Welthungerhilfe, the Civil Society Academy and Rural Reconstruction Nepal along with its partners organized a Global Civil Society Dialogue titled ‘Ending Hunger: Making Sustainable Development Goal 2 work’ which took place from 1 to 3 June 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The event attracted more than 150 participants from 19 different countries across four continents – Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. As the title suggests, the dialogue focused particularly on the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) that is of crucial importance in order to make poverty history. In the preamble of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which came into force on 1 January 2016, the parties recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions still remains the greatest global challenge. Hence, sustainable development can only be achieved if this key issue is properly addressed. In this context, the event provided a platform to bring together people who work towards the same goal of ending hunger. During his speech, his Excellency Nanda Bahadur Pun, Vice President of Nepal, emphasized that ‘the SDG commitment of leaving no one behind is highly encouraging for all of us’. Mr. Amitabh Behar from National Foundation for India further urged civil society ‘to be more united and to refrain from competition’.
Furthermore, Mrs. Lidy Nacpil from the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development underlined that the problem of hunger does not lie in ‘a lack of resources but an imbalance of power’. In order to bring about positive changes, it is highly required to target public opinion and to strengthen the roles of civil society. In three workshops, key topics related to the SDGs were discussed such as nutrition, health and WASH, agriculture and employment, social protection and inclusion. As a result, priorities and key demands were formulated. During the poster and innovations bazaar sessions, participants presented a variety of programs and new ideas to share experiences and best practices. Mr. Mathias Mogge, Executive Director Programmes of Welthungerhilfe, further affirmed ‘We must use the potential of the experiences that are in the room and bring them collectively to a higher level’.
In summary, the event marked an important step towards achieving zero hunger. Moreover, it encouraged civil society actors to increasingly engage in discussions at national level and to come up with plans for effective actions. The SDGs need to be translated into slogans which are understood by all and civil society needs to form rainbow-coalitions in order to mobilize people and develop a critical mass to make our voices heard.
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