A new institutional framework for sustainable development and civil society participation? Navigating the alphabet soup of the UN

The update from my colleague in New York on the most recent negotiations on the outcome document for Rio+20 prompted me to comment on some of recurrent challenges for CSO participation in the UN system.

Clearly, the Major Groups structure has provided, from Stockholm to Rio and via the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to Rio+20, an effective mechanism to bring many relevant civil society voices into the process of enhancing sustainable development. Yet, the formation and terminology of Major Groups was specifically developed for the Earth Summit process and the CSD. In no other UN body is this description used for CSO participation. Continue reading