Consultation of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)

CSO Consultation gains momentum prior to 32nd Regional Conference for Europe

The Consultation of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) prior to 32nd Session of the Regional Conference for Europe (ERC) has taken place virtually from 21 to 23 October. The Consultation provides a platform for the CSOs to get together to express and state their views with regards to the main agenda items of the Regional Conference as well their views on FAO priorities and work in the region. Organized prior to the ERC for many years, the Civil Society Consultation is a very important way to feed the inputs from the civil society into the work of FAO and the planning for the upcoming biennium. 

This year, Civil Society Consultation has brought 41 representatives of civil society organizations from the Region, ranging from fisherfolks to indigenous people. As a result of the Consultation, five representatives of the civil society, nominated by the Consultation, have taken part at the Regional Conference and delivered their main messages. 

Current situation, as never before, has shown the need for solidarity, joint actions and partnerships across the board, bringing together all actors to work together and complement each other’s strengths. FAO and the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) in particular, has been enjoying quite productive and efficient cooperation with the civil society community throughout all these years, trying to strengthen and deepen the cooperation event further. 

Civil society is highly valued as a fundamental and long-standing partner of FAO. It will not be an understatement to say that the civil society provides vital links to the communities on the ground, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of FAO activities, and give FAO real time information to better inform FAO projects and programs. 

Civil society organizations at the Consultation stressed the need to have better cooperation with the communities, and work towards better incorporating bottom-up approach in a strategic way. There is definitely a room for more work to be done in this regard, as well as continued follow-up and dialogue with the civil society community on constant basis in between the Consultations/Conferences.