On the last day of the IMPACT 2030 Global Summit, the discussion was focused on the how to drive greater awareness and action on a global scale to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Here are some of the highlights from the discussions:
- Focus on helping other people, organizations and especially private sector companies around us to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Commit to one or a handful of Goals and orchestrate activities against those, and encourage other public and private sector organizations to do the same
- Create partnerships and collaborations to strengthen current activities aligned to the Goals
- Make the Goals more accessible internationally by going beyond mere language translation and focusing on cultural translation, context and relevance.
- Provide more tools for people to communicate the Goals, even just a packet of images and logos, which could be managed by a newly-created communications committee
- Explore how to help people to travel and obtain visas more easily in some countries where they are doing good work
- Expand IMPACT 2030 Summits in other countries to further promote the Goals internationally
While listening to the final speakers we were left with many insightful messages. These are acouple that resonated with me the most.
1. We Must Leave No One Behind, We Are All Connected
Kazumi Ikeda-Larhed of UN Volunteers reminded us that the primary overarching objective of the Sustainable Development Goals is to make sure that no one is left behind. She encouraged us to help those that are the furthest behind and the most vulnerable, and cited the children of Lebanon as a prime example.
Another inspirational remark came from Thomas Gass, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Mr. Gass reminded us that in light of the Sustainable Development Goals, all countries are developing countries. He said that although the symptoms of a problem may be prevalent in one particular country, many times, the root cause of that problem crosses borders and can be much larger than we think. We are interconnected, and we need to help each other.
2. We Must Repair the Social Contract
Ian Bremmer, President and Founder of Eurasia Group, highlighted the eroding social contract between governments and citizens. He said that governments are big, slow and unable to change fast enough to address the current needs of its citizens. And when this social contract breaks down between governments and citizens, corporations will be the next target. Bremmer added that this makes the private sector all the more critical to the process, which means that sustainability can no longer be a “check the box” activity for them. It must be focused on creating real change.
Attending IMPACT 2030 at the UN in New York City was inspirational, enlightening and productive. If you’d like to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals, please visit http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/.
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