Agriculture, Land and Rural DevelopmentFAOCSDUNEP
World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa 2002


Welcome | Development of SARD | Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue
Preparing Work for WSSD | Major Groups | SARD in Johannesburg

The Importance of Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue and Participation

Agenda 21 states, "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." (Section 23.2) In addition, "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." (Section 23.3)

FAO, as a UN agency, was further 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. Landmarks in this process include:

  • ECOSOC Land and Agriculture decision (April 2000)
  • CSD-8 (April-May 2000)
  • The multi-stakeholder Forum on SARD (March 2001), that occurred concurrently with the 16th session of COAG and assisted FAO in completing the Task Manager’s report (Part 1 and Part 2) on "Land and agriculture" covering the cluster for Chapters 10, 12 and 14 for CSD 10
  • Weekly conference calls with Major Groups on SARD related issues

For further background information on the Multi-Staker holder Dialogue (MSD), please see:

FAO’s International NGO/CSO Planning Committee for the World Food Summit: five years later ensures continued cooperation with NGOs/CSOs on sustainable agriculture, rural development, and other matters within FAO’s mandate.

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