The NGO Major Group produces a lot of content annually. You can find all our information at our website, www.ngomg.org, which is updated throughout the year. However, our most prominent content is centered around HLPF and social media. The annual flagship document is the position paper we prepare for the HLPF (you can find out more under the “position paper” heading). Our Global Organizing Partners send out regular communications regarding updates on how the NGO MG, the UN, and broader Civil Society are advancing the SDGs (known as the ‘digest’). During the HLPF, a daily blast is sent out for daily updates.In order to receive the weekly e-mails; please sign up here.
We also produce content regarding the logistics of attending the HLPF; if you would like to find out more, please check out our Guide to HLPF 2018. On this guide, you will find our list of Frequently Asked Questions and our Guide to Getting Your UN Pass. As for social media, we have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Drive folder, and Google Group that we update frequently. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information above, the NGO Major Group, or HLPF, please submit a form of contact on our website here or email Daniel Perell at email@example.com.
Like any large organization, the NGO Major Group has a governance structure. While trying to ensure a flat and efficient process, there is always room for improvement. Currently, the primary coordinating body of the NGO Major Group is the Facilitation Committee, which is comprised of the 12 organizing partners (OPs) (3 global and 9 regional) and 5 representatives of thematic clusters. The NGO Major Group strives to have gender and regional balance, and thematic diversity on its Facilitation Committee by bringing together networks of organizations which have global policy expertise, regional expertise, relevant thematic expertise, and organizational expertise (networking, advocacy, outreach, grassroots, capacity building). The Global OPs coordinate among the other OPs, liaise with UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and represent the NGO MG among all the other Major Groups and Other Stakeholders. They report back to the broader facilitation committee and the entirety of the NGO MG. The Regional OPs facilitate NGO participation in the Regional Commissions that include Europe and North America (UNECE), Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC), and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA). Currently, there are twelve OPs, but this includes five from Africa as that continent has decided to have subregions: Daniel Perell (global), Leanne Hartill (global), Henry Oriokot (Africa), Kofi Kanam (Africa), Ayman Okeil (Africa), Judith Kaulem (Africa), Beckie Malay (Asia), Shantal Munro-Knight (Caribbean), Patrizia Heidegger (Europe), Soon-Young Yoon (North America), Emele Duituturaga (Pacific), Rosario del Pilar Diaz Garavito (South America), and Anis Brik (Middle East). In addition, the Committee includes up to five Thematic Cluster Coordinators, which represent the views of all thematic clusters recognized by the Facilitation Committee. Thematic clusters are hubs of expertise on numerous issues and/or Sustainable Development Goals, and they ensure that the various voices and perspectives within this group are both heard and appreciated. Currently, there are eight thematic clusters: human rights, commons, health, peace issues, animal issues, food and agriculture, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) cluster, and city to city.
Those who would like to make statements volunteer. Speakers are selected by a transparent process which we are trying to improve upon. Stay tuned to the digests to get involved in speaking roles. The statement is based on the position paper developed by the NGO MG.
One of the main messaging platforms for the NGO MG is social media. Currently, we have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google Group, which we update frequently with information regarding our events, projects, and calls to action. Please like, follow, and comment on our posts! If you are interested in joining the social media team, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with the request and we will ensure you are able to contribute.
We are striving to improve logistical support for those attending the HLPF. At this moment, we are able to provide Visa letters to those who request them (the weekly digests will provide information on how to receive a Visa letter in due course). In the future, we hope to assist with hotel booking and travel support but this is dependent upon the capacity of the members of the NGO MG which is a volunteer organization.
Funding for NGO-MG
At this time, the NGO Major Group is funded through suggested annual donations ($50 each) made by members of the NGO MG. However, we are always looking for people who are interested in trying to assist our fundraising efforts. If you would like to support this effort, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) has “the central role in overseeing follow-up and review” of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs (and the resolution is here). UN member states and civil society meet every year at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for eight days in July. During the first five days, attendees share the successes and challenges they have experienced in regards to each SDG under review. During the last three days, member states present Voluntary National Reviews, which are inclusive reviews of progress that countries have achieved. These presentations serve two main purposes: (1) it allows member states to share their successes and challenges, and (2) it allows other member states and civil society to ask questions. Member States, Major Groups and other Stakeholders and others are able to make inputs to HLPF. At the end of the conference, the member states adopt a Ministerial Declaration, an 8-12 page document that summarizes what the member states discussed during the Forum, reaffirms their commitments to implementing the SDGs, and explains how the countries will proceed in their implementation until the next HLPF. To learn more about HLPF, click here. To view the outcome document of HLPF 2017, click here. To view the outcome document of HLPF 2018, click here.
Funding to Attend HLPF
UN DESA-OISC fund a number of representatives of Major Groups and Other Stakeholders to attend portions of the HLPF. The selection will be done by OISC in collaboration with the MGoS HLPF Coordination Mechanism Steering Group (see below). If you are a member of the NGO Major Group who is applying for travel funding through UN DESA, please note that you must inform the NGO Major Group if you would like to be considered as one of our official nominees. Each constituency of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders, including the NGO Major Group, will have a limited number of nominees from among the applicants for funding. Please note however that applying through the NGO Major Group does not guarantee you funding, as there will be many applications for only a few slots and we do not control the final decision.
The Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) represents the formal avenue of engagement for Civil Society with the HLPF. There are nine Major Groups (articulated at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992). At Rio+20 in 2012, a new category was added, namely, “other stakeholders.” This can be understood as representatives from other segments of society or UN processes that either have a mandate to or would like to feed into the HLPF process. The members of the MGoS collectively constitute the “coordination mechanism” and all interested should ensure they are on this listserv. Each MGoS is permitted to have one representative sit on what is known as the Steering Group of the Coordination Mechanism. Certain decisions are taken at the level of the Steering Group (i.e. funding, strategic planning, etc.) and it is the responsibility of the MGoS representatives on the Steering Group to consult with their constituencies about what is happening there. Currently Daniel Perell serves as the NGO MG representative on the Steering Group and Leanne Hartill is the secondary representative.
Preparatory Meetings, Regional Meetings, Expert Meetings
Preparatory Meetings occur in the UN during the springs months. These meetings are held in order the prepare for upcoming events, such as the Ocean Conference of 2017 which was an evaluation of SDG 14. Regional Meetings are similar preparatory meetings. They both occur in the UN during the months and help prepare for upcoming events, but Regional Meetings are normally geared to a specific evaluation on a regional scale. For example, the Outcome Document, which summarizes what occurred during a given meeting, for the SDG progress by SIDS of the Atlantic Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Seas (AIMS) can be found here. Expert Meetings occur in the UN during the spring months also, but these are composed of specialists in a a particular field, generally associated with a SDG. The report from the Sustainable Consumption and Production can be found here.
Continuing in our efforts to be transparent and inclusive, The annual calendar, located on the NGO MG website under “Calendar”, is the center for the information and updates on events going on yearly for the NGO Major Group. The calendar displays the general timing of important events like the publishing of the annual position paper, or major elections like that for this year: three Regional Operational Partners (OP) and one Global OP. The annual calendar can be also found in the form of a Google calendar.