Ingo Ritz, Director, Global Call to Action against Poverty

Paul

Welcome to our latest chat with guests Ingo and Kyerewa from White Band/Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). As usual open forum format. Please feel free to ask questions anytime. The agenda is:

  1. Report on HLPF and follow ups
  2. Global Day of Action for SDGs on 25 September
  3. Faces of Inequality Campaign

Kyerewa

Thank you Paul, it is a pleasure to join the team once again

Ingo

Hi All. Good morning, good afternoon

(Welcomes from Phatsimo (DCFP Botswana, Frederick (CFP Ghana), Mountassir (CFP Chad), Ilevbaoje (support to Nigerian team), Mahmoud (DCFP Egypt)

Kyerewa

HLPF was a success especially for GCAP. We had the opportunity to participate in a number of side events, engage with other partners, and above all launch the global campaign of faces of inequality

Phatsimo

Maybe you can give a report on HLPF and what the acronyms stand for those who may not understand

Ingo

HLPF stands for High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development. It was held from 9 to 18 July at the UN in New York. It’s the annual review of the Agenda 2030. There are two main parts: SDGs under review and the Voluntary National Reviews….and of course there is a lot of networking and meetings…

Phatsimo

What were the recommendations and commitments made at the recent HPLF meeting held and how will they help us in reaching agenda 2030?

Kyerewa

The VNRs were on SDGs 11,12,15,17,6,7 this year

Phatsimo

How can we become a part of the HPLF at national level?

Kyerewa

Good question Phatsimo. The VNRs start at the national level by government and in collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders especially Civil Society Organisations. Every country has its own process. The process is led by government. CSOs in some countries organise alternative reports, known as shadow reports to compliment the efforts of governments

Ingo

One problem of the HLPF is that there is no clear accountability process: So the recommendations and commitments are not clear or there is no follow up. The Secretary General of the UN has prepared guidelines for the VNRs. But it’s voluntary. The reports are usually published in the weeks before the HLPF and each country has 15 minutes to report which partly includes CSOs in the reporting. Th civil society person is often representing Youth. That might be an opportunity for you in the coming years.

Phatsimo

Can you give us follow-up from the review? What were the findings?

Ingo

VNR reviews can be found at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/vnrs/. Follow-up is too complex to give a answer. Many documents are published on the sustainable development website of the UN.

Kyerewa

For a coordinated approach at the national level on the SDGs reporting to strengthen and ensure that no is left is left, CSOs in some countries have established SDGs platform which comprise networks, So you can check for your country

Phatsimo

As this is voluntary, is there a measure to track countries that are non compliant?

Ingo

No, but there is some pressure, because all governments are supposed to report

Phatsimo

Are African states fully participating?

Kyerewa

Yes, some are participating fully – Togo has participated 3 times for instance

Ingo

This year there were less from Africa

Kyerewa

But of course it is not encouraging

Ingo

2019 there will be more. The list of countries is already finalised – http://sdg.iisd.org/news/42-countries-to-present-vnrs-to-hlpf-2019/

Phatsimo

Are they any platforms to use at national level to encourage and ensure participation?

Kyerewa

Check in your country if you have a SDGs platform established by CSOs to monitor the process.

Ingo

Not from the UN. It’s up to civil society to organise. And to cooperate with the government. Of course some governments are more open than others.

Kyerewa

In Kenya and Ghana we have SDG platforms established to coordinate and ensure participation by all CSOs at the national level.

Ingo

It’s important to do the follow up in the countries also after the HLPF. The 15 minutes in New York are very short for the VNR presentations. The best way would be to involve national parliaments. If the government would report to the responsible committee for example or if you write to the government to organise a meeting with civil society to tell you what they have reported in New York and what they plan as follow up. As Kyerewa wrote this can be done as part of a broader platform if that exists. The 25 September  – the SDG Anniversary – is one opportunity. This year it is the first day of the UN General Assembly as well. That could be a point of interest for the media as well.

Mountassir

That is great idea to do a follow up about the VNR. As you see my country Chad last year was not involved.

Ingo

We want to show governments that people actually care about this.

Chad will do a VNR 2019.

Mountassir

How can we be involved?

Ingo

I don’t know about the government in Chad. One simple way is to write to the responsible person in the government and ask how to get involved. I think it will be good to do this early. Like in the next 2 months. My impression is that many governments like to have youth involved. Of course they are often not happy about sensitive issues related to human rights etc.

Phatsimo

Can we briefly talk about the global action for SDG’s in September and how we, NAYD focal points can be involved?

Ingo

As you know last year the 25 September was a good start. There were many people who organised actions. This year we want to raise more voices for sustainable development around the world.

Kyerewa

For the SDGs to be achieved, everyone must get involved at all levels

Ingo

There is a toolkit in different languages at http://act4sdgs.org/resources/. There are different actions described. One is to do a SDG Wheel with 17 people. They stand in a circle and hold hands together in the centre. And everybody talks about one SDG.

Kyerewa

The toolkit serves as a guide and to give you ideas on some actions that you can organise in your country

Kyerewa

The toolkit has an overview of the GDA and how to organise actions and events

Ingo

Last year we had some limited funding. We cooperated also with NAYD on that. This year we don’t have funding so we hope that people can organise actions without much expenditures. It’s important to register your action on the website.

Kyerewa

However, feel free to get in touch if you need further clarification. Please note that the day offers an opportunity to raise our voices and concerns about the performances of all stakeholders especially government in the achievement of the SDGs

Phatsimo

Can you also explain faces of the inequalities campaign?

Kyerewa

The faces of inequality campaign is a campaign led by GCAP to showcase the different forms of inequalities at all levels

Ingo

We identified that the inequalities are a major obstacle to reach the SDGs. Income and wealth, social discrimination, gender inequality, environmental, political participation. SDG 10 is about Inequality

Phatsimo

The difference between the rich and the poor in Africa is very high which shows that inequality is a major issue here in Africa

Kyerewa

Indeed, it is a big challenge in Africa

Ingo

We want to show the different faces. People should have the chance to speak themselves. And reports and policy demands shall be built on that

Kyerewa

Beyond rich and poor, culture has been known to play a strong factor in inequality in Africa where gender is still playing a role. Women and Men issues are still persisting

Ingo

It would be great if NAYD could be an active partner. Kyerewa, can you explain about Leave No Woman Behind?

Kyerewa

GCAP is currently leading a project supported by VOICE in 3 countries namely Ghana, Kenya and Mali. This project named Leave No Woman Behind seeks to address multiple discrimination faced by women with disability at all levels

Paul

How do you see us to engaging with your faces of inequality campaign?

Kyerewa

NAYD is a great platform and a strategic partner. GCAP has its national coalitions in about 22 countries in Africa. These coalitions are planning to leverage on the opportunity of 25th September GDA to launch the faces of inequality campaign at the national level. Therefore there are several options – collaborate with these national coalitions at the launch of the campaign;  NAYD representatives can tap into the messages of faces of inequality on SDG 10 to raise their voices on issues of inequality that pertain in their respective countries. You can therefore share your messages, events, actions of faces of inequality on all social media to create awareness about the campaign.

Ingo

We can prepare a communication by email with some more explications.

Paul

I look forward to receiving the email Ingo and will pass it on.

Kyerewa

Paul It will be great to have the contacts of your country representatives in Africa as we plan towards the 25th September GDA so we can share emails, campaign materials for further information.

Paul

Thank you Ingo and Kyerewa for sharing your time and with us today

Ingo

Thank you for your time and interest

Kyerewa

Thank you Paul for the opportunity to join you here