The Regional Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development in the Arab Region
The Arab NGO Network for Development in collaboration with the members of the Regional Sustainable Development Platform (ATUC, CAWTAR, HIC-HRLN, ARFPD, ANDE, CAWTAR and TI) organizes the "The Regional Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development in the Arab Region" on March 12, and 13 2023 in Beirut.
Please click here to read the concept note and the agenda and to attend the event click the following links day 1 and day 2.
At the midpoint in its implementation it is evident that the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus the universal commitments to achieve a sustainable, prosperous and peaceful world for everyone, have been challenged with systemic and structural challenges at political, socio-economic, cultural and environmental levels. Stepping into the second half of the global timeline, “progress” continues to be contested while degeneration seems to be more accurate, at least in some of the core human components of Agenda 2030 such as the fight against poverty and inequality, and the promotion of adequate healthcare, quality education, peace, justice, strong institutions and partnerships; as indeed the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022 states that Agenda 2030 is in “grave jeopardy due to multiple, cascading and intersecting crises (…) creating spin-off crises in food and nutrition, health, education, the environment, and peace and security.”
Many causes are indeed behind this degeneration. While the mainstream discourse puts forward Covid-19 pandemic as a main reason that has stalled progress in achieving the SDGs, UN Secretary-General António Guterres states that “even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many people around the globe understood that inequality was undermining their life chances and opportunities. They saw a world out of balance. They felt left behind.” Indeed, the pandemic only brought to the surface the systemic and structural failures, including the diminishing role of the state, weak governance, macroeconomic and socio-economic policies that exacerbated inequalities and the lack of redistribution policies and universal social protection schemes to protect the rights and the dignity of those most in need.
In this context, during the 2022 High Level for Political Forum the world leaders called for a renewed global commitment to sustainable development to achieve a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery. Nevertheless, rather than a mere fast-track progress and accelerating the implementation of the SDGs, a sole focus on achieving mere SDGs and their indicators would be misleading and will not be different from the goals-oriented approach adopted during the MDGs implementation. Addressing the structural challenges and transforming policies not for resilience and recovery but for reform putting people’s needs and rights at the very center remains at the heart of achieving sustainable development.
Please click here to read the concept note and the agenda