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Weeks 17, 18 and 19 of a blog series issued for HLPF 2017 feature contributions from academia, civil society, private sector, UN agencies, and UN Regional Commissions.

19 July 2016: Representative of UN agencies, UN Regional Commissions, academia, civil society, and the private sector share multifaceted perspectives and recommendations for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a blog series managed by the UN Division for Sustainable Development (DSD).

DSD developed the blog series for the 2017 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which took place from 10-19 July 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York, US.

Katherine Richardson, University of Copenhagen and Member of the Independent Group of Scientists for the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), writes that much of the physical, chemical and gaseous waste people produce on land ultimately ends up in the ocean. She explains that almost one-third of the carbon dioxide waste emitted to the atmosphere since the industrial revolution is currently in the ocean and is fundamentally changing ocean chemistry. Richardson further observes that, even though oil spills at sea generate public outrage, most oil entering the ocean comes via rivers and can be traced back to people’s everyday activities on land. She concludes by stressing that contributions from every person, business and community, regardless of how far each is located from the ocean, are essential for meeting the targets of SDG 14 (life below water).

Naiara Costa and Emilia Reyes, Co-Chairs, Steering Group of the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders (MGoS) Coordination Mechanism, write that all civil society and all stakeholders, including local and sub-national government structures, should be enabled to become involved in 2030 Agenda’s monitoring and review processes, at all levels. They argue that the SDG review process should be inclusive, transparent, diverse, accessible, and engage experts and representatives on each of the 17 SDGs and their interlinkages. To respect the 2030 Agenda’s promise to leave no one behind, they suggest inclusion across: age; sex; gender, sexual orientation; ethnicity; race; local communities; indigenous peoples; religion; disability; immigration status; and geographic location.

Frauke Joosten Veglio, Advisor, Public-Private Partnerships, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), describes UNAIDS’ work with private sector companies, in four focus areas for joint action: HIV testing; care and treatment; prevention; and human rights. She writes that the reach, expertise, skills, and institutional resources of businesses are essential to: ensure that their workforces and local communities receive HIV prevention, testing, treatment and support through workplace programmes; strengthen health systems and HIV prevention programme management; ensure that AIDS funding reaches and works for those most in need; reach the people with the information and tools they need to stay healthy; and innovate toward new solutions (pharmaceutical, diagnostics, service delivery, and use of new technologies and financial mechanisms).

Alaa Murabit, SDG Advocate and co-founder of Omnis Institute, writes about harnessing the power of local leaders to support the SDGs. She notes that local leaders, who implement local initiatives and shape local development, “represent a huge window of opportunity for global social change.” She explains that, given their direct contact with communities, such leaders are “uniquely positioned” to advance ideas, galvanize others and create immediate social impact. Murabit stresses that, by enabling local leaders, the international community will be able to tackle global challenges faster and more effectively, creating a ripple effect.

Unilever CEO Paul Polman argues that that business has a responsibility to help drive the food system transformation needed to meet SDG 2.

Paul Polman, SDG Advocate and Unilever CEO, argues that that business, which is the producer, manufacturer and retailer of most of the world’s food, has a responsibility to help drive the food system transformation needed to meet SDG 2 (zero hunger). He writes that pairing digital innovation, research and development skills with food and agricultural issues will future-proof business’ supply chains and open up new market opportunities. Polman also highlights a coalition of public and private stakeholders, ‘The New Food and Land-Use Coalition (FOLU),’ which aims to develop pathways to tackle environmental and social challenges that will unlock new models of sustainable nutrition and generate opportunities for growth, while respecting planetary boundaries.

Irge Olga Aujouannet, World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), writes that business will have a critical role in achieving the SDGs, as a source of innovation, finance, economic growth and employment. She further highlights the role of the SDGs in providing business with opportunities to: better manage their risks; anticipate consumer demand; build positions in growth markets; secure access to needed resources; and strengthen their supply chains. Aujouannet stresses the SDGs as “a win-win” for business and the world.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), notes that, in Latin America and the Caribbean, at least 16 countries have enhanced their institutional frameworks (including Argentina, Jamaica and Venezuela) or created new entities (Mexico, Chile, Aruba, and Bahamas) to facilitate implementation of the 2030 Agenda. She writes that several countries, including Colombia and Guatemala, have developed frameworks for multi-stakeholder dialogue in order to integrate the SDGs into their national and sub-national development plans, investment and fiscal frameworks. Bárcena highlights Belize, Costa Rica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Ecuador as examples of countries that have sought innovative ways to integrate the SDGs into their public accounts. [HLPF Blog]


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