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CSO panel meets for first time in Bonn, outlines future goals

​The CSO panel established by the Conference of the Parties at COP11, concluded their first face-to-face meeting today at the UNCCD headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

The three-day event coincided with meetings of the CRIC and CST bureaus. These three entities used this opportunity to discuss issues of common interest such as the 2014 reporting exercise and the establishment of the Science Policy Interface. The panel also discussed with the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Monique Barbut, the involvement of civil society organizations in the Convention process. A few concrete ideas were shared on how CSOs can contribute to its implementation.

In addition to developing its work program for the year 2014, the panel provided comments on the draft Business Engagement Strategy, which outlines the objectives, modalities and conditions of UNCCD partnerships with business and private entities.

The panel also prepared their input to the Rio+20 Intergovernmental Working Group meeting in Brussels, which will be held on 10-11 February, and  expressed their concern about the absence of civil society representation in the process. Other topics discussed by the Panel included UNCCD’s comprehensive communication strategy and the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June.

The CSO panel is composed by five representatives of the civil society organizations from the UN regional groups of member states as wel l as the UNCCD secretariat. The panel will hold its next meetingduring the first week of April 2014.

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