CSOs South Asia Forum on the SDGs


PAIRVI organized a CSOs Forum on the SDGs in South and South West Asia on 3 Oct 2018 at Conference room 2, India International Centre, New Delhi, India.

The speakers at the meeting were:

Ajay K Jha, Daya Sagar Shrestha, Jawid Ahmed, Swarna Moye Sarkar, Shaila Shahid, Annie Namala, Zakir, Radhika Mathur, HaniehMoghani, Hafsa Mehmood, Kamal Herath, Jyotsna Pandey.

Ajay K Jha introduced the session with a review of SDG goals.

He talked about the following points

1.      country participant presentations of CSOs from Nepal, Bangladesh.

2.       SDG index says none of countries will achieve targets and goals by 2030 including Nordian countries.

3.       Asia will only achieve SDG 4 by 2030.

4.      There is very little progress on SDG 2, 15, 16.

5.       There is regression on SDG 8,11,13.

  He raised the following concerns:

1.      No time limit for speaking ‘

2.      Whether CSOs will be given same equality as government speakers and other speakers

3.      No session for statement, only space for discussion

Nagesh Kumar discussed about following points:

1.      All 8 south Asian countries will be represented at south regional forum

2.      Time slot of 3 minutes will be given

3.      No discrimination between government and CSO moderators

4.      Sub regional forum feeds into high level political forum (HLPF).

5.      HLPF is a higher level forum. CSO contribution in achieving sustainable development goal is being recognized by government.

6.      South asia importance for SDGs and vice versa is very crucial.

7.      South asia constitutes 25 % population which have 36 % people living in poverty.

8.      In south asia, 50 % children living in malnutrition.

9.      CSO of south asia has to work together with other stakeholders.

10.  SDG is universal agenda for society including government and CSOs.

11.  He emphasised on the need to share feedback between CSO and government.

12.  We can achieve these SDG targets with political will coming around

13.  Government in south Asian countries are aligning their policies with SDGs.

14.  Trickle down approach doesnot work to reach poorest of poor

15.  Development is not an automatic process. It has to be driven and growth has to be shared with other people.

Daya Sagar Shrestha suggested the following points:

1.      South asia diversity is very high.

2.      Achieving SDG depends upon political willingness of governments.

3.      Program design has been improved from last year for sub regional forum which happened in Kathmandu.

Jawed from Afghanistan discussed the following points:

1.      Afghanistan has been behind in achieving SDGs.

2.      Concerns on SDG 4 were illiteracy, long life learning

3.      Education financing- According to GDP, 12 % has been allocated to education.

4.      In 2013-14, this education finance budget is decreasing.

5.      Protection of education- schools are being using for political elections and schools are being attacked by Taliban.

6.      Girls have been behind in education.

7.      Families donot allow girls to go to school due to such attacks. This means privatization of education which is against SDG goals.

8.      CSO can convince Taliban to open doors of schools.

9.      Teacher dignity is very low – students ask high marks, if teacher does not give top marks, teachers will be beaten.

10.  Islamic education: 3000 families have been registered with government with more than 2000 madrasas creating problem for Afghanistan in creating Taliban.

Noopur suggested following points:

1.      India is about to create early childhood care (ECC) and education policy. 57 % of children in India in ECC and only 1.6 % of children in Afghanistan in ECC.

2.      No data on how many students are out of school in India secondary education, girls drop out ratio is high.

3.      Less than 3.8 % of education budget is allocated.

4.      There is caste discrimination, religious discrimination.

5.      Teacher education gap is 1 million as these many teachers are missing from schools.

6.      2.3 % of candidates who wrote TET test only passed.

7.      There are scholarship issues

8.      Privatization of education as there is no regulatory mechanism.

9.      CSO participation in policy making

10.  Violence against marginalized children, girl child

11.  In srilanka, policy wise education is very high

12.  Quality wise- 97 % of people are literate

13.  Implementation of policy of education is low

14.  Orientation for bridging gap between vocational training

Chitrakshi pointed out following points:

1.      Issue of transgender children as they face a lot of discrimination

2.      According to 2011 census, literacy rate is low.

3.      Marginalized group of children consist of transgender, according to caste, class, religion.

Tri from Oxfam made the following points:

1.      Violence against children – 39 000 children sexually abused in 2015

2.      Goal 16.2 captures this issue.

3.      Purpose of education are employability and fundamental life skills.

4.      1 million children go missing from school (government and private) every year after launch of RTE act

5.      No data on number of children in country.

6.      Lack of menstrual hygiene in schools, so girl child forced to stay back.

7.      No indicators linked to SDG 4

8.      SDG 4.7 goal linking to goal 3 and 5

9.      In assam, out of 39 districts, 29 are flood plains which are washing away school infrastructure. Schools are used as relief camps for 2-3 months.

10.  In Bangladesh, health and education are corelated.

11.  We should certify madrasa education as graduate level which focuses mainly on learning religious literature.

12.  Teacher development process is very low.

13.  Universal education is big concern in Bangladesh.

14.  In India, government is destroying education system. We should demand 50 % of GDP to be targeted for education.

15.  Migrant children to be included. No policy to address refugee children in education sector.

Swarna talked about goal 8. She emphasized on bridge foundation which works with differently able and disabled people.

Tri from Oxfam gave a statement on goal 8. He made the following points:

1.      He said only 7 % of Dalits have jobs, only 4.3 % of adivasis have jobs.

2.       He made a point about manual scavenging.

3.      He talked about rana plaza mishap in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

4.      Children of under age and women work as forced labour in sugarcane and brick kiln.

5.      Businesses must not cherry pick SDGs.

Ajay Jha made following points:

1.      1.8 million working age youth enter market every month but employment rate is falling. Employment rate is falling faster in women than men.

2.      Manufacturing and IT sector jobs are increasing, agriculture is decreasing. We should look at balance between jobs and livelihoods.

3.      Transgender draft bill for employability of transgender.

4.      According to NEET, % of people not employed were 29.8 % in Bangladesh in age group of 18-35 years.

5.      87 % of informal sector employment, so there is risk in work culture, unsafe working environment.

6.      New law is promoting trade union.

7.      19 million women in India have gone out of workforce.

8.      Unpaid care work for women

9.      Skill development program have been very ineffective mediated by corporate sector.

10.  ILO report in 2018 suggested that in south asia, 90 % of jobs will be in informal sector.

11.  85 % of workforce in india in informal sector of which 90 % are women.

12.  Artificial intelligence will lead to lose of jobs

13.  Lack of recognition of women as farmers in Bangladesh

14.  Equal wage gap between men and women workers.

15.  In Afghanistan, Bachelors and Masters degree apply for low quality jobs like reception.

16.  Refugees coming from Pakistan and Iran face unemployment.

Bina talked about goal 10. She made the following points:

1.       State needs to include participatory partnership of Dalits.

2.      In srilanka, plantation workers should be recognized

3.      Equality for all, work around Dalits and adivasis, transgender

4.      Inequality between countries

5.      Development is not risk neutral, impact differently at rich and poor local level

6.      Business shall promote equal pay for equal work

7.      Rich are getting richer, poor are getting poorer.

8.      Gender inequality

9.      In universal goal, ask for disintegrated data

10.  There are contradictions in talks by governments saying not to use fossil fuels for clean energy but in hydro power plants, lot of adivasis get washed away due to them.

11.  There is land rights grabbing in Bangladesh.

12.  Institutional discrimination in budgets.

Shaila made the following points:

1.      There is gendered impact on climate change

2.      False promises in name of climate change

3.      Destructive hydropower and nuclear power

4.      Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka have Nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

5.      Dalits in south asia contributing to climate change as they play active role in protection of environment.

6.      Polluters pays principle – businesses responsibility in climate change

7.      Climate change education

8.      Climate justice- women at adivasis communities have been affected and we should put major emphasis on this area.

9.      Sustainability of cities

10.  Transboundary water movement

11.  Multi country participation in coal-based power plants and hydro power plants, example- Bangladesh and India

Jawid Ahmed made following points:

1.      16 SDG for Afghanistan instead of 17 SDG goals

2.      Nationalization process started in March 2016 of targets and indicators

3.      Implementation process started end of October 2018

4.      SDGs changed to ASDG (Afghanistan SDGs)

5.      169 global targets, 112 national targets for Afghanistan

6.      232 global indicators, 159 national indicators for Afghanistan

7.      Executive committee for SDGs is being laid. Ministry of economy is fully supporting the executive committee.

Kamal from Srilanka talked about ministry of sustainable development and wildlife. Bhutan is participating this year in VNR. Pakistan is participating next year in VNR.

Zakir from Bangladesh suggested about mapping of ministries as a handbook by targets. Government trying to link target to Annual performance agreement. He talked about the challenges which were localization of SDG, data availability and management, corruption. He concluded by suggesting to provide voting power to CSOs.

sustainable development

PAIRVI promotes rights based approach to development and believes that current economic models have failed to address poverty, inequality, marginalization and are based on overexploitation of natural resources. It engages with Sustainable Development Goals and other policies aimed at sustainable development. It promotes decentralized policy making and demands accountable governance. It seeks to enhance peoples understanding on sustainable development so that they can be partners in development and analyze policies, programmes and actions. It also engages with UN agencies working on sustainable development and environment including United Nations General Assembly, High Level Political Forum on SDGs, United Nations Environment, and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. PAIRVI is an active member of the Asia Pacific Regional CSOs Engagement Mechanism on Agenda 2030.