The SDG Agenda Revolution"(II) Towards the future SDG10 EN

 

"The Sustainable Development Agenda Revolution"(II)

Towards the future

Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf

cmf UN team, member

Former President of Fundación PROCLADE

Masters in NGO Management and Innovation. ESADE

 

The SGD Agenda: looking at the future in International Cooperation

 

Almost at the same time have taken place the approval of the SDG Agenda, two events took place inside the halo of the 2030 Agenda. The first one was the Paris Agenda (October 2016), about the climate change and CO2 emissions reduction; a historic agreement by the governments: "To strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius." (www.UNFCCC).

 

The second one was: the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (July 2015). The conclusions document presents the importance of this agreement: "In September 2015, the United Nations will host a summit to adopt an ambitious and transformative post-2015 development agenda, including sustainable development goals. This Agenda must be underpinned by an equally ambitious and credible means of implementation. We have come together to establish a holistic and forward-looking framework and to commit to concrete actions to deliver on the promise of that Agenda." (n. 2)

 

The first key concept to consider is Sustainability, or better, Sustainable Development. Why is this concept important? The Millennium Goals present some of our world's almost eternal problems: hunger, malnutrition, lack of drinking water, diseases, and no doubt that all these challenges must be met. One solution is the distribution of resources more equitably, thinking not only in developed countries but also in development. But it is not just about distributing existing income and assets; the world and humanity have to keep moving forward, which requires energy, natural resources, and discoveries. Following the Idea presented in the Brundtland Report: Sustainable Development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of 'needs,' in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the Idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs. (United Nations General Assembly, 1987, p. 43).

 

The 2030 Agenda. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is the real name of the 2030 Agenda or SDG2030. Sometimes, it is convenient to remember this historic agreement's complete title—the UN Declaration's purpose. "Transforming our World"; the document does not offer an agenda for North and South; it is thinking in the nations of the world as a whole: holistically. The key to this transformation the Sustainable Development. To achieve this new world through sustainable development, the UN presents 17 goals and 169 targets. At the beginning of the Agenda document, we can find the five essential points to group the 17 objectives: People, Planet, Progress, Peace, Partnership. The document remark that it is necessary to understand the 17 SDG as a system. I will try to redefine the Sustainable Development concept for the 2030 Agenda.

 

We could give the following definition answering the question: what does Sustainable Development for 2030 Agenda? The Sustainable Development, in the 2030 Agenda, refers to the use of all the resources of the planet to ensure that humanity can unfold all its possibilities by attending, equitably, to every one of the human beings. This, so that the available resources are not put at risk so that the future generations can continue this way.



Thinking on International Cooperation, SDG 17 is the most relevant: "Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development." This goal stresses the importance of the south-south Cooperation, the alliances by zones of the globe, the work in common by governments and Civil society, the cooperation transferring technology, the critical role of international development banks.

 

The implementation procedure of the SDG Agenda is by countries. Each country has to elaborate on a specific 2030 Agenda for his country. This plan has to content the 17 goals and also the 169 targets with specific fulfillment indicators. Each state can present a Voluntary National Report in the annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) summit in UN-New York. The ECOSOC monitors the implementation through different departments. Every year, the ECOSOC presents at the HLPF the ODS group implementation status. The Major Groups attend the session giving opinions and asking speakers; they are Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous Peoples, Non-Governmental Organizations, Local Authorities, Workers and Trade Unions, Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Community, Farmers (cf. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org). The Civil Society is part of the surveillance group.

 

The 2030 Agenda is now the core of every action by ECOSOC. It will be the framework for every country, donor and company, in International Cooperation for Developing or Sustainable Development.

 

I want to finish this part of my reflection, bringing it two paragraphs about the critical linkage between the 2030 Agenda and Development Cooperation: “As defined, the new policy for development cooperation is no longer compatible with the traditional narrative on which ODA was founded, based on unilateral concessions (close to charity) and solidarity with other peoples' problems (see Annex again). Today, most development challenges are shared by developed and developing countries alike, as the 2030 Agenda suggests.”  (p. 10, CDP. BP39. Mar.2018) “Despite its limitations, development cooperation policy can significantly contribute to making the 2030 Agenda a reality and putting into practice the principle of "leaving no one behind." To achieve that porpoise, the development cooperation system must be reshaped: it needs to escape the domain of developed countries and become an inclusive framework for promoting collective action in favor of sustainable development strategies at the national and global levels.”  (p. 22, CDP. BP39. Mar.2018) 


Conclusions

I have done a voyage, mainly through the XX-XXI centuries. A concise space to put together every aspect of the conceptual change in International Cooperation. It could be exciting to research the NGO's influence in this change. We should consider Agenda 2030 as a crystallization of a change relative short in time but deep in consequences. International Cooperation (IC) is not for more time something to do from Northern Countries to the Southern Countries. it is not for more time a matter only for governments. It is not for more time, something that is not defined in goals and recipients. The International Cooperation has the 2030 Agenda as the framework; IC has an implementation of this Agenda in each country; IC has to be inside all the country's interaction; the International Cooperation has criteria for budgets, following Addis Ababa document. 

 

We are in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. We do not know where the world will be after the pandemic in terms of Human Develop, but the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda will be rights. Perhaps we will have to change 2030 for another year ahead, almost sure, but the horizon is open.

 

Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf

cmf UN team, member

Former President of Fundación PROCLADE

Masters in NGO Management and Innovation. ESADE

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