15 partners from the Women’s Major Group joined the regional Forum at the UN in Geneva: Women’s leaders from Civil Society Organisations from Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, UK and Spain and Switzerland joined the Regional Agenda 2030 forum.
At the Forum, the WMG partners met with member states who are preparing for to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNR), in particular the Albanian partners from “Women in Development Shkoder” and the Albanian IPPF organisation, as well as the organisation “Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment”. The aim of the meetings is to make sure (women) civil society organisations are involved in the national SDG reporting processes.
The Regional Forum opening High Level plenary, included a joint statement from Civil Society (see below), which summarized key points from the CSO Forum which the Women Major Group helped to organise on February 28th 2018. The CSO joint statement was read by the youth representative on behalf of the Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism, and can be found here (see annex)
During the CSO Forum, several WMG representatives presented reports on the SDG progress (or lack of it) in their countries, including from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, Armenia, Moldova, UK, Italy and Spain, as well as on the global process on indicators and financing for development.
WMG representatives from Armenia, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Netherlands and Macedonia spoke in the ‘peer learning round tables’ about gender-equality priorities for the SDG goals which are up for review this year: SDG6 on Water and Sanitation, SDG 7 on Energy, SDG 11 on Cities, SDG 12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and SDG15 on Forests and Biodiversity.
Key priorities which the WMG representatives brought forward were on menstrual hygiene, priority for rural areas which are most left behind, inter-sectionalities of discrimination for women from rural areas (and elderly), access to basic services including water, sustainable energy, energy efficiency measures, land, and decision making power. The WMG warned that large-scale investments had not reached those left behind, and that support to create local cooperatives and social-ecological entrepreneurs, in particular also women, will support the spreading of sustainable and decentralized technologies.
In the mean time, the Major Group and Stakeholder groups agreed to progress on the proposed ‘Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism.
The Women’s Major Group sponsored the travel of 4 women CSO representatives from Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria and the UK.
Joint Interventions by UNECE Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism
- Opening ceremony – Anja Petersen
- SDG 6 interventions – Natasha Dokovska & Abdulaziz Ramadan
- SDG 7 interventions – Sascha Gabizon & Olga Djanaeva
- SDG 11 interventions – Joan Lanfranco
- SDG 12 interventions – Olga Ponizova & Patrizia Heidegger
- SDG 15 interventions – Jouni Nissinen & Silvia Guzzini
- Closing ceremony – Pat Clarke
Regional UNECE WMG’s comments on the RFSD outcome document