The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development was held at the UN headquarters in New York from July 10 to 19th, with the participation of representatives of States, civil society organizations, specialists, private sector entities and UN agencies. The objective of the meeting was to follow up the actions of the countries in fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed in the 2030 Agenda.
Mabel Bianco, president of FEIM, participated as a member of the official Argentine delegation and on behalf of FEIM and the «Argentine Alliance of Civil Society Organizations following- up International Commitments.» In addition, Bianco is a member of the Women’s Major Group, the space recognized by the UN for the participation of civil society.
On July 11th it was held the side event «The Experience of Women’s groups in VNR, Contributions to gender equity «organized by FEIM, WEDO and Equity and the Women’s Major Group (WMG). The presentations were Mabel Bianco from Argentina, Caroline Uksipedo from Nigeria, Pam Rajput from India and Tarcila Rivera from Peru, under the moderation of Eleanor Blomstrom from WEDO / GMM. Bianco presented the results of the study carried out by the WMG on the participation of women’s organizations in the national reports about the progress in the implementation of 2030 Agenda. The study was carried out through a survey sent to WMG members and answered by representatives of 23 of the 44 countries reporting this year at the Forum. The survey represents the views of approximately 200 non-governmental organizations in these countries, because most responses were from networks and alliances. Bianco said that «of the 64 organizations/networks that responded to the survey, 21 had no chance to participate comment and in the process of drafting their country’s official report, despite having asked for it. The remaining 43 organizations (80%) were able to contribute in the discussions of the Report, but very few could really contribute to the Report, so there is still a long way to achieve the “meaningful participation” we want, which is full participation in the whole process, from the planning to the drafting and evaluation”. After her presentation, the event continued with the interventions of the representatives of India, Peru and Nigeria expressing the concrete differences and examples from the three countries.
Packed room at the side event organized by FEIM, WEDO, Equity, and WMG
Later that day, the President of FEIM participated in a side event organized by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in NY (NGO CSW/NY) entitled «Advocacy Training for Goal 5 on Gender Equality». When the dialogue was opened, Bianco suggested that governmental and civil society representatives from the same country should have participated, and then referred to the experience of the little or no engagement of women’s organizations in the elaboration of the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) according to the WMG study.
On July 14 the WMG organized an action recalling 22 woman defenders of human rights murdered around the world
On Friday, July 14 from (8 to 10 am), Mabel Bianco participated in a breakfast side event «Paving the way for global partnerships to implement the 2030 Agenda”, organized by the Directorate-General for Multilateral and European Affairs of the Government of Catalonia. The event aimed to discuss strategies and partnerships towards the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with the input of representatives of national, sub regional and regional governments, as well as from the UN. As a UN Woman consultant and on behalf of the civil society, Mabel Bianco presented the experience of the participation of women’s organizations in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda based in the WMG survey and specifically Argentina’s experience.
In the afternoon, she was a panelist for FEIM at the side event «From Shrinking Spaces to Feminist Movement Building: Key Priorities on SDG 5 and 16 for Sustaining Peace” organized by Woman Deliver, Women for Women International, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), CIVICUS, Men Engage Alliance, Plan International, African Women’s Development and Communications Network and UN Women. The event addressed the barriers that limit the meaningful participation of the feminist movement in working towards gender equality and peace. The other panelists were Lopa Banerjee from UN Women, Gabriela Irsten from WILPF Sweden, Ismail Aziz from Woman Deliver and Saba Ghori, from Women for Women International. Bianco talked about the structural obstacles that restrict participation and called for increased funding for grassroots organizations, which are in an disadvantage position compared with larger/ big NGOs/ Networks . She shared some experiences of positive articulation (such as the Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanisms) but explained that, “as shown by the Women’s Major Group‘s report from 2016 and 2017 on the participation of civil society in the process of Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) it remains inconsistent, as there is no opportunity to participate meaningfully in the monitoring process nor are there training activities for the diversity of organizations. She argued that it is essential to strengthen and expand access to the participation platforms of women’s groups as well as ensuring financial support, to promote their involvement in the processes of SDGs implementation.”
Presentation of Argentina’s Voluntary National Review
On Tuesday, July 18, Argentina presented the National Review on the implementation of 2030 Agenda and SDGs in its territory. Gabriela Agosto, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Social Policy Coordination, presented the National Review, seconded by Mabel Bianco, President of FEIM, and Andrea Ávila, from the Global Compact Network in Argentina, who complemented the presentation from the perspective of women organizations and the private sector, respectively. The president of FEIM spoke on behalf of the Argentine Alliance of Civil Society Organizations following- up International Commitments, who carried out the dissemination and training activities about the indicators of the 2030 Agenda, as well as the provision of qualitative information from the perspective of the diversity of women and young people. Her presentation focused on indicator 17.17 (“Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships”). She noted that “it is the duty of governments to make efforts to convene the majority of actors, to ensure that the process is «open, inclusive, participatory and transparent». In Argentina we did not have the opportunity to interact with all the actors.» She also stressed the need to promote a participatory and federal process in the future, involving comprehensive and wide consultations, and reaffirmed the Alliance’s commitment to the implementation of the Agenda.
During the Forum the Argentine Alliance also participated in the exhibition organized by the Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS). They displayed a banner presenting the Alliance, the articulation with the government and other stakeholders and the training workshops abou 2030 Agenda they carry out for young people and women.
Photos: ODSArgentina, Pamela Martín García, WMG.