Farooq Ullah is standing down from his post as Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum (SF) on December 31, 2016.
In a letter to the Board, he said that he had been proud to lead the work of SF though the past four years of intense international activity on sustainable development. Stakeholders of all kinds had been deeply and constructively engaged with the creation of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - and SF had played a significant part in promoting and supporting that engagement at international, regional and national levels. However, as the task of implementing the SDGs now falls more to the national level Farooq felt that it was an appropriate time for him to stand down from SF and to focus his own efforts more at the national level through the new UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and in other ways.
In response, Charles Nouhan, the Chair of Stakeholder Forum's Board of Directors, said that the Board had felt obliged to accept Farooq's resignation but with reluctance and regret. During Farooq's period of office, Stakeholder Forum had played an important part in the engagement of stakeholders around the world in developing the international consensus on sustainable development, and in underpinning this with a series of well-judged reports and papers on key aspects of the sustainable development agenda. The Board unanimously wished to thank Farooq Ullah for his leadership, good humour, and unfaltering faith in the Stakeholder Forum mission. While recognising and accepting the personal reasons for his decision to step down as Executive Director, they are very glad that Farooq has agreed to remain on the Board as a non-executive Director.
The Board believe that stakeholder engagement with the implementation of sustainable development both at national and at international level is more important than ever and still needs to be promoted vigorously throughout the world.
However, SF has had increasing difficulty in recent years in securing sufficient funding to enable it to continue operating on the scale that is needed to make a significant contribution to the cause of promoting sustainable development globally. Therefore, the Board have been investigating ways in which the work and experience of SF could be merged with or absorbed by a larger and more securely funded organisation sharing the same mission as SF. The Board are continuing to explore that objective and would be glad to hear from any organisation or individual wishing to link themselves with the work and experience of SF in this field, or to carry forward the SF mission, name or mode of operation in any suitable international context.