Over 100 speakers, including Heads of State and other dignitaries and influencers came together on September 24 and 25 for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit in the margins of the 74th UN General Assembly General Debate to review progress and identify measures to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDG summit launched a political declaration, which commits to a decade of action for delivery on the SDGs (2020-2030). WILPF monitored the SDG Summit as part of our work to leverage the Sustainable Development Goals for action on Women, Peace and Security.
Overall, the SDG Summit made clear that the international community is failing to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, and called for urgent action in order to put “people and planet at the center”. However, despite repeated recognition of the need for coordinated and coherent action for sustainable development, there were divergent approaches for how courageously and how practically to take action. While some speakers raised issues related to development justice, there was a disproportionate focus on public-private partnerships and development aid as solutions for delivering the SDGs. Furthermore, continued disconnects between development on one hand, and peace and security on the other hand, with too often superficial approaches to gender equality posed major challenges to creating the “world we want” for people and planet.
As the Women’s Major Group has previously noted in their 2019 position paper, the international community does not need charity from corporations - it needs them to pay their taxes and pay workers fairly so that states have the resources they need to provide social protection as public goods. It cannot treat peace as a project -- we need systems redesign. Shifting toward demands for development justice and feminist peace is required if we are to go beyond tinkering and towards delivering the world we want that leaves no one behind.