So after so many years of careful building blocks put in since Brazil suggested that there should be a new Summit on Sustainable Development in 2012. Without the work done to re-establish sustainable development as the central development paradigm at Rio+20 then the Sustainable Development Goals would not have been infront of member states in 2015.
As history is written the role of Rio+20 will take its rightful place as the catalyst for the SDGs. Initial opposition from the development agency and NGOs slowly they started to understand that there is no development without it being sustainable.
This week has been an amazing opportunity not only to celebrate those 7 years of very hard work by people all over the world but also an opportunity to now pivot to what will be the focus on implementation. Former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld said:
“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road.”
I cannot think of any UN Summit where the views if stakeholder, governments and intergovernmental were all inline. Of course there are targets that could have been better but those that took the chance to participate had the opportunity to have their voice heard.
There were a few voices against what had been achieved Bjorn Lomborg I’ve commented on in previous blogs Lord (Mark) Malloch-Brown the architect of the MDGs which were imposed on the world rather than from a bottom up process said the SDGs are ‘higgledy-piggledy”. Perhaps that is because the world is higgledy-piggledy – what was achieved was an amazing consensus on the challenges and the work that needed to be done
Rachel Kyte the new head of SE4All she said now we need to be “Rolling up our sleeves…we have work to do.” And that is what needs to happen its about outing in to place the tools for implementation and getting on with it.
It has been an amazing weekend hearing not only what member states are planning to do and what intergovernmental organizations are doing but also what stakeholders are doing to realign their policies and practices to help to deliver the SDGs.
In this moment we should celebrate what has been achieved and the people who have contributed to that.