Sustainable Development Goals - What are our Key Asks?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) working group has outlined their Key Ask for the Programme for Government.

Our Vision

“A Northern Ireland where sustainable development is at the heart all policy and legislation to ensure the well-being and prosperity of our current generation and generations to come”

 Key Ask

That the future Programme for Government for Northern Ireland be designed around the UN Sustainable Development Goals and measures progress against them.

This would ensure that:

  • The wellbeing of our citizens is embedded into decision making in government in Northern Ireland
  • Partnership and collaboration within government and across other sectors is at the core of government delivery.
  • Offer an additional mechanism to monitor progress towards delivering Programme for Government outcomes.
  • A common language can be embedded across all sectors of civic society and internationally.
  • Northern Ireland becomes a leader in meeting its commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 by 193 countries, including the UK and Ireland, as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The 17 interconnected goals represent outcomes for a better more sustainable future for all.

In 2019, Northern Ireland contributed to the UK Voluntary National Review on progress towards the goals. In relation to Northern Ireland, the report stated that “While progress has been made in many areas, there is still much to do and challenges to overcome…The linkages established between the Outcomes Delivery Plan and the Goals….will provide direction and focus moving forward.”

In response to growing concerns about the lack of integration and coordination on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Northern Ireland, an SDG Forum was established in 2019 and currently has a membership base of 18 organisations from the sector. The interlinked approach of the UN SDGs offers a blueprint for achieving positive outcomes for society, economy, environment and our political institutions.

We believe that strengthening the commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals can help to provide sustainable and long-lasting solutions to the most intractable challenges facing Northern Ireland. This could be done by ensuring that current and future Programme for Government (PfG) contribute to the delivery of the SDGs. Since the overall aim of the 2016-2021 draft PfG is “Improving wellbeing for all – by tackling disadvantage and driving economic growth” we believe that the PfG would be the most appropriate mechanism to help deliver the SDGs in Northern Ireland.

We will be launching our Key Ask at an event on 21 May 2020 - more details to follow.

If you want to find out more about how you can get involved in the Sustainable Development Goals working group and sign up to the Ask, please get in touch with [email protected].


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