NGO Major Group: We call for a new development paradigm which prioritizes the flourishing of humans, nature and animals.

The NGO Major Group, tasked with facilitating the participation and enhancing the engagement NGOs in the processes related to the High Level Political Forum, the focal point for sustainable development at the UN, has published its 2018 HLPF Position Paper. 

The NGO Major Group calls for "a new development paradigm that prioritizes the flourishing of humans, nature, and animals"; underscores the need of the institutional change of global systems reorient them towards unleashing the humankind’s full potential, making them more responsive to equity and justice.


Aligned with the theme and focus goals of 2018 HLPF, the NGO Major Group offers the recommendations and findings in respect to SDGs in review by HLPF this year: SDG6 (water), SDG7 (energy for all), SDG 11 (sustainable cities), SDG 12 (consumption), SDG 15 (biodiversity) and 17 (means of implementation and global partnership).  

The Major Group calls for a rights-based approach to SDG6 in order to: prevent the commodification and privatization of water sources and strengthen community-based water resource management,  prevent water sources from being overexploited and contaminated by the energy production sector. The Major Group considers SDG7 (energy for all) as a key contribution to the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, safety, education, and water supply, and by combating gender inequalities and mitigating climate change. Universal energy access depends on cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation. Civil society organizations should be enabled to co-design and deliver energy solutions with communities to ensure sustainable, long-term development impact. NGO Major Group underscores that all the SDGs require participatory approaches in the process of their implementing. "Civil society is best suited to translate the SDGs into the daily life of communities, providing them an opportunity to link to local priorities, while boosting participatory democracy", - says the Position Paper.  


In 2012, Rio+20 Outcome Document assigned "NGOs, members of civil society, Major Groups and relevant stakeholders" important roles and responsible mandates in "decision-making, planning and implementation of policies and programmes for sustainable development at all levels" and addressing "the implementation gaps". An entire chapter Para. 42 - 55 in the Future We Want covers various rights, obligations and tasks with relevance to NGOs, Major Groups and civil society. 

The Outcome Document has defined "all major groups" as: women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers, as well as other stakeholders, including local communities, volunteer groups and foundations, migrants and families as well as older persons and persons with disabilities. 

In 2013 The UN General Assembly resolution (67/290) that established the HLPF emphasized that Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders, while respecting the intergovernmental nature of the processes, are integral to the implementation and delivery of its ambitious mandate. The resolution assigned the Major Groups with a number of participatory privileges including concrete tasks to be performed (see paragraphs 8C, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22 and 24). This also defines and legitimizes their field of work and responsibilities.

By Katsiaryna Serada



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