The Future of the International Dialogue: Decision Time
The 18th Steering Group meeting took place in Washington, D.C. on 29 February 2016 at the House of Sweden, marking an important decision-making opportunity for Steering Group members to agree on the future of the International Dialogue – what it should do, how it should be structured, and with whom it should ally – in order to drive the New Deal forward in the context of the 2030 Agenda. The decisions taken are to be submitted for approval at the Global Meeting scheduled for 5 April 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The purpose of this technical-level Steering Group meeting was two-fold: i) To make progress on deciding what is next for the International Dialogue, in terms of substance and structure; and ii) To lay the groundwork for a clear action plan for the future.
At the previous Steering Group meeting in Paris, in November 2015, members decided to extend the mandate of the International Dialogue for 6 months, until the end of 2016. In addition, a Temporary Working Group (TWG) was set up and tasked with producing a Ministerial Statement for Stockholm and to assist the Dialogue co-chairs in developing a strategic plan and a set of recommendations on the future structure of the International Dialogue.
The final draft of the Independent Review of the New Deal and the International Dialogue was also presented for discussion. Members were invited to discuss how to build a narrative linking New Deal principles and the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework. Finally, the participants were given the opportunity to listen to and reflect on a draft communications strategy developed by Aequitas, in light of the proposed strategy for the future of the International Dialogue.