TAP at the 2017 HLPF: Reflection of Participation on Events of the TAP Network
by Mr. Gopal Lamsal, NGO Federation of Nepal
Beyond VNRs: Global Workshop on Civil Society “Parallel Reports” for SDG16
TAP Network, Asia Development Alliance (ADA), Article 19 and Transparency International jointly organized this event on 14 July 2017 at UN Church Center, Second Floor New York USA.
The objectives of the workshop were to provide a plate form for sharing of best practice around current SDG civil society parallel reporting efforts in different contexts to further discussion around methodologies, approach, guidelines and templates for SDG civil society parallel reporting, and to review the TAP Network Paper on SDG16 “ParallelReporting”, and to help identify knowledge and capacity gaps and needs within civil society on SDG parallel reporting, with an aim to explore further work and partnerships to address theseneeds.
I was also a speaker in this workshop, where I have presented about the status of implementation of SDG 16 in the country based on country assessment through civil society perspective. In the country SDGs has been aligned in 14th National Development Plan. Government has tried to analyze their programme and budget according to the each Goal. Further, Nepal Government has formed 3 tier high-level bodies at national level and this year Government has participated in VNR process. Government has recently produced a VNR report. Moreover Nepal Government is preparing a baseline report by determining 414 national indicators.
On behalf of entire CSOs, NGO Federation of Nepal organized a multi-stakeholder national review programme on Goal 16, where there were presence of officials of Government, CSOs, INGOs, International Development Partners, Business sector, and media. Then an open discussion was taken place. According to the conclusion of the discussion Government is not able to realize the importance of Goal 16, as implementation status is felt weak. Government determined 33 indicators, but absence of data of both baseline and targets. In case of Nepal transitional justice is one of the major issues. Child marriage and rampant corruption have been identified as other major issues in the country. Similarly, impunity, citizenship, right to information, weak governance, capacity of government agencies, domination of high caste group in public decision making, shrinking space of civil society, safety of media and discriminatory practices are remained issues related with Goal 16.
Being a panelist, I also took part in open discussion in the workshop. I realized that in most of the countries Goal16 has not been seriously taken as development goal. Peace, access to justice, fundamental freedom and inclusive decision making are those issues, where countries need to work hard and CSOs need to make their country specific plan and strategies and create pressure in the country. Importantly, CSOs need to practice production of a separate report on SDG 16. This workshop was remained successful to provide the feedback to the template designed by TAP network.
SDG16 and Justice: National Civil Society Advocacy Workshop
TAP Network organized this event on 15 July 2017 at the office of World Vision International. The objectives of this workshop were to explore relevant issues around SDG16 and justice, using the Goal 16 Advocacy Toolkit and Advocacy: Justice and the SDGs to help organizations engage with and utilize these resources in their own work at the national level, to showcase case studies to share experiences from national-level civil society working in different contexts and regions, to build and strengthen national-level networks and identify ongoing opportunities for national level collaboration around advocacy on SDG16, and to explore and discuss the TAP Network’s long-term approach and strategy for national- level capacity building.
I was also a panelist in this workshop, where I share the experiences and lessons of the national workshop we organized in 25-26 January 2017. The workshop was organized by following the toolkit developed by TAP network. The national workshop was remained important to enhance the knowledge of CSOs on SDG 16 and to develop an advocacy plan for effective implementation of SDG 16 in the country. Agendas of discussion were Peace and Human Security, Child Security and Legal Identity, Democratic governance, Anti-corruption and transparency, and Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In case of Nepal Transitional justice, Suicide is not investigated, Homicide, Gender Based Violence, Implementation of existing laws and policies are influenced by power and politics, Lack of access to remedy for women, disable, marginalized and sexual minorities, and Access to justice is denied by expensive and complex judicial process are the major issue related with peace and access to justice. Legal instruments, Lack of awareness about the laws, Lack of institutionalization of child protection mechanism in government system, Quality assurance, and Inadequate data management system denies to implement the rule for legal identity and birth registration are related with child security. Sign in international convention and treaty, Not inclusive election laws, Discriminatory act/laws, Lack of information and communication, Lack of accountability of law enforcement agencies, and High cost of legal services are the issues of democratic governance. Database of cases of violence injustice and discrimination, Lack of Resources, civic participation, inadequate implementation of 33% representation of women and other excluded groups in all level, and Avoid the rules and regulation in the name of political consensus are also the issues related with democratic governance.
Further Lack of public awareness/sensitization on existing laws and policies, Centralized money laundry department, Lack appropriate laws on to regulate illicit financial flows, Low level of concern regarding seized small arms and light weapons by CSOs, Lack of knowledge about UNCAC, Limited authority given to CIAA, Corruption has been socially acceptable as a culture, Ineffectiveness of good governance act, and Ineffective role of National Vigilance Center (NVC) are the major issues of transparency and corruption control. Similarly, Public Service Broadcasting bill in pending, National mass communication policy, OGP membership should be taken soonest the possible, Institutional/Implementation gap, Transitional justice institutions are still not operating effectively, Lack of right to know, and Lack of Asset disclosure are the major issues related with access to information and fundamental freedoms.
This workshop remained very fruitful to share the information about the national workshops held in different countries. CSOs were able to formulate their country level advocacy plans analyzing the country situation and stakeholders. Follow-up activities should be continuously undertaken at country level to address the issues related with SDG 16. SDG 16 should be crosscutting goal rather than to consider as stand alone goal. Concerned Government agencies should be made aware and CSOs should work collectively to realize the Goal 16.