On July 24, GFMD was formally granted special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This success is the culmination of three years of concerted efforts by GFMD’s UN representative, Bill Orme, the GFMD Steering Committee, and the GFMD Secretariat in Brussels. Consultative status demonstrates the UN’s recognition of the relevance and legitimacy of the journalism support and media development sector.
The status applies not just to the GFMD Secretariat, but to any and all GFMD member organisations as well.
UN consultative status makes it easier for GFMD and its member organisations to participate in UN processes and apply for and receive project funding at the local, regional, and global levels from UN agencies, grant-making initiatives, and donor countries – along with much more.
This is especially relevant in light of GFMD’s contribution to the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.10. At the UN’s 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), governments will provide the first official accounting of their progress and implementation plans on SDG 16’s targets. This formal UN reporting process presents a valuable opportunity for input and engagement by GFMD member organisations at the national and regional levels.
To support GFMD’s UN consultative status, GFMD is launching an SDG 16.10 working group aimed at galvanising efforts to enhance, adopt, and implement right to information laws in line with Target 10, as well as lobbying for legal protections and developing safety guidelines that will be disseminated by strategic partners worldwide.
The working groups provide an opportunity for the sector to coordinate advocacy efforts via bi-monthly online meetings, and topics discussed so far include the importance of sharing methodologies and best practice in research, the circulation of relevant project outcomes and reports, and cooperation on new initiatives. If you are interested in hearing more about the SDG working group, please contact Anne Marie Hammer.