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National Workshop on SDG 16 concluded in Kathmandu

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National Workshop on Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) held on 25-26 January 2017, has been concluded in Kathmandu. The two days' workshop was designed to raise awareness and capacity of CSOs and influence on SDG 16. SDG 16 deals with peace, human rights and democracy (PHD).

The workshop focused on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, access to justice for all and builds effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. In the Inaugural Session, the key persons from Nepalese civil society organizations (CSOs), delivered their remarks on five major agendas (Peace and human security, Children and Legal Identity, Democratic Governance, Corruption Control and Transparency, and Right to Information and Fundamental Freedom) included in SDG 16 targets. Inaugurating the session, President of NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN) Mr. Gopal Lamsal shed light on the objectives of workshop and the role of Nepalese CSOs to ensure enabling environment for effective implementation. After his speech, Mr. Anselmo Lee, the Secretary General of Asia Democracy Network (ADN) delivered his brief presentation on SDGs. He rightly presented the overall scenario of SDGs relating the context of Asian countries. Likewise, Mr. Dharma Swarnakar, representing the UNDP, shared the activities of task force unit of UNDP. He also informed that UNDP has been playing a leading role on SDGs being an UN body and emphasized that SDGs are more flexible than MDGS. Dr. Deepak Prakash Bhatta said that the indicators of SDGs are hard to follow and difficult to implement in terms of inclusion of its various fields.

Prominent human rights activist and Advisor of NFN Mr. Charan Prasain emphasizing on democratic governance, access to justice and non-discriminatory policies expresses worries on weak infrastructure in implementation of fundamental rights of the people. He also had a comment that there are so many laws, but those laws are contradicted with its proper implementing process which will be the big challenges for democracy.

Mr. Basudev Neupane, Advisor of NFN delivered his speech on corruption control and transparency. He has highlighted effective public institution and people centered development indicators.  He has also shown his keen interest that SDGs should have ownership by the lower class people and that will be planned by Government policy makers. He also urged that developed counties should focus their development Aid to the welfare of people rather than investing in arms.

Mr. Taranath Dahal, prominent civil society leader and former president of Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) shed lights on Right to Information as a key indicator for access to justice, he also urged to the Government and political parties for open parliament, Open Court and open budget. He also said that the indicators on Right to information are still under process of design.  So, transparency should be the key indicator for all the perspectives of development.  He also emphasized on Goal 16 and said that if Goal 16 gets fail, all the goals will be failed because Goal 16 is cross cutting agenda.

Former commissioner of National Human Rights Commission and advisor of NFN Mr. Gauri Pradhan focused his speech on Child rights and legal identity, He has dogged out some key issues related to children of how they are facing the problems in the developing countries. He also indicated the needs of Child Commission in Nepal. He has minutely analyzed the role of CSOs as a partner and pressure group that is the universal acceptance, he said. He has also given some figures of child labor as well as child marriage.  Mr. Pradhan concluded his speech focusing the SDG progress in the future from the all sides. He emphasized effective implementation of new constitutions to achieve SDGs.

The program was jointly hosted by NGO Federation of Nepal, TAP Network, Asia Democracy Network, Asia Development Alliance, and Nepal SDGs Forum. The two day's workshop activities were moderated by Mr. Daya Sagar Shrestha, Executive Director of NGO Federation of Nepal, Mr. Jitram Lama , Treasurer of NFN Central Executive Committee, Ms. Bhawana Bhatta, NFN Central Committee member, and Dr. Padma Prasad Khatiwada, General Secretary of Human Rights Alliance. The two day's workshop was concluded with a short informal closing program, where President Mr Gopal Lamsal, Mr. Anselmo Lee, Mr.  Jitram Lama, Dr. Padma Prasad Khatiwad and Ms. Bhawana Bhatta had put their remarks. In addition, five participants had presented their feelings and reflections of the workshop.

The workshop was concluded with proposing indicators of Goal 16 and formulated national advocacy plan. It also formed a SDG 16 working group under the umbrella of Nepal SDGs Forum. 40 representatives of different CSOs were present in the workshop.

 

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