|| MAJOR GROUPS AND THE WORLD SUMMIT ON
More than 8,000 participants representing
major groups attended the official meeting of the World Summit on
Sustainable Development (WSSD) in the Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg,
South Africa. Their views and experiences were given prominence in thematic
panels, high-level roundtable discussions, multi-stakeholder dialogues,
statements made from the floor, side events and briefings. During the WSSD
representatives from both accredited and unaccredited NGOs and other major
groups also organized a multitude of independent
events, including the
process was based on the participatory practices of the Commission on
Sustainable Development and provided representatives of accredited
organizations multiple opportunities to contribute to the work of the
Preparatory Committee (PrepCom).
dialogue segments were held during the second and fourth PrepComs and
involved participants from all nine categories of major groups. The dialogue
segment at the fourth Prepcom also experimented with new modes within the
dialogue such as use of facilitators and a working group setting for part of
the dialogue segment.
During the Summit itself, a number of useful precedents were set to enable
meaningful participation of all major groups. The series of plenary discussions
WEHAB issues and
regional implementation invited major groups
representatives to sit on expert panels as well as make statements from the
floor, and generated a series of meaningful interactive sessions on core issues
that recognized major groups not only as stakeholders but also as accepted and
respected partners in sustainable development.
High-level Roundtable discussions with Heads of
State/Government and major groups were also carried out with representation at
the highest level.
On the final day of the Summit, a high-level
multi-stakeholder event took place, whereby major groups
reiterated their commitment to work in the field of sustainable development.
Throughout the official process, major groups and others also announced a range
of more then 250 new
The World Summit on Sustainable Development enabled integrated participation of
major groups, as they interacted fully with Governments in the official process
through plenary discussions, thematic dialogues, high-level roundtables, and
expert panels as well as through their self-organized parallel events,
demonstrations, and briefings. The meaningful inclusion of civil society in
this major summit represented a significant step forward for public
participation in the sustainable development process.
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