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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Novartis (Switzerland) and the Ford Foundation for supporting UNED Forum's Project on Multi-Stakeholder Processes; BP Amoco plc for hosting the workshop at their conference facilities, and UNIT.Net for sponsoring the audio-webcast of the event.

The workshop “Multi-stakeholder processes. Examples, Principles, Strategies” was made possible through their generous support and collaboration.

We would also like to thank all speakers, chairs, rapporteurs and participants whose active contributions and expertise made the workshop a success.

Introduction

85 international representatives of various stakeholder groups met in New York for a workshop on “Multi-stakeholder processes. Examples, Principles, Strategies” on 28-29 April 2001. Participants included representatives from UN agencies, governments, business, trade unions, local government, NGOs, women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, farmers, the education community, faith communities and the media.

The workshop was part of UNED Forum’s project on multi-stakeholder processes. The project aims to develop a common framework for various types of multi-stakeholder processes, based on analysing the values and ideology of such processes, existing examples and relevant scientific findings. The project goal is to propose a step-by-step framework, which allows for more transparent, equitable, democratic and gender-balanced processes of dialogue and project development; which is agreeable to all stakeholders and can be adapted to various situations and issues in a flexible manner.

The meeting aimed at exchanging experiences with multi-stakeholder processes around various policy-making and implementation processes; gathering stakeholder representatives involved in the various processes; creating opportunities to learn from each other; and at reviewing the draft outcomes of UNED Forum's project. To avoid abstract process-related discussions, the workshop focused on a set of issues in the areas of bio-society and energy, using various multi-stakeholder engagements in international, regional, national and local processes (or the lack thereof) as specific examples.

The workshop took place on the weekend before the 10th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, being the first International Preparatory Meeting for Earth Summit 2002 (PrepCom 1). As per the PrepCom 1 decision, there is to be significant stakeholder involvement in the preparatory process for the Earth Summit 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Stakeholder groups have started their preparations and stand ready to contribute and collaborate to make the Summit a success.

The Co-chairs Summary of the workshop was distributed at the PrepCom 1 meeting. It gave a strong signal from stakeholders, outlining their perspectives on their involvement in the Summit process and their ideas on how to design the planned dialogues and other mechanisms in the most effective manner, creating the necessary commitment and initiating collaborative work of stakeholder groups to ensure implementation of the Summit outcomes.

 

UNED Forum's website on multi-stakeholder processes can be found at www.earthsummit2002.org/msp.
A list server has been established at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ms-proc in order to further information exchange and networking.

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Contact Minu Hemmati and Felix Dodds for further information.