The International Movement ATD Fourth World, in partnership with the Bahá’í International Community, hosted the 35th informal breakfast dialogue on July 15th, 2016. A diverse group of stakeholders attended a working breakfast to discuss key issues related to connecting Agenda 2030 to national and sub-national level engagement. Opening remarks from Robert Bissio, of Instituto del Tercer Mundo and Social Watch, and Arelys Bellorini, of World Vision International, were followed by an open discussion led by Daniel Perell from the Bahá’í International Community, and information sharing by participants. A dialogue on the participation of civil society in national reviews of the High-Level Political Forum ensued.
The participants discussed the initiatives and progress of Social Watch, a network of organizations started 20 years ago, that has substantial goals to eradicate poverty and reach gender equality. With other groups, Social Watch developed the document ‘Goals for the Rich’ that articulates what rich and powerful countries that are capable of making significant contributions to Sustainable Development, and specifically to Goal 10 on inequalities among countries, Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production patterns, and Goal 16 on justice that demonstrates the indivisibility of the Agenda. Social Watch will soon follow up with a Spotlight Report on the meaning of Sustainable Development, and the challenges and lessons learned in working toward sustainable development.
Civil society will play an immense role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which will coincide with action at the national level. This reflects the principle of universality in the Agenda. The national level—governments—are accountable to civil society, and should allow room for the involvement of civil society in the implementation of plans and preparation of national reports (especially for the High-Level Political Forum), support grassroots efforts, and embrace civil society at the country level. These areas of collaboration will permit the 2030 Agenda to embody the inclusive nature of a “people’s agenda”.
As a people-centered, inclusive agenda, ordinary people of all demographics should be brought into the spotlight. The participants intend to outline how individuals can work toward sustainable development themselves and as part of a community. For the best possible results and progress in the 2030 Agenda, participants should share information, engage with various stakeholders, partner with municipalities, and work through the challenges of the global system.