28 February 2019
Spain Establishes Sustainable Development Council
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

Through the Sustainable Development Council, Spain reaffirms its commitment to the 2030 Agenda.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General welcomed the Council’s establishment, saying national councils are critical for promoting public engagement in sustainable development and ensuring all voices are heard in the decision-making process.

Also on the SDGs, the Government of Spain and the UN organized a conference to promote SDG implementation at the municipal and regional levels.

26 February 2019: Spain has established a Sustainable Development Council to support SDG implementation. Approving such a Council was one of Spain’s national commitments to the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Council is composed of 50 representatives from civil society, business, academia and other key stakeholders. Through the Council, Spain reaffirms its commitment to the 2030 Agenda as a roadmap for the future and “a transformative action plan for people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.”

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez stressed his commitment to achieving the SDGs in a speech at the Council’s establishment. He added that Spain supports the UN’s reform efforts to become more agile, flexible and efficient, and emphasized Spain’s support for the UN Secretary-General’s leadership and vision.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed remarked on Spain’s “remarkable track record in support of sustainable development,” describing the country as a “steadfast supporter of sustainable development from day one.” She welcomed the establishment of the Sustainable Development Council, saying national councils are critical institutional components for promoting public engagement in sustainable development at the national level, and ensuring that all voices are heard and considered in the decision-making process.

Mohammed also observed the Council’s contribution to progress on SDG target 16.7, to “ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.” Mohammed concluded by expressing hope that Spain’s Sustainable Development Council will serve as a model for “fruitful and inclusive dialogue at all levels” and inspiration globally for achieving the SDGs.

During a joint meeting, Mohammed and Sánchez agreed on a joint communique between the UN and the Government of Spain on collaboration for sustainable development and commitment to the UN development system. Both Mohammed and Sánchez reiterated that multilateralism and an international order based on law are critical in tackling complex global challenges.

Also on the SDGs, the Government of Spain and the UN organized an event titled, ‘Seville Commitment-Local Leadership, Global Transformation.’ The Conference, which took place from 26-27 February 2019, aimed to promote SDG implementation at municipal and regional levels by bringing together local governments, local actors and citizens. Participants shared their experiences of localizing the SDGs, including as part of efforts to leave no one behind by implementing the SDGs in all territories. A youth panel shared young people’s commitment to equality, access to services and decent work, and called for more open governments. Local governments said the world is becoming increasingly urban, emphasizing the critical role of local governments in generating growth and employment from the bottom up.

In June 2018, the Government of Spain created the High Committee for Agenda 2030, a body led by Cristina Gallach as High Commissioner and chaired by Sanchez, to coordinate actions related to the SDGs. [Press Release on Council Establishment] [UN Deputy Secretary-General’s Statement] [Tweets on Seville Commitment event] [Gallach Interview on Work of Sustainable Development Council and High Committee]

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