Brazilian Government, RIO+ Centre and civil society initiate Dialogue on the Post-2015 agenda
Brazil’s Secretariat-General of the Presidency and the World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre) met last Tuesday (11/2) with the representatives of the civil society, Brazilian government and United Nations to promote and discuss Brazil’s inputs to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
In total 83 participants gathered at the headquarters of RIO+ in Rio de Janeiro to debate and contribute to the Brazilian agenda in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) discussion process, on the eve of the formal opening of international negotiations, which starts in March 2014 and should finish by September 2015.
Representatives of 41 entities from civil society (unions, corporations, academics, NGOs and popular movements related to environment protection, youth rights, women rights, fight against racism, promotion of culture, justice in rural areas and democracy in urban areas) were present at the event “Social Dialogues: Sustainable Development in the post-2015 agenda – Building a Brazilian perspective”.
From the Brazilian government side, the Vice-Minister of Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ambassador Eduardo dos Santos; the Vice-Minister Secretary of Brazil’s Ministry of Environment, Francisco Gaetani; the Vice-Minister of Secretariat-General of the Presidency, Diogo Sant’Ana; and the Secretary of Evaluation and Information Management of the Ministry of Social Development, Paulo Januzzi were among the active participants in the dialogues. The presence of high-level government officials allowed the representatives of the social organizations to directly participate in the elaboration of Brazil’s positioning in the post-2015 agenda.
The director of the newly created RIO+ Centre (linked to the UN), Rômulo Paes de Sousa, and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Brazil, Jorge Chediek, also contributed to the debates, particularly to the international negotiating agenda of the post-2015 and on the conceptual issues involving SDGs.
The representatives of civil society identified key priorities in the post-2015 agenda debate, such as fighting inequality, human rights guarantees, new models of development, social participation, financing and social environmental justice. They identified 91 relevant themes for the post-2015 agenda. A report with the main conclusions of the event will be soon available for the public.
The debate around the post-2015 agenda – The initiative of organizing the event, by the Brazilian Government and RIO+, was centered on a long- term vision necessary to advance the post-2015 agenda. “What is positive in this debate is that we are now talking about a future dispute”, said Rômulo Paes de Sousa, director of RIO+. “What future do we want? How do we achieve this future and which instruments should we have to assess how this future is being built?”, he added.
Diogo Sant’Ana, Vice-Minister of Secretariat-General of the Presidency, said: “Our main objective is to work on a qualified consultation, able to absorb and achieve dialogue with the Brazilian civil society and social movements about how they see the building process of the post-2015 and how they see the construction of concepts and the feasibility of development sustainable.”
Fátima Mello, director of the Federation of Organisations for Social and Educational Assistance (Fase) said, “The first big challenge for the agenda is to build legitimacy”. The main issue raised by Fátima, and also brought up by several members of civil society, is that the agenda for fighting inequality should be the main approach of Brazil to the SDGs as to its internal development model.
Jorge Chediek, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Brazil, underlined the necessity to avoid the same problems in the MDGs process. “ We need to completely change the process (with the Sustainable Development Goals), we want the process to be democratic, participatory, with engagement of governments and civil society in the creation of this new development agenda”, said Chediek.
The Secretary of Evaluation and Information Management of the Ministry of Social Development, Paulo Januzzi, mentioned the importance of promoting a balance between economic growth, social inclusion, development, social equality and environmental sustainability. “The post-2015 agenda has to articulate policies, goals, indicators, objectives and best practices. In this context, the Brazilian contribution could make the difference”, said Januzzi.
Francisco Gaetani stressed the intention of the government to have a dialogue with civil society and introduced his main reflections about the challenges of building the Brazilian position forthe post-2015 agenda: “We are trying to elaborate a national project, this is our challenge, as government, as society, as country, and this can only be done by processing conflicts, qualifying debates, discussing roles and facing political discussions that lie ahead”, said Gaetani.
The Ambassador Eduardo dos Santos stated: “The Minister Figueredo has been emphatic in his statements by saying that foreign policy does not exist without the direct participation of the civil society” and announced that Itamaraty is organizing a circle of debates with civil society, academics, and government representatives to discuss foreign policy topics, of which one of the panels will cover the theme of Sustainable Development.
Continuing participation – “This meeting is an open dialogue (for civil society), but there are still many people that haven’t been able to participate in the discussion”, said Kitanji (Juliana Goulart Nogueira), from the Nation Bantu Movement (MonaBantu).
Diogo Sant’Ana understands the preoccupations and said that the process of consulting civil society will continue. “We will keep seeking the civil society’s participation in the process and conveying it to the government”, said Sant’Ana.
“The participation of the civil society in the dialogue with the government will definitely help create more mature policies and the (consulting) process will evolve”, said Claudio Fernandes, advisor of international policies of the NGO Gestos.
The space opened consultations and dialogues that the Brazilian government will have with civil society on the post-2015 agenda. The website participa.br, still in pilot phase, is a tool for digital participation, open to all Brazilian citizens. In the website there is a tool available for social participation (http://www.participa.br/desenvolvimento-sustentavel/) in which the citizen can provide ideas, suggestions and comments about the theme. The UN and the RIO+ Centre are also offering virtual space for dialogue (https://www.riodialogues.org/).
Source: Rio Dialogues
Short URL: http://pressroom.ipc-undp.org/?p=16106