In 2020, when the Slovenian government drafted its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) implementation, Slovenian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) prepared a civil society report on the SDGs. Apart from the situation overview and the drafting of recommendations, the contributions also encompass the implementation assessment of individual SDGs or of cross-cutting issues, an overview of civil society’s role in the implementation of SDGs, and the potential impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis on the implementation of SDGs. The report serves as a basis for advocacy activities for full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and civil society participation during the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council and beyond.

The NGO report, drafted by 22 NGOs[1], addresses gender equality, anti-discrimination and human rights, the wellbeing of children, the position of youth, the rights of the elderly, the rights of migrants, the rights of LGBTI people, inclusive education, inclusive digital society, climate change, beekeeping, fair trade, tax justice, corruption prevention, corporate social responsibility, circular economy and international development cooperation. The report thus addresses and presents in detail some important issues that have not been covered in the Slovenian second VNR. Based on the results from the online survey conducted by SLOGA, half of the participating NGOs think that Slovenia does not put enough effort into sustainable development, while more than 70% believe sustainable development to be extremely important for Slovenia. A large majority of the NGOs are convinced that the COVID-19 health crisis will jeopardize the implementation of the SDGs.

The NGO report calls upon the Slovenian Government to strengthen the provision of civic space, strengthen the mechanisms to ensure full inclusion of all individuals, including vulnerable and marginalized groups, in the drafting of complete analysis and adequate measures for the full implementation of the ‘leaving no one behind’ principle, for the strengthening of policy coherence for sustainable development and the establishment of the Government advisory body for the 2030 Agenda.

Drafting the second VNR, the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy developed an inclusive process of meetings with various stakeholders, thematic workshops, and regional consultations. The regional multi-stakeholder consultations have been co-organized in partnership with SLOGA. The workshops (attended by almost 140 representatives of state/public institutions, the private sector, and civil society) have certainly been a good practice of a partnership among a Government institution and civil society actor, significantly contributing to the localization of the 2030 Agenda, and will be used in further advocacy activities for the full participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in processes of reporting on state’s international obligations. The workshops provided a forum for exchange among various actors and participants identified the need for more structured and regular dialogue on sustainable development.

The broad scope of issues addressed in the NGO report and the broad range of NGOs contributing to the report demonstrate established collaboration among these actors to overcome the working in silos mode. Furthermore, the NGO report will continue to strengthen the national “2030 coalition”, since joint advocacy and awareness-raising activities will contribute to a stronger voice of civil society during the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council and beyond.

[1] The following NGOs contributed to the report: 3MUHE Institute; Association Cultural, Informational and Counseling Center Legebitra; Ekvilib Institute; Focus Association for Sustainable Development; Forum for Equitable Development (FER); Humanitas – Centre for Global Learning and Cooperation; Institute for African Studies; Institute for Electronic Participation – InePA/Network of NGOs for an Inclusive Information Society in Slovenia; Institute for Gender Equality Studies (IPES); Legal and Information Centre for NGOs – PIC; National Youth Council of Slovenia (MSS); OVCA – Association for Protection and Raising Awareness – Antidiscrimination Centre; Peace Institute; POVOD Institute; SLOGA – NGO Platform for Development Cooperation, Global Education and Humanitarian Aid; Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (ZPMS); Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association; Slovenian Federation of Pensioners’ Organisations – ZDUS; Slovenian Philanthropy; Transparency International Slovenia; TRI Institute; and UNICEF Slovenia.

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