On May 23 the President of ECOSOC H.E. Marie Chatardová, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, held a Special Meeting entitle “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all.” Here is the Agenda for the meeting. I was privileged to have Joan Wu accompany me to this meeting. It was a full day. The panelists were excellent and provided a wide range of perspectives and suggestions. See who’s who in the Biographies of the various panelists. The ones that interested me most were H.E. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. I liked her capturing of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as ‘an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people, and it is an agenda to be achieved with the people.’ To conclude Her Excellency said ‘The 2030 Agenda needs the participation of all actors to ensure no one is left behind and that all can enjoy prosperity, dignity and opportunity in a world of peace. Let us, therefore, join our efforts for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.’ A summary of Session 2 and 3 can be read HERE If you prefer see and hear the WEBCAST I added to the discussion see marker 1:18 focusing on ‘leave no one behind.’ “Many of the people whom Good Shepherd represents are outside the political arena. Until such time as we address the divide that exists between this meeting here this morning and the people I represent in these countries, whom I say are outside of the political arena, I don’t think we will have movement and progress because of growing inequality, threat of conflicts, climate change and disasters, as some of the panelists have already noted. We have to walk the talk by putting the resources at the most vulnerable, most excluded groups and bringing them into the political arena to talk about how they wish to participate and what can be done in these situation. They work in groups in terms of their own empowerment but are not contributing to local and national development. I would like to raise this issue this morning in the light of moving forward. Thank you.”
Michale Shank the moderator of panel two offered 7 c’s with regard to citizen participation and community engagement. Tactic (1 and 2); Objective (3 and 4); Process (5) and Results (6 and 7)
- campaign mode
- crowd-sourcing – not merely using internet
- consensus building
- community wide engagement
- communication – not PR or selling but reflecting back what the community is doing so the feel part of the process
- concrete commitment
- conflict prevention
Do you know about participatory budgeting? This was presented by Francesco Tena. Check out Participatory Budgeting
- money that matters
- grassroots leadership
- inclusive design
- targeted outreach
- equity criteria.
What is e-governance and e-participation? Listen to Dr Aroon Manoharan.
Session 4 was in the afternoon – a good opportunity to hear Andrew Gilmore, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Head of New York OHCHR Office. Human Rights are paramount. Session 4 I was interested to know that sometimes Parliaments don’t know about ‘Voluntary National Reviews’ (VNR’s) and it was noted by Tomáš Rákos that participation would be much more robust if quality civic education was imparted to all coupled with the existence of trust between people and government!
Toward the end of this panel Margaret O’Dwyer, Daughters of Charity were able to share SEE