In June 2020, ELFAC was invited to participate in an Expert Group Meeting organized (EGM) by the Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). The selected theme of the EGM was on “Families in Development: Focus on Modalities for IYF+30, Parenting Education and the Impact of COVID-19”, addressing the following issues:
- Appropriate ways and means for the preparations and observance of the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF) and beyond (2020-2024)
- Parenting education in the context of Sustainable Development Goal 16
- The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on families and parenting
Concerning the appropriate ways and means to observe the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF+30), the experts agreed to focus on the major trends identified by the United Nations Secretariat, including the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and their impact on families, including:
- New technologies
- Climate change
- Urbanization & international migration
- Demographic change
Specific areas of research on family-oriented policies to effectively tackle those trends were discussed, along with family-oriented policies for the achievement of selected SDGs, including the analysis of proposals of the Member States, UN entities and the Civil Society.
In order to follow-up on the preparations and set the tone and pace of the discussion until the Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) lead the drafting of a Civil Society Declaration to the United Nations and the Member States; promote the organization of raise-awareness meetings; and promoting the preparations with various events towards 2024. ELFAC is part of the working group of this Declaration.
Back in 2014, a Civil Society Declaration proved to be effective to communicate the family-oriented perspectives of various Civil Society actors, also it spurred support among stakeholders from the public and private sector and to recommend policymakers to design, implement and monitor more and better policies for the family unit.
Looking ahead 2024 and beyond, various lenses will target challenges that the family unit is facing these days as of:
- Family megatrends recommendations
- SDGs&Families dissemination
- Lesson learnt from the pandemic
- Strategic Partnerships Campaign
The first Summit of Family-friendly NGOs took place at the end of 2019 during the IFFD International Congress in London. Global Civil Society organizations pledged for the preparations of the 30th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family.
Since then, a worldwide campaign to engage with strategic partners has initially been dedicated to agree on a Civil Society Declaration to enrich and disseminate it up until 2024. The initial stakeholders are:
- International Federation for Family Development (IFFD)
- European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC)
- Generations United (GU)
- National Association of Large Families (NOE)
- Doha International Family Institute (DIFI)
- European at-home Parents and Carers (FEFAF)
- Haro’s Platform on Family Politics (Haro)
They are all committed to turning the 30th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family into a substantial and enriching discussion to bring the role of the family unit and policies towards social development into reality. They will commit to the following Goals in the coming years:
- Contribute to drafting a Civil Society Declaration to the United Nations and the Member States
- Participate in the organization of raise-awareness meetings;
- Promote the preparations with various events.