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INFORMATION SHARED by Fr. Daniel LeBlanc OMI, (Missionary Oblates’ representative at the United Nations)
“We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it.” Laudato Si’ 76
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a meeting of the Member States of the United Nations under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The 2018 forum will be held from July 9-18. The HLPF is tasked with the central role of the follow-up and review of the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. And the highlight of the forum is the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). As part of the follow-up and review mechanism of the SDGs, the VNRs facilitates the sharing of experiences and lessons learned and challenges by the Member States with a view to implementing the SDGs. Forty-seven countries will be conducting the National Voluntary Reviews during the 2018 forum. The HLPF platform provides opportunities for partnership among the Member States. Civil society organizations, UN agencies, the private sector, academia, and other stakeholders also actively participate in the forum.
The following goals, including goal 17 (Strengthen the Means of Implementation and Revitalize Global Partnership for Sustainable Development), will be reviewed during the 2018 HLPF. The central theme for the 2018 HLPF is, “Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Society.”
- Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2018
Fr. Seamus Finn among Presenters at the Rome Roundtable 2017 January 18th, 2017
The Global Foundation gathered for its Rome Roundtable 2017 on January 14th and 15th and convened participants from the business and investment community, religious leaders, civic institutions, academia and civil society to evaluate responses and measure progress on United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The fifty invited participants were asked to report on progress since the last roundtable and to discuss additional commitments and actions that they would undertake during the coming year.
Visit this website to read the Vatican Radio report on the event and Pope Francis’s address to participants.
My comments were focused on the numerous challenges and debates that have taken place over the last century about development. The UN sponsored decades of development that focused on different dimensions of the topic and how they might be appropriately addressed and then the encyclical letter, “Populorum Progressio” (On the Development of Peoples), of Pope Paul VI, in 1967 built on the teaching of the Catholics tradition and the Second Vatican Council on the issues. This encyclical remains as a foundational point of reference for the Church’s understanding of development especially with the introduction and definition of the concept of “integral human development”. More recently through a United Nations process in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals were adopted as a benchmark and guide for action in countries and communities across the world.
The adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the General Assembly in 2015 has set a clear agenda for the work of development until 2030. In our panel presentation my colleagues, Mark Cutefani, CEO, Anglo American and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of Cape town reported on the collaborative multistakeholder project that has been organized by the Mining and Faiths Reflection Initiative to address development issues in mine site communities at local and regional levels.
Post-2015 Development Agenda Officially Launched October 15th, 2015
The United Nation’s 70th session convened in New York in September 2015 with the formal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by its 193 member states. The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the prevailing development agenda since 2000, which ended in 2015. Like its forerunner, the SDGs will have a 15-year timeframe and remain in effect until 2030. It is the result of an international consultative process that originated at the Rio +20 meeting in 2012.
Some see the SDGs as the UN’s boldest anti-poverty agenda yet, as expressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon who called them “17 bold yet achievable goals that aim to end poverty.”
The 17 goals cover a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues: poverty and hunger, improving health and education, reducing inequality, and combating climate change. They have been hailed as a step up from the MDGs because they tackle more present-day issues and incorporate all countries rich and poor.
In addition to governments, civil society groups have actively participated in the processes leading up to the final adoption of the global agreement. In the last year and a half, Fr Daniel LeBlanc OMI, JPIC’s Representative to the United Nations collaborated with several Working Groups including the Mining Working Group, International Trade Union Confederation and the Indigenous Peoples Major Group. These groups worked for the inclusion of a human rights perspective in the final agreement. Some of these rights include the right to water and sanitation, the right to decent work, the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the eradication of extreme poverty.
An area of particular concern for civil society and other stakeholders is the question of how the goals will be financed by individual countries. A separate negotiation process took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia earlier this year at the 3rd Financing for Development Conference. In Addis Ababa Fr Daniel LeBlanc OMI joined other civil society groups in pushing for a new and expanded follow-up process that will allow civil society to better monitor whether countries meet their commitment and provide support for struggling countries. Without the necessary financing, many countries will fall short of meeting their goals and targets within the 2015-2030 timeframe.
Additional resources on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be found at these websites:
1. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Background On Sustainable Development Goals
2. Caritas Internationalis Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS): Frequently Asked Questions
3. Download an Open Letter to Pope Francis from the UN Mining Working Group:
Thanks to Fr Daniel LeBlanc, OMI, Oblate representative at the UN, for this information