UN Major Groups Established Through Dialogues with Civil Society Organisations in Barbados
On July 30th 2014, the “Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs) Consultation on Small Island Developing States and Post-2015 Development Agenda”, which was hosted by the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) – Barbados Chapter and funded by Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP), led to the adoption of the UN Major Groups framework. Over 40 representatives of CSOs in Barbados participated in the dialogue session and provided meaningful inputs into the development of the national position for the upcoming Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States and Post-2015 Development process.
In 1992 the United Nations paved the way for CSOs to participate in achieving sustainable development at the global level through formalizing Major Groups under Section 3 of Agenda 21. These Major Groups (Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous People, Science and Technology, Local Authorities, NGOs, Women, and Workers and Trade Unions) create a mechanism to strengthen the role of CSOs in policy formulation and implementation at all levels to ensure real social partnership with the UN System and amongst government to support sustainable development.
During the dialogue participants alluded to eleven priority areas for the implementation of the UN SIDS Outcomes which CYEN-Barbados Chapter would formally present on behalf of CSOs to the Government of Barbados in a comprehensive report. One of the key priorities was that “more inclusive governance is needed to effectively engage civil society. Local governance also needs to be strengthened to enable effective delivery of actions at the community level”. Sustainable land management, greater utilization of alternative energy and climate change adaptation were among the major environmental priorities identified by CSOs.
On conclusion of the consultation, CSOs embraced the Major Groups framework with the emergence of eight of the nine UN Major Groups to ensure the voices of the all national stakeholders remain on the global agenda for sustainable development. Eight CSOs were nominated as focal points/chairpersons for each of the eight major groups. These CSOs have committed to facilitate the process and will seek to register under the UN Major Group framework within two-three months. However the work does not end here, as follow-up sessions will be held with the constituents of the newly established Major Groups, with assistance from SGP Barbados.
The final report can be viewed by clicking the PDF link to the right, under Documentation, or by clicking here.