Localizing SDGs Event Showcases Colombia’s SDG Implementation Planning
UN Photo/Kibae Park/Sipa Press
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The event began with an overview of Colombia’s efforts to integrate SDG targets into its National Development Plan and Peace Agreement as well as to meet their international commitments, including the Paris Agreement on climate change, their bid for OECD accession and the SDGs.

Closing the event, Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP, noted the importance of localizing the SDGs and empowering innovation, incubation and experimentation at the local level.

12 October 2017: An event on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted perspectives of those working to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level.

The event, which was moderated by Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President, World Bank Group, began with an overview of Colombia’s efforts to integrate SDG targets into its National Development Plan and Peace Agreement as well as to meet their international commitments, including the Paris Agreement on climate change, their bid for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) accession and the SDGs.

Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Perez, Professor, EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia, moderated the discussion of Colombia’s efforts. She highlighted that Colombia has had an SDG implementation plan since 2014, as the country began planning to implement the SDGs while they were being negotiated, rather than waiting until their September 2015 adoption by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Colombia’s Minister of Finance said peace goes “hand-in-hand” with 40% of the SDG targets.

Mauricio Cardenas, Minister of Finance, Colombia, said the costs of not implementing the SDGs should be highlighted as a strategy for ensuring implementation. He noted that Colombia has tied SDG implementation with other initiatives that are at the core of his country’s priorities, in particular the implementation of the peace agreement. He said peace goes “hand-in-hand” with 40% of the SDG targets. He also noted efforts to address climate change, including by taxing carbon emissions, to help Colombia achieve the SDGs. He said Colombia wants to be in a position similar to Portugal in 2030 in terms of income and distribution of income. He added that Colombia needs to add more investment and value added industry to achieve this goal, and needs to conform with best practices and standards of the OECD countries. He highlighted peace as a strategy for bridging the gap between rural and urban areas, and said the national government is committed to make adequate public investments in areas where the FARC were, and to do so in a sustainable way.

Jorge Familiar Calderon, Vice President, LAC, World Bank Group, emphasized the benefits of coordination between federal and subnational levels. He added that social pacts are important and they depend on transparency, accountability and good governance.

Olga Patricia Castaño Diaz, VP Strategy Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. E.S.P ISA, Colombia, said companies cannot be successful if the communities in which they operate are failing. Javier Esteban Agudelo Vallejo, Representative of Youth Communa 13, Medellin, Colombia, said youth have to be resilient and plant hope. Speakers also called for supporting youth with micro financing. The Ideas for Action initiative was highlighted for its role in encouraging youth entrepreneurship that incorporates the SDGs.

During the second half of the event, a panel highlighted perspectives from various regions. World Bank Managing Director Shaolin Yang said the World Bank’s corporate score card is aligned with the SDGs, and it is aligned to work with clients to help them achieve their own version of the SDGs.

Mohieldin said mayors are the best copiers, as they “see good solutions and implement them.” He emphasized the need for everyone to be moving in the same direction toward SDG implementation, including mayors and governors.

Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark, stressed the importance of addressing gender equality in order to achieve the SDGs at the global level.

Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of National Development Planning (Bappenas), Indonesia, noted challenges with coordinating among 550 local governments, each with different capacity levels and the need to ensure local governments have the appropriate human resources to implement the SDGs.

Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan, discussed the need for a top down and bottom up approach to SDG implementation.

Martyn Parker, Chairman, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re, noted the important role that insurance plays in ensuring resilient progress. He said governments are buying insurance with the protection of poor communities in mind, and said insurance helps governments move volatile risks off their balance sheets and onto the insurance company’s balance sheet.

Closing the event, Achim Steiner, Administrator, UN Development Programme (UNDP), noted the importance of localizing the SDGs and empowering innovation, incubation and experimentation at the local level, where experimentation occurs every day. He said participation increases as you get closer to the local government level, and it is easier to finance activities at the local level when those who want to do something for a community are involved. Steiner further highlighted that local governments understand the complexity of managing a system approach to the SDGs, and that it is easier to ensure that we do not forget some at the expense of others at the local level. [Event webpage] [Ideas for Action webpage] [UNDP Administrator’s Prepared Remarks] [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on I4A][SDG Knowledge Hub story on World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings]


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