We acknowledge the role of civil society and the importance of enabling all members of civil society to be actively engaged in sustainable development. We recognize that improved participation of civil society depends upon, inter alia, strengthening access to information and building civil society capacity and an enabling environment*.
*(Paragraph 44 of A/RES/66/288. “The future we want”, https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/66/288)
The participation of Civil Society in Latin America and the Caribbean in the follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda has been structured and coordinated around the “Mechanism for civil society participation in the Sustainable Development Agenda and in the Forum of Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development ”. This agreement constitutes an institutional instance of participation and decision-making from and for civil society organizations of the region.
Civil Society at the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development
The Civil Society Participation Mechanism in the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development originates in the Latin American and Caribbean Civil Society Meeting, convened by the Secretariat of Foreign Relations of Mexico and ECLAC, on the occasion of the First Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development (Mexico City - April 2017). On that occasion, the representatives of civil society organizations decided to start a deliberation process, with the aim of agreeing an institutional mechanism to dialogue with governments and other relevant actors in the region.
Thus, during the period prior to the Second Meeting of the Forum (Santiago de Chile-April 2018), a proposal for modalities for the participation of civil society was formulated and a transitional commission was created, in charge of coordinating the process. In the civil society meeting of the Second Meeting of the Forum, the structure of the mechanism and its dynamics of operation were agreed, which were finally approved by the participants of the civil society meeting of the Third Meeting of the Forum (Santiago de Chile- April 2019).
As agreed by the representatives of civil society, the Mechanism is made up of the following Working Groups:
- Central America, Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Mexico
- English and French Speaking Caribbean
- Southern Cone
- Children, adolescents and young people
- Older adults
- Persons in small scale agricultural and living in rural and coastal areas
- Persons with disabilities
- People with HIV and people affected by HIV
- Human Rights and Territories Defenders
- LGBTI people
- Migrants and displaced persons due to disasters or conflicts
- Indigenous peoples
- Networks, collectives, organizations and NGO platforms
- Trade unions and workers, including domestic workers and sex workers
- Social and solidarity economies
- Education, academia, science and technology
- Ecological and environmental justice
Each of these Working Groups (subregional, interest and thematic) elects a focal point (representative), ensuring gender parity, to be part of a Liaison Committee.
Representation is thus defined within each group, in a democratic and transparent manner, for a period of two years, with no possibility of immediate re-election. In addition, each group selects an alternate per each respective period.
Objectives of the Liaison Committee:
- Facilitate the participation of civil society in the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in other processes and agendas related to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda;
- Coordinate the delivery of civil society inputs for political processes related to the sustainable development agenda in the region;
- Seek and disseminate accurate and updated information about the development agenda to the population groups that make up the participation mechanism;
- Promote the acknowledgment of the mechanism and the Liaison Committee as a fundamental political entity and integral part of the processes related to Sustainable Development Agenda in the region;
- Ensure that civil society from the region is present in all the relevant regional spaces related to the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda, through communication with ECLAC, Member States and the Forum’s Chair;
- Contribute and support the participation of civil society in the accountability processes for countries of the region in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda;
- Maintain a permanent and constant information channel for decision-making and information sharing about the agreements made towards the regional, interest and thematic groups.
Declarations of Civil Society of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Forum