New York, 9 July 2018: “The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development and fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs.” This is the main message of the Spotlight Report 2018, the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The report is launched on the opening day of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York by a global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions.
When UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda, they signaled with the title 'Transforming our World' that it should trigger fundamental changes in politics and society, argues the report.
Yet, “three years after its adoption, most governments have failed to turn the vision of the 2030 Agenda into real policies. Even worse, policies in a growing number of countries are moving in the opposite direction, seriously undermining the spirit and the goals of the 2030 Agenda.”
“There are bold and comprehensive alternatives to business that would help change the course towards more coherent policies for sustainable development aligned with human rights principles and standards. It is important to recognize, however, that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is not just a matter of better policies. The current problems of growing inequalities and unsustainable production and consumption patterns are deeply connected with power hierarchies, institutions, culture and politics. Hence, policy reform is necessary but not sufficient, and a sectoral approach is likely to address only the tip of the iceberg. Meaningfully tackling the obstacles and contradictions in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs requires more holistic and more sweeping shifts in how and where power is vested, including through institutional, legal, social, economic and political commitments to realizing human rights. Similarly, the quest for sufficient public financing is important, but it cannot be separated from a broader discussion about the regulation of financial markets and private sector engagement, tax justice, and debt sustainability, “ says Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary.
The Spotlight 2018 report focuses on policies that are needed and, as the authors underline, “possible”
“There is a need for more coherent fiscal and regulatory policies and a whole-of-government approach towards sustainability.”
“Governments should promote policies that are genuinely coherent in the interest of sustainable development, human rights and gender justice.”
“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs must not be hidden in the niche of environment and development policies but must be declared a top priority by all heads of government.”
“The national strategies for sustainable development should not be regarded as one among many but constitute the overarching framework for all policies.”
The 160-page report is supported by a broad range of civil society organizations and trade unions, and informed by the experiences and reports of national and regional groups and coalitions from all parts of the world. The contributions cover many aspects of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs (and beyond), and reflect the rich geographic and cultural diversity of their authors.
The Spotlight Report is published by the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Global Policy Forum (GPF), Public Services International (PSI), Social Watch, Society for International Development (SID), and Third World Network (TWN), supported by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2018 - www.2030spotlight.org - #SpotlightSDGs
Exploring new policy pathways
How to overcome obstacles and contradictions in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda
Report of the Civil Society Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Beirut/Bonn/Ferney-Voltaire/Montevideo/New York/Penang/Rome/Suva, July 2018