs.
More grassroots practices with an insight into systemic barriers are shared.
National and local practices on thematic issues related to SDG 4, 5, 14, and 15 could be shared with insightful and practical solutions and recommendations, which gave us concrete and strategic ideas to take any action at a national and local level because grassroots speakers could be invited in support of interpretation in case of Mongolia and the Republic of Korea.
More informative and insightful CSO statement, and More effective intervention to the government's presentation
The CSO statement can be more informative and insightful because it is drafted based on the presentations of the CSO session. As a result, the CSO's interventions to the government presentations can be more strategic and practical for advocacy. For example, the national governance system for the SDGs implementation and review in 4 countries, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea, and Russia, were critically pointed out with calling for governments to legislate the comprehensive SDGs implementation and review system based on the multi-stakeholder engagement mechanism, to secure civil space and activism, and to strengthen the access to information with appropriate data and statistics. It is because there were two countries that had a positive advance in Japan and Mongolia, while the others that have rarely taken a step forward to in the Republic of Korea and Russia. In addition, more practical solutions and policy recommendations with evidence on the thematic issues of SDG 4, 5, 14, and 15 were suggested.
Please find the Statement of NEA Civil Society to the HLPF 2022 as attached and submit it to the UNESCAP and the APRCEM for including NEA CSO's voice in their final report and statement.
The draft of the statement has been opened to more than 300 people who have registered at the NEA sub-regional group of the APRCEM since 2017 including 90 participants who registered to join the NEA CSO Session on Oct 22(Fri), 2021. The call for inputs to the draft of the statement has been circulated From Oct 23(Sat) to Oct 27(Wed) and the final statement was completed on Oct 29(Fri) at noontime.
In addition, please watch a short video clip of NEA civil society's messages to the HLPF 2022 that is an edited version of card message performance by participants in the opening of the NEA CSO session: https://youtu.be/y9PGH3st7WE
If you want to watch them fully and vividly, please click the following URLs.
Some challenges to improve for our further collective voice and action: Outreach and Language Barrier
There is still a limitation to mobilizing different CSOs and other stakeholder groups at a national level because many CSOs, as well as other stakeholder groups such as parliament, business groups, have low awareness and interest in the SDGs follow-up process: HLPF, APFSD, and NEA MFS. Furthermore, the language barrier is the biggest issue for outreach and mutual learning. It makes it difficult to invite grassroots to share their stories that empower civil movement.
Agree to publish the NEA SDGs Watch Report from next year
For our further collective action for holistic approach and solution through SDGs, from next year, we agree to make the NEA SDGs Watch Report that monitors:
- Legislation of the SDGs implementation and review system: administrative governance structure, and involvement of parliament and local governments, etc;
- Institutionalization of the Multi-stakeholder engagement mechanism: inclusion in and outside the institutional arrangement, type/format of participation and partnership, etc;
- Protection of Civil rights and support to civil activism;
- Access to Information: provision of enough, timely, and the right information, type of media, etc;
- Thematic issues if available
The draft of the monitoring format and checklist will be shared with national focal points soon in order to discuss it together with a focal points meeting call.
The NEA Multi-stakeholder Forum on SDGs 2022 will be organized ON CONTACT
According to UNESCAP, from next year, NEA Multi-stakeholder Forum on SDGs will be organized ON CONTACT. However, stakeholder sessions prior to the main event will be organized virtually for more participation. The focal points meeting call to organize the 2022 CSO session will be informed in AUGUST 2022.