The Policy Forum on Development (PFD), which was established by the European Commission as a consultation mechanism bringing civil society and local governments together to steer the development policies of the European Union, gathered in Kathmandu, Nepal. As part of the PFD held to evaluate the opportunities of cooperation with local governments and non-governmental organizations in Asia, the European Commission representatives informed the participants about the development assistance provided by the European Union. Starting on September 24, the PFD, whose Task Force UCLG-MEWA is also a member of, ended on 26 September.
The opening session of the meeting started with the speeches of Veronica Cody, EU Ambassador to Nepal and Bernadia Tjandradewi, Secretary General of UCLG-ASPAC on September 24. Following the opening session, members of the PFD Task Force were introduced to all participants, and the functioning of the PFD was explained. In the last part of the session, the EU document entitled” Connecting Europe and Asia” was presented to the participants.
Representatives of various Nepalese governmental and non-governmental organizations made their presentations during the special session dedicated to Nepal. Following the special session on the evaluation of Nepal’s work in the context of the 2030 Agenda, the European Commission representatives informed the participants about the EU’s development assistance programs in Asia by participating in the meeting via video conference. After the video conference, a panel session was held to discuss the position of Asia (Asia-Pacific) region in the global development agenda.
The last session of the day was conducted in an interactive format. Participants were divided into groups around 4 different themes, and their views and suggestions on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were evaluated. General Coordinator Salim Korkmaz, representing UCLG-MEWA, facilitated the group work entitled ’Integration of SDGs into National Level”. Data collected from all groups were shared with the participants during the evaluation session held at the end of the day.
The second day of the meeting started with a plenary session where representatives from Mongolia, Pakistan and Indonesia participated as speakers. During the session, the process of Voluntary National Review (VNR) and national progress were evaluated. Two parallel sessions following panel session addressed the topics of (i) pilot projects conducted by NGO-local government cooperation and (ii) implementation of SDGs in fragile conditions. After the break, summary reports of the two parallel sessions were shared with the participants. In the interactive session held at the end of the day, the participants’ views on whether there was a favorable environment for the implementation of global agendas in Asia were compiled and reported under four main headings. The summarized version of the reports was presented to the participants at the last session of the day.
On the third and last day of the meetings, the climate crisis was discussed. The call for urgent action in Asia to respond the climate crisis, which was addressed by various stakeholders from different perspectives, was stressed. After the session, the draft final declaration of the meeting was presented to all the participants for their opinions and suggestions. The program ended with the adoption of the final declaration finalized with the contributions of the PFD members.