Campaign Activation Workshop: Making the 2030 Agenda accountable: What is the role for civil society?

The promise of the SDGs makes governments accountable but who is to be made responsible for global issues like the climate, the pandemic or finances? Join us to discuss this issue in a workshop hosted by Global Policy Forum, Global Policy Watch and Social Watch as part of the 2021 SDG Global Festival of Action. The workshop will be held on March 25, 2021 from 04:30 to 05:30 PM (CET).

Register here. Further information here.

The Campaign
How can the SDGs be used to hold governments and the private sector accountable for global issues like climate, the pandemic or finances? The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is tasked with overseeing implementation of the 2030 Agenda, but it has proven itself to be insufficient. Civil society around the world organize campaigns on finances, trade, health, gender and the environment, utilizing spaces beyond the HLPF to advance accountability to the SDGs. As the SDGs are intrinsically interrelated, how can the campaigns be mutually supportive and identify reference points beyond the HLPF? What reforms are required in the HLPF to enable genuine global accountability?

The Opportunity
The SDGs were widely acknowledged to be ‘off track’ pre-COVID-19 and they suffered a major setback in 2020, with increased inequalities, growing poverty, overburdening of women with extra care work and more domestic violence and major educational challenges on top of the catastrophic health problems and continuing environmental destruction. The need for major changes and not just a ‘return to normal’ should lead to reinvigorating the 2030 Agenda and strengthening of its accountability mechanisms. Systemic changes require a global systemic approach articulating ongoing civil society campaigns.

The Participants
Participants interested in strengthening accountability to the 2030 Agenda as well as those planning to attend the 2021 HLPF. This includes Civil Society, UN secretariat, and government delegates.

The Contribution
Workshop attendees can explain how their ongoing campaigns and initiatives envisage to hold governments and the private sector accountable and be ready to explore the accountability for externalities and global impacts outside borders.

The Take Aways
This session will encourage participants to think beyond traditional accountability mechanisms (the HLPF & Voluntary National Reviews) and gain tools and information to reimagine and reinvent accountability in their own streams of work. More and better mechanisms are required for global challenges beyond national control, from the pandemic to climate change to finances. The HLPF needs to be reformed to enable approaching these issues and civil society campaigns within and beyond the HLPF can play a key role.


Barbara Adams. Global Policy Watch
Barbara Adams was trained as an economist in the UK and served as Executive Director of the Manitoba Council for International Affairs from 1977–1979 in Canada. She served as Associate Director of the Quaker United Nations Office in New York (1981–1988), where she worked with delegates, UN staff and NGOs on issues of economic and social justice, women, peace and human rights. Barbara served as Deputy Coordinator of the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) through the period of the UN global conferences and until 2003. From 2003–2008 she worked as Chief of Strategic Partnerships and Communications for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). She is currently editor of Global Policy Watch and chair of the board of Global Policy Forum.
Chee Yoke Ling. Third World Network
Chee Yoke Ling is the Executive Director of Third World Network, an international non-profit policy research and advocacy organization with its secretariat in Malaysia. She was formerly a law lecturer at the University of Malaya and the executive secretary of Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth, Malaysia). She works on sustainable development issues, with a focus on social justice and equity issues and the effects of globalization on developing countries. Among her current research and advocacy work are issues related to trade and investment, public health especially access to affordable treatment, ecological agriculture and farmers’ rights. She is on the Board of ETC Group and International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia-Pacific (IWRAW-Asia Pacific).
Emilia Reyes. Equidad de Género, Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia
Emilia Reyes is the Co-Convenor of Women Working Group on Financing for Development and Program Director of Policies and Budgets for Equality and Sustainable Development at Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia.
Ranja Sengupta. Third World Network
Ranja Sengupta works as Senior Researcher and Coordinator of the Trade Programme of Third World Network (TWN). She has an M. Phil Degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Her work spans agricultural institutions, international trade and investment policymaking, globalisation, poverty and inequality. She currently works on global trade and investment policies including those framed by the WTO and the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and their impact on development priorities in the South; including on, agriculture and the right to food, human development, employment and livelihoods, and access to critical services. She has worked also on specific impacts on women and MSMEs. She has been tracking the Financing for Development and the 2030 Agenda/ SDGs negotiations since their beginning, looking especially at means of implementation issues with a specific focus on international trade policy and development goals.
Roberto Bissio, Social Watch
Roberto Bissio, from Uruguay, coordinates the secretariat of Social Watch, a network of citizen organizations that monitor how their governments implement their international commitments. He is co-editor of Global Policy Watch and a member of the Civil society Reflection Group on Sustainable Development. He was a member of the civil society advisory group to the UNDP administrator and regularly writes on development issues as a columnist.
Wardarina. Asia Pacific Women on Law and Development
Wardarina works at Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) and is co-chair of Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM), which is a platform for civil society organisations (CSOs) in Asia Pacific region to engage with different processes at the United Nations (UN).

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