Hui E! and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Hui E! has written to all Ministers highlighting the specific areas of the SDGs that are relevant to their particular portfolios. There are 17 overarching Goals and 169 specific areas where UN member states will have to set domestic targets. In the letters we are emphasising the expectation, spelled out in the signed goals, that civil society in each UN member state will be involved in a partnership with government to set the targets under each goal. We have begun to receive replies, from a range of MPs. Some Ministers have assured us that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will brief other government agencies soon, and some also reassure us that civil society will be engaged in the process of deciding NZ’s response to the Goals. Whether this will reach the level of partnership envisaged by the UN remains to be seen – you are welcome to write to your MP and encourage them!
Event at Parliament
On 13 October we celebrated the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in New Zealand, with a UNICEF-organised event. In the spirit of the collaboration that will be required to fulfil the aspirational 2016 – 2030 goals the event was jointly hosted by the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon David Carter along with Labour MP David Shearer and Greens MP Kennedy Graham. A selection of photos from the event are on Facebook and a video of the panel discussion is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1rHW7RLr_w&feature=youtu.be
The event posed the question, what will the SDGs mean for New Zealand and the Pacific? The only visible action that we know is happening is a project within Statistics NZ which is mapping the proposed indicators against existing NZ frameworks for measurement. A cabinet paper from MFAT including recommendations for how to progress from adoption to implementation was apparently pulled, and we’re unaware of any processes to replace it.
Civil society organisations under the umbrella groups of CID and Hui E! are working to advocate for a process to implement the SDGs – mostly through lobbying of MPs and awareness raising efforts. But civil society cannot do this alone and we would benefit from your support.
There is a plethora of information internationally about the SDGs but we are looking for greater debate nationally and in our Pacific region. e.g. Carmel Williams has shared the excellent SDG Series from the Health and Human Rights Journal http://www.hhrjournal.org/health-and-human-rights-journal-sdg-series/. Carmel’s research looking at how MFAT’s policies align (or not) with the SDGs is also of great interest. Adele Broadbent from CID with support from UNICEF and Tear Fund are going to do a version of this great report from BOND/Beyond 2015 Bringing the Goals Home. Input/comment on this report would be warmly welcomed – send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do keep us informed of any NZ-based academic research or debate related to the SDGs.