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Civil society voice on SDGs

UNEP has teamed up with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to help ensure that civil society’s voice will be heard on how the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being implemented.


In September 2015, UN member states adopted 17 new goals covering the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development to be achieved by 2030.


The ‘Sustainable Development Goals – implementation in Europe’ conference organised by UNEP, the EESC and European Environmental Bureau on November 12-13 sought to initiate an open dialogue to ensure that citizens are informed, listened to, involved and included as the goals are translated into public policies.


The 2030 agenda “will need a new form of governance with a driving role for civil society,” affirmed EESC President George Dassis in his opening speech. “This change is only possible with the people,” he underlined, calling for new actions and strategies for citizen inclusion.


The new goals represent “a tremendous opportunity for economic transformation, but also of geopolitical consensus building," noted UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner in a video message to the conference.


The event was attended by over 220 participants and also served as preparation for the second UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) meeting to be held in May 2016.


UNEA-2 will gather representatives from the seven Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) UNEPs works with to discuss how environmental aspects of the new SDGs will be delivered and reviewed. MGS can also use the online tool to take part in preparations for the meeting.


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