Felix Dodds is asked to present on ‘advancing the implementation of CSD Decisions’

His presentation can be viewed here. On May 11th 2010 Felix Dodds gave a speech to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in which he tackled some important questions regarding the future of the UNCSD.

The first issue Felix tackled was the decline of the importance of the CSD in the priorities of governments and stakeholders. The first reason for this is the decline in the quality of stakeholder engagement. Previously governments had regularly hosted multi stakeholder dialogues to allow the views of stakeholders to be reflected at CSD meetings. This does not happen any longer, partly due to the fact that the timeline for national reports has been moved to the middle of summer. The national report reviews have also been axed and local organisations have lost their link to the UN. Furthermore, the parliamentary link has also been lost. Felix suggested that CSD decisions should be repackaged into advise notes for decision makers at all levels and all relevant stakeholders to help to re-engage. Many Type II partnerships have also failed due to a lack of support in development departments.

Felix went on to explain the importance of Inter-agency coordination and the role the now defunct task manager program performed in ensuring the ‘buy-in’ of the whole UN system. The inter agency committee was closed down in 1998 after 5 years of excellent work. Felix proposed looking at the idea of an inter agency committee again. The high level advisory board on Sustainable Development was comprised of many Rio veterans who advised the UN and were champions for the cause but was also shut down in 1998. Felix recommended the founding of a similar board including the former chairs of the CSD to continue to champion sustainable development.

Felix noted there has been no space on the agenda for the CSD to change course. He proposed having a standing agenda item on institutional frameworks for sustainable development. Another issue is the lack of adequate funding. This could be dealt with by re-engaging with the national development departments and the National Councils for Sustainable Development need to be re-established to ensure joined up decision making with stakeholders

In summary, Felix listed some desired outcomes of the Rio +20 summit;

  • Establish effective national processes

  • Involve new stakeholders such as regional government, foundations and parliamentarians

  • Re-establish Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development

  • Bring together a high level group to help guide CSD in the future

  • Focus on partners and champions to replicate good practice

  • Revisit the issue of monitoring effective means of implementation

  • Bring together the government agencies with the big budgets

  • Continue to ensure adequate funding for all aspects of CSD

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