Joining forces with United Nations for Sustainable Development Goals
By Stephen Stocks, Marketing & Communications Manager
If you had the power to make the world a better place for future generations, where would you start? Would you tackle hunger, disease, gender equality, climate change or some other life-changing issue?
This is the very question the United Nations has been trying to answer as it formulates the next set of global goals that will guide political action and national agenda for the next 15 years.
As a family-run humanitarian company, we at NRS International believe in the power of collaboration to create a wave of change. We proudly accepted the invitation to attend the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Foundation 2015 Communication Corps in Dubai earlier this month. These groups are being set up in selected countries around the world and include communicators, marketers, public relations professionals and digital marketing experts from local public, private and media organisations. The aim is clear – to raise awareness of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to make them the cause of a generation.
2015: A turning point
2015 is the year in which the SDGs will be unveiled, and the countdown has begun to the launch of these new global goals at the UN General Assembly in September. The SDGs aim to transform the world by 2030 and together promise to be a fundamental turning point in sustainable development. Every country, from the richest to the poorest, will be expected to work towards achieving these new global goals, first in their own countries and then by contributing to the efforts of other countries.
Building on previous success
These SDGs are larger and significantly more ambitious than the UN’s previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have been in operation since 2000 and are due to expire at the end of this year. So whilst the new SDGs will still focus on issues tackled by the MDGs, such as the eradication of hunger and gender inequality, they will also confront much longer term issues that impact the entire planet, such as the sustainable use of oceans and forests, climate change and industrialisation.
How were the SDGs chosen?
Following the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, an open working group, with representatives from 70 countries, began work on drafting the new global goals. The UN then conducted the largest consultation programme in its history to gauge opinion on what the SDGs should include. This gauged public opinion globally and included the online My World survey which asked people to prioritise the areas they’d like to see addressed in the goals. More than 7.5 million people responded.
Partnerships key to success of SDGs
The UN has placed Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda. As Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General stated: “I am convinced that governments alone cannot tackle global development challenges. Partnerships with the private sector are crucial to achieving sustainable development.”
NRS International is committed to becoming such a trusted partner, and once the SDGs are launched, we aim to contribute to as many focus areas as possible. Until then, we will actively participate in the forthcoming meetings of the 2015 UN Communication Corps, and strive to energise and amplify the global conversation surrounding these critical goals.