Marking the 3rd Anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals

Ambassadors, civil society organisations, citizens, and government representatives gathered in Dublin today to mark the third anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the promise to Leave No One Behind.

Coalition 2030, an alliance of over 100 Irish civil society organisations and networks, today led a street march in Dublin city centre as part of the Global Day of Action to reinforce commitments towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

They were joined by members of the Irish public, alongside ambassadors from Belgium, Malta and Spain, and Government representatives.

They drew the public’s attention to a massive banner hung on Rosie Hackett Bridge which read ‘17 Global Goals and A Promise: Leave No One Behind’.

The group then walked to the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square where two living in Direct Provision in Ireland led a spoken word performance.

Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of Belgium and Coalition 2030 members highlighted the importance of the 2030 Agenda and the importance of Leaving No One Behind.

The Leave No One Behind promise aims to ensure that the 17 goals can only be considered met if they are achieved for all nations, peoples and segments of society, and that the poorest, most deprived and marginalised are reached first.

Other major events took place across 123 countries today to press for the practical application of the SDGs.

For example, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney joined the annual global Central Park concert in New York to mark the anniversary and will also speak at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival on Saturday.

Dr Sean Healy, CEO of Social Justice Ireland, said:

“With 800,000 people in poverty, 700,000 on healthcare waiting lists and 10,000 people homeless, Ireland is a profoundly unequal place.

“Policymakers must acknowledge that a thriving economy is not a goal in itself, but a means to social development and wellbeing for all.

“To see real progress towards the SDGs and the Leave No One Behind Promise, robust Policy Coherence across and within government departments is needed to ensure Ireland’s actions in all areas of government, do not exacerbate inequality and exclusion.”

“A concerted all-of-government and all-of-society approach is essential to achieve the SDGs and reduce inequality”.

Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar said:

“Ensuring meaningful participation across Irish society is crucial to combat exclusion and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for all people, everywhere.

“For this to happen, marginalised groups need to have their voices represented and space for collaboration in plans, policies and commitments towards the SDGs, with a continued strengthening of National Stakeholder Forum”.

Valerie Duffy, Development Education & UN Youth Delegate Programme Coordinator at National Youth Council of Ireland, said:

“Three years in and still we have a job to do to support education and awareness raising about the SDGs and how they can transform the world in which we live – personally, locally, nationally, and globally. Unless we have everyone on board in Ireland, we will not achieve the SDGs in Ireland.”