Registration for the IFP&Mesa side event
Concept Note for the IFP/MESA Side event

Venue: UN Church Centre 777 UN Plaza - 2nd Floor (corner of 44th Street and 1st Avenue), New York, NY 10017
Date; Monday 16th July
Time : 11-1pm
Organisers: International Forum of National NGO Platforms, MESA, INESC, Social Watch, GCAP, ABONG, CCONG
Title : “Implementing the SDGs in Latin America – the challenges facing civil society”

Latin American civil society has been mobilising in recent decades to challenge socio-economic injustice across the continent, including ethnic and gender inequality, racism and the current escalation in economic inequality. Economic and social rights activists in countries such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay have been working to tackle extreme inequality and the policy trends that fuel it. They have exposed the inequitable impacts of austerity measures on communities and on distributional fairness. CSOs have been fighting unjust trade policies, opposing corporate impunity and the financialization of public goods and pressing for governmental accountability.
The new global sustainable development framework of the SDGs is an increasing focus for Latin American civil society, particularly in light of the new agenda’s commitment to eliminating extreme poverty and reducing inequality. Development and social justice activists in the region have been eager to embrace human rights discourse and tools, especially the language of economic and social rights, in their campaigning around extreme inequality. They are concerned about the fuzzy SDG rhetoric of “leaving no one behind” and are determined to infuse it with human rights content. But legitimate questions remain about whether and to what extent Latin American civil society can and should engage with this intergovernmental agreement that is meant to guide global development efforts over the next 15 years.
Against this backdrop, a series of partners including IFP, MESA, INESC, Social Watch, CCONG and ABONG propose to organize a side event during the 2018 HLPF to share the experiences and lessons learned by civil society in Latin America and to discuss the serious challenges faced by CSOs in trying to ensure that the transformative promise of the SDGs to “Leave No One Behind’ is delivered. This side event will be an opportunity for CSOs everywhere to take a clear-eyed look at the new global sustainable agenda and to assess whether its high-sounding commitments are likely to translate into any real change for the ordinary people of the Latin American Region. Panel speakers will make clear recommendations about how the promise of this new global agenda could be realised in Latin America and elsewhere, given sufficient political will on the part of national governments and relevant international institutions.
Key Questions:
● What are the most common root causes of poverty and inequality in countries such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia??
● How have austerity measures been impacting on the Latin American Region?
● What steps have the governments of Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile taken to date to try to tackle these issues and how successful have they been?
● How seriously have the governments of Latin America been engaging with the implementation of the SDGs and is there any evidence that a human rights based approach is being adopted to the implementation of the goals?
● What can civil society in Latin America do to ensure that the transformational potential of the SDGs is fully realised across the continent, particularly where poverty, inequality and social and economic rights are concerned?

● Magda Elena Toma – IFP
● Iara Pietrovsky ABONG (Brazil)
● Roberto Bissio - Social Watch
● Miguel Santibanez – MESA de Articulation (Chile)
● Liliana Rodíguez CCONG (Colombia)
● Arielle Sandival – Equipe Pueblo (Mexico)

Moderator: Oli Henman Action for Sustainable Development

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