On 24 and 25 September, world leaders met at the SDG Summit at the UN General Assembly to discuss strategies for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The UN General Assembly launched a political declaration, which in its title commits the international community to a “decade of action for delivery on the SDGs (2020-2030)”.

With this declaration, the Heads of State, Governments and High Representatives, who were present at the Summit committed to push for more intense and accelerated action on the SDGs. 

At least on paper. 

What do we at WILPF think about the Summit? And its commitments?

New analysis out

Today we are releasing our analysis of the SDG Summit and its outcome. We spent the last weeks analysing the political declaration and holding it up against what world leaders committed to during the summit. We question how successful a “decade of action” will be, given the lack of commitment to genuine structural change to overturn the systems of power in our world.

At WILPF, we believe that the SDGs are our hope for a livable future, but over the past four years, we have continued to see siloed policies that entrench the power and privilege of the 1%. Each year at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, governments rationalise narrow and short-term development projects, lament inefficiencies, and turn to the private sector for technical and financial solutions. 

They might think they are putting “people and planet at the center”, but at WILPF we know that the international community is failing to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. 

What needs to happen

WILPF believes that inefficiency of current SDG implementation is not the main barrier to achieving the SDGs. Our current economic and political systems do not need an upgrade: they need to be totally redesigned. We cannot keep systems that actively undermine peace, gender equality, and sustainable development. If world leaders want to achieve them, they must listen to the demands of civil society for development justice, climate action, and a commitment to peace.

Read WILPF’s analysis of the SDG Summit!

Read the chapter on SDG 16 written by Abigail Ruane, WILPF Women, Peace and Security Director, in the global civil society report, Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2019: Reshaping Governance for Sustainability.