The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the 17 goals agreed upon by the international community that aim to end poverty, reduce inequality and tackle climate change. In conjunction with these 17 goals, 169 targets have also been set to ensure that progress on achieving these goals is monitored and maintained.
Ireland played a key role in the negotiation of the SDGs with Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN, David Donoghue, sharing the role of facilitator in the final intergovernmental negotiations with his Kenyan counterpart. Ireland and Kenya brought together all UN member states, as well as civil society and private sector stakeholders in a number of formal negotiations and informal consultations. On August 2nd 2015, the historic agreement was reached with 193 world leaders committing to implementing the goals by 2030.
The Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020 was launched by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, T.D. in April 2018. Though Minister Naughten has responsibility for promoting and overseeing the implementation of the SDGs in Ireland, there is a whole-of-government approach to ensuring their success and all government ministers have responsibility for implementing the specific SDGs relating to issues under their remit.
The National Implementation Plan demonstrates the government’s strong commitment to achieving the SDGs and sets out a framework for how they will be implemented in Ireland between 2018 and 2020. It contains four main priorities that will guide and support the implementation of the goals:
- Awareness: To raise awareness of the SDGs among the public
- Participation: To provide stakeholders with opportunities to engage with and contribute to the implementation of the SDGs on a national level
- Support: To support communities and organisations in making their own contributions toward achieving the SDGs
- Policy Alignment: To support the alignment of national policies with the SDGs
Ireland will present the first of its SDG progress reports, its Voluntary National Review, to the United Nations this July and in doing so, will outline how the goals are being implemented, what challenges have been faced and what lessons can be offered to other countries from Ireland’s approach.
Read more about the SDGs here.