How to get involved

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How to get effectively involved in the WSSD+5 process - click on the left:

 

Why should stakeholders participate?

Active participation, critical and supportive contributions from all stakeholders is necessary to make WSSD+5 a success. By making their voices heard and contributing their expertise, they help to ensure that 

Stakeholders are groups and organisations who have influence in a particular area of policy or are affected by policies. They are organised as: Non Government Organisations (NGOs); women's groups; youth, indigenous peoples; religious communities; trade unions; business & industry; research & education; governments; local authorities; and other groups and organisations.

Many stakeholder organisations and advocates - whether working locally, nationally, or internationally - assume that most UN meetings and their agendas have little direct relevance to their work. What impact will debates at a UN session on population issues or human rights have on the mobilizing, training, or advocacy work that is taking place in the areas in which your organization is working?

The WSSD+5 process will provide information on how governments and other actors have fulfilled the commitments they made in Copenhagen. The information generated through the five-year review process should improve the basis upon which future priorities for action are articulated by the global community - regionally and nationally.

There are a number of key opportunities to be gained by participating in the five-year review process:

Networking: The preparatory meetings, and the Special Session itself, provide opportunities for both government representatives and NGOs to share experiences about the achievements and challenges in social development policies and programs. The process offers an opportunity to learn about what organizations from a wide range of countries and with diverse concerns are doing, how they are doing this, what works and what does not, as well as to build on-going contacts and communication.
Stakeholder organisations can benefit in a variety of ways from international solidarity and from building regional, multinational, and multicultural alliances. When representatives from different countries in the same region meet at a five-year review event, there is an opportunity to build a regional agenda. There are also opportunities to form international networks and alliances, which can become powerful sources of support and advocacy across borders. Today, there are a growing number of transnational efforts that link local and national concerns to global endeavors. Increasing access to information and communications technology through e-mail and the Internet can help to facilitate communications and collaboration.

Information and Communications: The WSSD +5 process provides an opportunity to explore the vast array of information available on social development issues throughout the world. The information being collected as part of the review (by governments and NGOs alike) will help raise the visibility of a wide range of issues related to social development.
The review also provides an occasion for developing a common body of information. The preparatory process and the Special Session call for the collection and analysis of information about social development in Member States, based on the commitments made in Copenhagen. NGOs can engage in dialogue with governments about this information - both in gathering accurate information and in assessing the implications of the data.
Moreover, the review will help to identify critical resources. The preparation of reports about implementation of commitments can help pinpoint where resources are being directed, how effectively resources are used, and where the resources allocated to particular issues are inadequate or ineffective. The process may also help in determining where and how additional resources may be made available and used most effectively.

Advocacy: Most of the countries in the world are members (‘Member States’) of the United Nations. These Member States make decisions and adopt resolutions at international meetings that carry implications and commitments for follow-up action in their own countries. The reports that your government prepares for the five-year reviews of UN world conferences and the commitments that your country's delegation makes are tools that can be used for national- and local-level organizing efforts. For example, community groups can advocate at the local and national levels for the implementation of the Copenhagen Commitments. 
The input of people working at the local level on specific issues ensures that UN debates reflect the realities that communities throughout the world are facing. The five-year review of a UN world conference is a chance for governments - and NGOs - to identify the areas in which progress has been made, and where there is potential for broader and deeper impact. It is also a time to address the areas that have been neglected or for which the current policies and programs are inadequate or ineffective.
In other words, the review is an opportunity for a wide range of sectors of society to participate in global agenda-setting. The Special Session calls not only for a review of implementation of the commitments already made, but also for a discussion of good practices in achieving the goals agreed in Copenhagen in 1995. The WSSD +5 process will result in recommendations for overcoming obstacles and advancing the implementation. 

Media attention: The Special Session calls for high-level participation of representatives of Member States. Such high-level participation often generates considerable media attention, particularly at the national and local levels. Engaging in this process may allow stakeholder organisations and advocates to gain greater access to local, national and international media to present their views.

 

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