While the role of civil society organisations in designing policies, implementing and monitoring the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is more and more recognised by the international community, infringements of freedom of association and the shrinking space for CSOs and trade unions are a worrying trend. Shrinking political spaces for CSOs to engage in public policy making can be observed in many countries (including within the EU). The last CIVICUS Monitor, shows that civil society is under serious attack in 111 out of 196 countries. In partner countries this takes the form, among others, of restrictions on CSOs that receive funding from foreign donors. Moreover, there is a tendency to try to reduce CSOs role to become mere services providers rather than watch dogs or full actors in the policy making process.
This undermines the efforts to promote domestic accountability and monitor the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As SOLIDAR booklet “Sustainability through SOLIDARity” shows, civil society organisations are contributing greatly to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in bringing positive change.
Ensuring the respect of freedom of association and promoting an enabling space are a prerequisite for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be SOLIDAR’s focus at this year’s UN High Level Policy Forum (New York, 9 – 18 July 2019).