"One of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of sustainable development is broad public participation in decision-making. Furthermore, in the more specific context of environment and development, the need for new forms of participation has emerged." (Agenda 21, Section 23.2)
"Any policies, definitions or rules affecting access to and participation by Non-Governmental Organizations in the work of United Nations institutions or agencies associated with the implementation of Agenda 21 must apply equally to all major groups." (Agenda 21, Section 23.3)
FAO's Facilitative Role: It works when we work together
FAO, as a technical agency of the UN, provides a neutral forum for discussion and policy formation on major food and agricultural issues. FAO, through consultations with its governing bodies and regular contacts with Member Nations, scientific bodies, and bodies or fora that involve civil society and the private sector can bring global imperatives related to food and agriculture to the forefront of international attention.
FAO was invited, at the CSD 8th Session (April 2000) and at the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) 16th Session, held at FAO in March 2001, to continue its involvement in multi-stakeholder dialogues on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) with the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Governments, Major Groups and other stakeholders. FAO’s work with Major Groups on SARD/Chapter14 has become an example of good practice on how regular multi-stakeholder dialogue can help to raise awareness, build broad consensus, and mobilize preliminary resources to achieve critical objectives.