How to get involved

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How to Participate


Participating in the Five-Year Review

In order to participate effectively in the process of global diplomacy, it is critical to have all the background information about the process. Crucial background information includes: key documents that establish the context for the Special Session, as well as the documents being drafted; an understanding of the process, including the outcomes of national and regional meetings as well as previous PrepCom sessions; and a grasp of the negotiating process and the procedures by which consensus is reached. 

There are a number of choices to make about the kinds of activities to become involved in during WSSD+5. Based on experiences of other reviews, some choices about how you focus your activities for the meeting might include:

Assessing government accountability: To what extent have governments taken the steps they agreed to take? What are the good practices, gaps in implementation and lessons learned?

Working on national and alternative reports: Governments and UN Agencies are reporting on implementation of the commitments made in Copenhagen in 1995. NGOs and other stakeholders can prepare their own reports about the situation in their countries and on their governments' implementation efforts. NGOs can have an important role to play in providing substantive information to governments and in monitoring efforts toward implementation.

Establishing processes for effective review and assessment of the implementation of the Copenhagen Commitments: Lessons learned from completed conference review processes reflect disappointment with: implementation at the national level; resource commitments at the international level; and the process of the review itself.
The final documents that emerge from the five-year review will specify mechanisms for the follow-up and monitoring of implementation of the Copenhagen agreements. The outcome documents will also look at issues that have emerged as key issues affecting social development, such as globalisation, trade, HIV/AIDS; etc. They will aim to spell out the relevant responses for actors at the national and international level. Finally, they will indicate the future process towards achieving social development for all.
The priorities and targets agreed to in the five-year review will reflect governments' political intentions or policy priorities. Effective implementation of the commitments on social development, however, requires commitment to building or bolstering the infrastructure and financing that is needed to meet these goals. 

In order to monitor the commitments that governments have made, it is important to remember these points:

Planning Your Participation

If you plan to participate in a regional meeting, a PrepCom, or the Special Session, you should carefully prepare your on-site strategy in advance. For example, consider the following:


Whether you attend WSSD+5 or not, the resolutions and recommendations contained in the resulting documents can be used as local organizing tools. Here are some suggestions for how to follow-up on the issues raised and the decisions made:


How to Participate without Leaving Home

Ideas for NGOs working at the national level: A great deal of important work can be done without being physically present at a PrepCom or a UN meeting. In fact, it could be said that the work at the international level counts for little without corresponding and complementary work at the national and local levels. Here are some ideas on what can be done at the national level:

The regional preparatory process: In order to most effectively influence the regional process, you should establish contact with the relevant Regional Economic Commission. You might also consider the following:



* based on:

UNIFEM, 2000: Gender on the Agenda. A Guide to Participating in  Beijing+5.

NGO Steering Committee to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, 1999. Guide to the 7th Session.


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