DUBAI: Governments should listen to people and ensure that their voices are heard, the chief executive of a Saudi non-profit organization told a virtual summit of civil society stakeholders from around the world.
Dania Al-Maeena was making her closing remarks at the C20, which is the civil society engagement group of the G20.
Al-Maeena is co-chair of the C20 and the summit was hosted by Riyadh.
“We must always listen to voices without discrimination or proxy,” she said in her video address. “The world is not short of effective frameworks for action, we have them endorsed and committed to. What we are missing is the action toward realizing sustainable development equally everywhere, with serious commitment to systemic reforms and economic reconstructions. We need to work together through a trustworthy multilateral system. It is time to double down on cooperation across countries, cultures and political orientations. Rules-based, fair and solidarity-driven multilateralism is our best way to tackle our complex cross-border problems.”
An earlier communique from the group said that civil society was being “sidelined from global and local decision-making more than at any other time in modern history.”
“The backroom global policy making, aided by private interest and lobbyists, has led to the decline of participatory processes and democratic governance,” it said.
It called on G20 leaders to “adopt just policies for an inclusive recovery, restore faith in multilateralism, and attend immediately to the climate and ecological crisis.”
Al-Maeena is the chief executive of Aloula, a non-profit in Saudi Arabia that fights poverty through early intervention.