Best wishes for 2023 – a happy and peaceful year to all of you!
2023 is the mid-point for the SDGs – with the SDG summit in September as the main moment. Let us make this year a turning point towards global justice, peace and hope despite all the crises we are facing.
It has been seven and a half years since the Sustainable Development Goals were approved by the heads of state of 193 governments around the world. Halfway through, the results are disappointing.
The SDGs show humanity the way forward to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They respond to global challenges in terms of poverty, inequality, environmental degradation and well-being. These interconnected objectives advocate the principle “leave no one behind” – hence the interest in achieving each of them and each of their targets, by 2030.
Governments discuss the SDGs a lot but are not doing enough, since there is no sign that they intend to change their regulatory frameworks or the allocation of sufficient resources to achieve them. We have monitored Agenda 2030 nationally and globally. However, if those who have the economic and political power grab most of the profit, don’t pay taxes to and do not allocate sufficient resources for this global crusade, everything would remain in discourse.
Although the countries do not have the same capacities for resilience in the face of shocks and above all are not at the same level of implementation of the SDGs, it must be recognized that the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine has affected us all. Countries in the Global South, particularly those in Africa, are suffering from the effects – including high food and energy costs.
With reduced livelihood and missing social protection, the most vulnerable populations’s purchasing power and capacities for resilience are shrinking. It is not surprising to see a significant increase in inequalities and injustices of all kinds already happening and even more in the coming months.
What is GCAP’s Role in this?
While monitoring goes on every year, how are we going to ensure that we will gain ground in our set goals, especially for the communities that are being pushed back continuously?
This year, we will work to:
- Monitor government commitments very closely
- Make social and climate justice top priorities
- Promote policies based on the demands and the needs of the most marginalised, built on answers to fundamental questions: Who are the marginalised people? How many are they? Where are they? What are their needs and demands?
- We now have an additional task of accelerating the recovery as well as the pre-COVID-19 concerns that are still plaguing us. Though there are some statistics on communities discriminated by work and descent (CDWD), indigenous communities, women, older people and LGBTQ, children among them, migrants, etc., how are we going to address these?
- Work for social protection for all, access to vaccines and universal health coverage, work for finance justice especially on tax and debt and the implementation of the loss and damage fund.
- Improve and strengthen policies for the inclusion of young people, women, and all marginalized groups. Women and young people constitute the largest part of populations. They are the first forces of mobilization and work. No significant progress can be made in the implementation of the SDGs without the commitment and involvement of these actors.
- Strengthen international cooperation, including through greater participation of civil society, so that financial flows are more substantial and more directed towards those who need it most.
- A strong, bottom-up mobilisation with People’s Assemblies at local and national level leading to the Global People’s Assembly at the SDG Summit in New York and actions for global justice as part of the Week to Act4SDGs.
We need to work for the true meaning of its history in order to make the advent of a less unjust world possible, a world less marked by poverty, less prone to ruthless competition, giving more importance to the weak and vulnerable, integrating a stronger dimension of spirituality, and more open to peace and security.
Wishing you greetings of solidarity, strength and power to face our challenges as well as turn them into opportunities to democratise the wider society.