- Lead-organizer: Asian Energy Institute
- 17:30 - 19:00
- Date: 19 Jun 2012
- Room: P3-F
Civil Society and Knowledge Community: Dialogues around IFSD
Organizing partners1)The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) -Lead Organizer
2) International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)
IntroductionThe event has the objective to stimulate discussion on the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) and knowledge community in the context of the second theme of UNCSD-institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD). It will try to harness in best possible manner the diverse knowledge and experience of the participants, accommodating different opinions and interests and providing the tools and the space for productive brainstorming of future role and direction of CSOs. The role of CSOs exists at all levels ? international, regional, national, sub-national and local ? and may be increasingly mobilized and organized through innovative methods. So far, partnerships registered with the Commission on Sustainable Development have been limited in terms of geographical scope showing a lack of visibility of local initiatives. Yet, undeniably, many innovations start at the local level and there is renewed attention to scaling up local development innovations and mainstream key lessons learnt.
Detailed programmeThematic focus:
The civil society has been instrumental in effective implementation of programmes and also in ensuring transparency as watchdogs for the community. Knowledge institutions can engage in in-depth research activities and design innovations within a trans-disciplinary and collaborative framework and play a key role in making and influencing policy locally and globally. The role of civil society and knowledge institutions is crucial in the debates around IFSD and there is a need to assign them adequate space in the design and operationalizing of sustainable development frameworks and related activities. Both civil society and knowledge institutions play a key role in identifying, securing and translating local development innovations. While there has also been moderate success in terms of getting visibility of major groups including farmer groups, women groups, workers and trade unions and youth groups, major groups need to be increasingly mobilized on issues related to sustainable development through innovative methods at all levels and across all typologies. The recent UNCSD Zero Draft of the outcome document also mentions the meaningful role at all levels that the major groups (women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organisations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers) can play in sustainable development with the support of universal access to information and communications technologies (ICT). It is important to enable all members of civil society to be actively engaged in sustainable development by incorporating their specific knowledge and practical know-how into national and local policy making. The thematic focus of the event revolves around the following questions:
1) What is the potential contribution of the ongoing dialogue on IFSD in strengthening the networks for ensuring equity through informal groups including civil society and knowledge institutions?
2) What has been the contribution of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and knowledge networks/ collaborations on the structure of the institutional framework that has evolved?
3) In context of climate finance, what is the role of CSOs in over-seeing the climate finance effectiveness in developing countries
4) How could the role of CSOs and knowledge community (including South-South learning) be enhanced for democratic participation in decision-making?
5) How do citizens define their modes of engagement with the state and other interest groups and use different forms of collective action. What, for example, are the lessons from the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring? Should we be more flexible in considering social mobilization which is revolutionary and game-changing but does not always need to be permanent?
6) What are the formal (and informal) channels of participation to promote more inclusive citizenship and facilitate the realization of political and socio-economic rights?
7) In this regard, in order to fulfil the sustainable development agenda and promote government-driven, what specific actions can be designed to ensure integrated decision making at all levels / across major groups?
Tentative speakers will include representatives from:
? CEBRAP (Brazil)
? Government of Brazil
? Government of India
? Democratic Governance Group (DGG)/ Transparency International
? International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
? Open Society Institute for Southern Africa/Pan African Organization for Sustainable Development
? North-North-South, South Centre or Third World Network
? International Society for Ecological Economics
? International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
The outcome of this dialogue will contribute to the civil society and media capacity building activities as well to the trans-disciplinary knowledge activities being undertaken in context of sustainable development. Innovative ways for designing and operationalizing sustainable development frameworks and related activities being undertaken by CSOs and knowledge community will be shared and success stories identified for further securing and translating such innovations. The proposed outcomes will strengthen the work related to inclusive approaches where inclusiveness is being considered as the cornerstone of equitable and sustainable development. Ways for enhanced role of CSOs and knowledge community in the structure of IFSD will be discussed. A background paper prepared by the host organizations will be circulated in advance and comments from the discussions at the event incorporated into the paper and a report published.