Advocacy opportunities with Financing for Development
As mentioned, there are several simultaneous processes ongoing with the Financing for Development (FfD) process. The biennial ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum is for reviewing trends, progress, and emerging issues in international development cooperation, composed of relevant stakeholders on the issue. It is ‘the primary platform for discussion on the quality, impact and effectiveness of development cooperation’.1United Nations Sustainable Development. Financing for Development.
The Financing for Sustainable Development Office is the office in charge of the coordination of FfD processes, and also supports the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (UN Tax Committee). While decisions at the FfD forum influence the amount of resources available for the sustainable development processes globally, the outcome documents of all these processes feed into the preparations of the HLPF. This includes the report of the secretary-general, and the preparations and negotiations of the ministerial declaration that member states negotiate to adopt at the end of HLPF each year.
Furthermore, the Addis Agenda established an annual ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD forum). It is an intergovernmental process to follow up and review the Agenda 2030’s financing for issues relating to financing for development, and means of implementation. This forum is also open to participation of all stakeholders to the process, including civil society. The summary of the Development Cooperation Forum and the agreed conclusions and recommendations of the FfD forum both feed into the HLPF. Many feminist organisations are involved in the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development, and continue their advocacy for a gender-just economic policy in development processes.2For more information on the Working Group please visit their website and Twitter account.
At the regional level, the five regional commissions of the UN (UN ESCAP, UN ECLAC, UNECE, UN ESCWA, and UN ESCAP) also undertake their own regional forums prior to the HLPF each year. This is to inform the HLPF of the regional developments in SDG implementation and policy. Again, it is possible to contribute to the panels and interventions here as members of the MGoSs Groups. Furthermore, some countries present their full VNR reports here, and some countries present an outline for their reports. Therefore, this presents a good opportunity for CSOs to understand the scope of the VNR report, if they are not included in the national review process by the state. They can also formulate their alternative reports and/or other responses accordingly (as will be detailed in the next section).
There are also regional CSO engagement mechanisms (RCEMs), established by the members of the MGoS and other CSOs of the regions. These procedures are to advocate for and facilitate civil society engagement in regional mechanisms on sustainable development. They facilitate and support the advocacy efforts of national and local CSOs, and collate the joint civil society perspectives from the region into their input to the regional sustainable development forums.
All these processes can only lead to effective accountability by governments if the processes can include meaningful participation of civil society organisations. Furthermore, making the linkages of the sustainable development framework with the human rights framework of the United Nations (such as CEDAW, ICESCR, UPR etc.) will strengthen the work for accountability and effective implementation.3It is crucial to connect the work and progress on the human rights instruments to the monitoring, implementation and review of the SDGs. This is to frame advocacy towards and accountability over the Agenda 2030. Helpful resources on the connections of the SDGs can be found in the work of the Danish Institute for Human Rights and IWRAW Asia Pacific’s CEDAW-SDGs Tool.
- 1United Nations Sustainable Development. Financing for Development.
- 3It is crucial to connect the work and progress on the human rights instruments to the monitoring, implementation and review of the SDGs. This is to frame advocacy towards and accountability over the Agenda 2030. Helpful resources on the connections of the SDGs can be found in the work of the Danish Institute for Human Rights and IWRAW Asia Pacific’s CEDAW-SDGs Tool.