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Voluntary Peoples Review of SDGs in Nepal (VPR 2020)

Voluntary Peoples Review of SDGs in Nepal (VPR 2020)
Place : Sap Falcha, Kathmandu
Date : 31 January 2020

A Broad Discussion Pregame on Voluntary Peoples Review on SDGs in Nepal (VPR 2020) was held on 31 January 2020 in Kathmandu. Main objective of the pregame was to discuss on VPR 2020 roadmap and kicked-off review process of SDGs in Nepal on behalf of civil society major groups. Since Government of Nepal has decided to commence Voluntary National Review (VNR) process of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development/SDGs this year, representatives of 26 civil society major groups have organized this event in presence of key development actors in Nepal including Government, Parliament, Constitutional Bodies, UN Agencies, Multinational Development Banks, INGOs, Local Government Associations, Think-Tanks, Academic Society, Business Society, Development Activist, prominent human rights activists.

The discussion programme was divided into two sessions: i) Introduction Session, and ii) Planning Session. In the beginning, Ms. Nirmala Dhital from Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA) gave a welcome speech and highlighted the objective of the discussion progamme. Mr. Daya Sagar Shrestha from National Campaign for Sustainable Development (NACASUD Nepal) cum Focal Person of South and South West Asia at Asia-Pacific Regional CSOs Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM) had a presentation on Global Sustainable Development Report 2019 (GSDR), Voluntary National Review Process, South and South Asia Sub-Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Regional Forum and High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on SDGs. Further, he highlighted about the concept, objective, methodology and rationale of VPR 2020. He presented VPR 2020 Roadmap, which is people-centered, open, transparent, organic, fully independent, and lead by civil society major groups including marginalized communities. Review framework will follow Human rights and Development Justice as its core principles.

After presentation guests of the programme put forward their remarks on SDGs progress and gave valuable suggestions on VPR 2020 process. Mr. BhimGautam, chairperson of Society of Economic Journalists in Nepal (SEJON); Mr. NavarajSapkota, Director of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC); Ms. Lily Thapa, Chairperson of SANKALPA; Mr. Krishna Chandra Neupane, Executive Secretary General of Association of District Coordination Committee Nepal (ADCCN); Mr. Arun Shrestha, Deputy Director of Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI); Mr. Alidu Babatu Adam, Sr. Social Development Specialist, World Bank; Dr. Madhusudan Bhattarai, Programme Manager of SDGs Support Programme, National Planning Commission/UNDP Nepal; Dr. Prabhu Budhathoki, former Hon. Member of National Planning Commission; Dr. Kapil Shrestha, prominent Human Rights leader; Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Former United Nations Under Secretary General cum Head of Centre for Sustainable Development, South Asia Watch on Trade, Economy  and Environment (SAWTEE) spoke on the issues of sustainable development in Nepalese context and expressed their solidarity to VPR 2020 process. Final speaker and chief-guest Hon. Ms. Taradevi Bhatta, chairperson of Sustainable Development and Good Governance Committee, National Assembly spoke about the initiatives of parliament on SDGs process and its watchdog role to hold the government accountable. The Introduction session was chaired by Mr. Ishwori Prasad BK, chairperson of Dalit Welfare Organization and it was moderated by Chairperson Mr. Jagdish Ayer and Director of Programs Mr. Anil Upadhayay of Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON).

The Second Session was focused on planning of VPR 2020 process. During session Mr. Daya Sagar Shrestha presented detail information about the VPR 2020 process, especially key activities to be undertaken and tentative timeframe was determined. The whole VPR 2020 process will take six months (January to June). The planning session also sketched tentative contents of the VPR 2020 report, which will be the key outcome of the whole VPR 2020 process. The meeting decided that all the goals of the 2030 Agenda will be reviewed and there was also discussion the key agendas/themes underlie on each global goal. Among the civil society major groups, organizations working particular goal or theme will contribute voluntary to review the goals/themes.

Society for International Law and Public Policy (SILPP): Goal 1, 8 and 9

National Association of Community Electricity Users-Nepal (NACEUN): Goal 7

Dalit Welfare Organization (DWO): Goal 10

DigoBikash Institute (DBI): Goal 11 and 13

Women for Human Rights (WHR) with SANKALPA: Goal 5 and review Gender Equality as cross-cutting agenda of all Goals

Youth For Education and Environment (YFEED): Goal 14

Association of Youth Organizations of Nepal : SDG 16 and Youth Forum

SDG National Network Nepal will solicit for voluntary contribution for remaining goals and nominate the organizations. On the other hand, it will nominate the focal organizations for each major group. Each major group will also review the progress of SDGs through their perspective and come up with concrete review notes, which will feed to the integrated VPR 2020 Report. Joint meeting of focal organizations of Goal/themes will be organized very soon. The conclusions of the both sessions were shared by Ms. Rita Bastakoti, General Secretary of National Farmer Groups Federation (NFGF). The planning session was chaired by Ms. Kunda Sharma, chairperson of Women for Human Rights (WHR) and it was moderated by Mr. Anish Shrestha, Executive Director of Youth For Education and Environment (YFEED) and Mr. Sundar Sheni, Chairperson of Dalit Youth Alliance (DYA).