SDG Charter: We are ready
Historic opportunity to contribute as nation to universal Sustainable Development Goals
For the first time in history, the world’s nations will adopt a universal and comprehensive agenda for sustainable development with goals to be realized. At the 70th United Nations General Assembly on September 25-27 the post-2015 development agenda, including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, is slated to be adopted. The SDGs are successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will provide an ambitious and scalable universal Agenda. Each nation is encouraged to develop as soon as practicable ambitious national responses to the overall implementation of the SDGs.
We are ready
We, 125 signatories from business and civil society of the SDG Charter NL, are ready. In the past year we have been preparing ourselves to start working on making the SDGs reality. In September 2014, we signed a Charter on the role of business, civil society and cross-sector partnerships in the post-2015 development agenda. Over the past year we have consulted our signatories individually and collectively during three meetings. As Charter, we will develop two main activities. First, we will shape the role that society (business and civil society) in the Netherlands can play in a National SDG Agenda. Second, together with the Major Alliance, we enable the creation of SDG Solution Partnerships. Such partnerships offer solutions to national and international challenges that need to be solved to realize the SDGs and where the Netherlands can offer unique competences. We are an inclusive movement and are welcoming new signatories every week. We have just been waiting for the goals to be adopted and can hit the ground running.
The post-2015 development agenda is a historic opportunity to realize a prosperous and inclusive world for ourselves and future generations. An agenda as such will not change a single life. Therefore, we concur with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that, although the SDGs are a commitment by States, it is a “We the Peoples” Agenda. Without the contributions from businesses, financial institutions, NGOs, union, knowledge institutes, philanthropists and citizens the Agenda will fail. However, if governments, businesses and civil society members across the world join efforts, we can realize the SDGs. There is a lot organizations can do themselves and, at the same time, many challenges require partnerships.
This interdependency can lead to inaction if each of us waits for the other to start acting. It can also lead to joint action if sufficient organizations are willing to lead and actively seek out partners. Hence, as organizations in business and civil society in the Netherlands, we decided not to wait but to start organizing ourselves. We believe a national initiative to coordinate our efforts and partnerships around SDGs is crucial to provide the enabling environment for joint action. It is valuable to have a dialogue with the government on shaping a national agenda once the goals have been adopted. In the meantime, we already lay out what we, as business as civil society, can contribute.
What we can contribute
As Charter signatories we can mainly contribute to the realization of the SDGs through providing innovative solutions based on knowledge and technology. We believe this may well be representative for the Dutch business and civil society sectors in general.
Expertise about sustainable development
We provide unique expertise in many domains of sustainable development: Human rights (Afrika Studie Centrum, Cordaid, Global Compact, Hivos, ICCO, Justlaw, Oxfam), Human and sustainable cities (AkzoNobel, Alliander, Arcadis, OVG Real Estate, Search BV, Walas Concepts), Sustainability and integrated reporting (GRI, EY), Impact measurement and valuation (Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), GRI, NWO-WOTRO, True Price, Vrije Universiteit), Natural Capital (Commonlands, Earth Charter, EUR, EY, IUCN NL, Natuur & Milieu, True Price), Responsible business (EY, Fair and sustainable, Global Compact, MVO Nederland), Inclusive jobs and labor rights (CNV Internationaal, Manpower, SBI Training & Consultancy), Forced labor (CNV Internationaal, Tony’s Chocoloneley), Children rights (Save the Children, UNICEF, World Vision), Women’s rights (Rutgers WPF) Certification (IDH, UTZ Certified), Circular economy (Desso, D