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Thematic review: Perspectives of society: Session organized with major groups and other stakeholders
Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) are crucial to the successful implementation, follow-up, and review of the 2030 Agenda. In preparation for the 2018 HLPF, MGoS contributed to review processes at all levels, including at the Regional Forums for Sustainable Development (RFSDs) and through national review mechanisms.

In line with paragraph 89 of the 2030 Agenda and paragraphs 14 and 15 of General Assembly Resolution 67/290, this session offers MGoS an opportunity to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda” and speak to the topics of the HLPF.

The session will be organised in collaboration with the HLPF Coordination Mechanism of MGoS and will focus on the recommendations of MGoS around the implementation, follow-up, and review of the 2030 Agenda, with a particular emphasis on the theme of the 2018 HLPF and the specific goals being reviewed. It will also survey the contributions of MGoS themselves to the overall successful implementation of the agenda, especially at the national level and during ongoing national review processes.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • Who are the furthest behind and are we managing to build the resilience and improve the lives of these people?
  • How has the engagement of MGoS shaped the review processes of the 2030 Agenda and helped fill implementation gaps?
  • What are some concrete actions taken by Major Groups and other Stakeholders around the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in focus this year?
  • How can implementation efforts by MGoS be included in the overall reporting on progress made on the 2030 Agenda?

Chair:

  • H.E. Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila, Vice-President of ECOSOC

Keynote address and moderation:

  • Ms. Luisa Emilia Reyes Zuñiga, Program Director, Policies and Budgets of Equality and Sustainable Development, Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family. Co-chair of the HLPF Coordination Mechanism (Women's Major Group)

Panellists:

  • Ms. Haydee Rodriguez, Executive Director, Unión de Cooperativas de Mujeres Productoras “Las Brumas” (Sendai Stakeholders)
  • Mr. Ruben Zondervan, Executive Director, Earth System Governance Project, Lund University, Sweden (Science and Technology Major Group)
  • Ms. Jolly Amatya, Secretariat of United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY)

Lead discussants:

  • Mr. Vitalice Meja, Coordinator/CPDE Co-Chair, Reality of Aid Network Africa (FFD Civil Society Group)
  • Mr. Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, Canada (Local Authorities Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion

Biographies
Mr. Berry Vrbanovic
Mayor of Kitchener, Canada (Local Authorities Major Group)
Mr. Berry Vrbanovic

Mayor of Kitchener, Canada (Local Authorities Major Group)

Berry was elected as Mayor of Kitchener (Ontario, Canada) in 2014 after serving many years as a city councillor. In his role as Mayor, he is also a member of Regional Council of Waterloo. He is the Treasurer of the world organization of local and regional governments: United Cities and Local Governments.
Berry was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and understands the challenges of migrant families and the issues facing the thousands of Canadians making Kitchener their new home. Berry attended St. Jerome's High School and graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a BA in Political Science and a diploma in Business Administration.
Berry's outgoing and personable style contributed to his election as a Kitchener City Councillor for six consecutive terms of council, from 1994 to 2014.
Berry is Treasurer of United Cities & Local Governments (UCLG) and is President Emeritus (2011-12) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In addition to serving as UCLG Treasurer since late 2015, his extensive involvement with UCLG includes serving as Deputy Treasurer, as Vice-chair of UCLG’s Development Co-operation and City Diplomacy Committee, as the UCLG rep on the UN’s Global Partnership on Effective Development Cooperation committee and has represented UCLG at the UN on numerous occasions.

Mr. Ruben Zondervan
Executive Director, Earth System Governance Project, Lund University, Sweden (Science and Technology Major Group)
Mr. Ruben Zondervan

Executive Director, Earth System Governance Project, Lund University, Sweden (Science and Technology Major Group)

Ruben Zondervan is the executive director of the Earth System Governance Project—a global research alliance with more than 400 actively engaged researchers from all over the world who are taking up the challenge of exploring political solutions and novel, more effective governance mechanisms for sustainable development. He also serves as executive director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future—an international organization working to advance sustainable development and promote democracy at a global level.
Zondervan is a specialist in international social science and interdisciplinary research management and science-policy, and an experienced project manager and research policy & public affairs advisor. He has been managing research efforts and facilitating science-policy processes related to the Agenda 2030 since the preparatory phase for Rio+20.
The Earth System Governance office is hosted at Lund University and Zondervan is affiliated to the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS). Other appointments include that of member of the Board of Directors of the International Environmental Communications Association (IECA), and coordinator for Policy in the Management Committee of the COST Action Ocean Governance for Sustainability. His academic training is in political sciences and he holds a degree in environment & resource management (VU University Amsterdam).

Mr. Vitalice Meja
Coordinator/CPDE Co-Chair, Reality of Aid Network Africa (FFD Civil Society Group)
Mr. Vitalice Meja

Coordinator/CPDE Co-Chair, Reality of Aid Network Africa (FFD Civil Society Group)

Mr. Vitalice Meja has years of experience in the development policy lobbying and advocacy as well as research at national, regional and international level on issues of financing for development, debt, and official development assistance with both governments and the multilateral bodies. He is a specialist in development policy analysis in the areas of development cooperation, economic development, poverty reduction policies and micro finance as it relates to NGO – government and intergovernmental organisation. He is currently the Executive Director of the Reality of Aid Africa Network – A pan African Network working on Poverty Eradication through Effective Development Co-operation.
Reality of Aid Africa are an integral part of the Civil Society Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) involvement with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPDEC) and currently involved with monitoring of its indicators which also include CSO enabling environment indicators. He is the Policy Co-Chair for CPDE. Mr. Meja is part of the Technical working group of African Platform on development effectiveness charged with the responsibility of advising on the implementation of the GPDEC as well as African consensus on development effectiveness co-ordinated by NEPAD.

Ms. Haydee Rodriguez
Executive Director, Unión de Cooperativas de Mujeres Productoras “Las Brumas” (Sendai Stakeholders)
Ms. Haydee Rodriguez

Executive Director, Unión de Cooperativas de Mujeres Productoras “Las Brumas” (Sendai Stakeholders)

Working as a farmer since her childhood, Haydee Rodriguez grew up with the knowledge that women’s roles are undervalued and disadvantaged, and experienced firsthand how devastating natural disasters can be for the livelihoods of local communities. Since then, Haydee has dedicated her life to empowering women through raising awareness of women’s rights and bringing gender issues to the attention of authorities, with the goal of achieving gender-equal rights. She is part of the Board of Directors for the Cooperatives of Women Producers “Las Brumas” in Jinotega-Nicaragua; the organization is a member of the global network of the Huairou Commission and GROOTS International. In recent years, her work has focused on disaster risk reduction, making land and housing accessible for women, strengthening women’s leadership, sustainable and smart agriculture, environmental protection through Community Resilience, and the implementation of strategic alliances with local governments through the Community Practitioners Platform. Haydee has been a strong leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, particularly in soil conservation work. Her vast experience in leading Last Brumas has resulted in it being the only female-led cooperative to be invited to the National Agricultural Forum hosted by the Honduran government to share sustainable agricultural practices.

Ms. Jolly Amatya
Secretariat of United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY)
Ms. Jolly Amatya

Secretariat of United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY)

Jolly Amatya is a young professional from Nepal. She currently serves on the Secretariat of United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY). In addition to being very engaged in the youth space at the UN, she is also the Executive Director of Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative (SFFI), a social enterprise that creates sustainable livelihoods for women by providing training, micro loans, and required assistance to develop cooperatives positively impacting families in rural Nepal. Through her work with the international community, the National Youth Council (she is the UN focal point), local youth groups, and the Alliance for Disaster relief, she has worked with national and local authorities in coordinating and facilitating relief, recovery and reconstruction projects during the 2015 Nepal earthquake and 2017 Nepal Floods. She has substantial experience in coordinating disaster response and resilience efforts including advocacy, planning & implementation, allocating resources and managing finances for many aspects of rescue and rebuilding operations specifically with youth organizations that leverage ICTs, mobile and web platforms and other technologies in facilitating informal community- level response, networking and coordination. She is a member of the UN Inter Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD), Working Group on Gender Equality. She serves as the Honorary Tourism Ambassador for Sustainable Development under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Nepal. She has also been serving on the Board of Directors for the US National Committee for UN Women, New York Chapter. As the Global Ambassador of Women Protection Center Nepal (WPC) based in Seattle and Nepal (Hetauda), an organization that assists rescued women and children survivors of gender violence and human trafficking in Nepal, she works to raise awareness and advocacy for prevention of girl trafficking, investment in young and adolescent girls’ education upliftment of the status of marginalized and indigenous girls/women & advancement of SRHR. She has previously served as the Co- Chair and the Senior Program Coordinator for the “Youth Assembly at the United Nations”, a biannual youth conference at the UNHQ organized b Friendship Ambassadors Foundation that provides a unique platform for fostering dialogues and generating partnerships between youth, civil society, private sector, and the UN. She has recently been recognized by the “National Youth Award” by the Government of Nepal (Ministry of Youth) & “Champions of Change” by the US National Committee of UN Women.

Ms. Luisa Emilia Reyes Zuñiga
Program Director, Policies and Budgets of Equality and Sustainable Development, Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family. Co-chair of the HLPF Coordination Mechanism (Women's Major Group)
Ms. Luisa Emilia Reyes Zuñiga

Program Director, Policies and Budgets of Equality and Sustainable Development, Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family. Co-chair of the HLPF Coordination Mechanism (Women's Major Group)

Master and Bachelor’s Degree in Studies on International Relations, at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico; UNAM, according to its initials in Spanish). She is also a Bachelor of Arts in Modern English Language and Literature, at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature (FFyL), UNAM. She has studies in Lacanian Psychoanalysis, which she has practiced both in teaching as well as in the clinical field. She has specialized in public policies and development issues, with the use of the tool of gender budgets and the gender mainstreaming strategy, as well as the integral disaster risk management approach.
In two occasions she has been a consultant for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and for a joint program between UNAM-World Bank. Currently she is the Coordinator of the Area of Gender Policies and Budgets in Equidad de Genero: Ciudadanía, Trabajoy Familia A.C. (Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family A.C) a non-governmental organization, to mainstream gender perspective in public policies and budgets in different government levels (state and local), as well as in institutions. She is also the Coordinator of the Gender Budgets Training for the SUMA project in Mexico, a three year project for the political and economic empowerment of women, sponsored by the Fund for Gender Equality, UN Women.

Statements
Statements
Mr. Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, Canada (Local Authorities Major Group)
Mr. Ruben Zondervan, Executive Director, Earth System Governance Project, Lund University, Sweden (Science and Technology Major Group)
Mr. Vitalice Meja, Coordinator/CPDE Co-Chair, Reality of Aid Network Africa (FFD Civil Society Group)
Ms. Haydee Rodriguez, Executive Director, Unión de Cooperativas de Mujeres Productoras “Las Brumas” (Sendai Stakeholders)
Ms. Jolly Amatya, Secretariat of United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY)