Side event held at the United Nations Correspondents Association (Press Club), 28 March, 1.15 - 2.45pm
The event gave an overview presentation by Stakeholder Forum and comments from stakeholder representatives on a panel.
The goal was to present the state of preparations for Stakeholder Forum's "Implementation Conference: Stakeholder Action For Our Common Future", to be held prior to the Summit in Johannesburg. This event will be the culmination of a process which has started in the autumn of 2001, aiming to develop collaborative stakeholder action plans contributing to the implementation of Agenda 21 and other sustainable development agreements.
Based on an analysis of recent agreements, stakeholders are developing joint work programmes on freshwater; energy; food security; and health. All of these programmes are being designed to contribute to poverty eradication; social inclusion and empowerment; good governance; gender equity; and corporate / stakeholder citizenship. The process is steered by multi-stakeholder advisory groups on each issue.
The outcomes may feed into the planned type 2 outcome documents of the Johannesburg Summit.
A printed update of the Implementation Conference process was provided for participants. The event was attended by about 50 people - journalists, government and stakeholder representatives.
Jan Kara thanked Stakeholder Forum for taking the lead, inspiring the Bureau and teh whole preparatory process. He said that the "Implementation Conference is an almost monumental effort, aiming to capture the energy that is emerging in this process. The IC is one of the most advanced ideas going into the type 2 Summit outcomes direction, and even beyond type 2. It is also relating to the Working Group III discussions on governance, and definitely a very, very useful thing - demonstrating how to inspire this process and beyond."
Kaarin Taipale stressed the role of local government and elaborated on its peculiar status as a Major Group and being government. She commended Stakeholder Forum for its initiative to broaden the implementation approach, and said "all implementation has to happen at the local level, and these efforts are partnerships. At the local level, we have participation in planning - which is also a partnership approach - and we have contractual partnerships. We need criteria for these partnerships to get them right."
Jennifer Francis said that partnerships are not new. Her own organisation, the Gender and Water Alliance, included 120 organisations in 42 countries, among them governments, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, grassroots groups, and others. "The Alliance has developed its operational guidelines on the basis of a discussion among this multi-stakeholder membership". she said. "It is now seeking new partnerships, to enrich and broaden its planned work programme, and collaborate on new initiatives that are developed within the IC."
The discussion touched upon on the sectoral approach of the IC (energy; water; food security; health), which is seeking to mainstream cross-sectoral issues (gender; governance; social inclusion; corporate citizenship). It also addressed the overall framework of the Johannesburg Summit outcomes (type 1 & 2). Questions from journalists also drew attention to the role of Major Groups or stakeholders in the processes of policy-making and implementation.