A note by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan on the first anniversary of the signing of Sustainable Development Goals 2030 at the United Nations General Assembly:
25th September 2016 will see the mark of the 1st anniversary of 193 countries signing the “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” with the principle ‘Leave No One Behind’. Framed within the UN human rights and development paradigms, the 17 goals and 169 targets cover important strategies and action for promoting the 5Ps – people, peace, prosperity, partnerships and planet. When compared to the Millennium Development Goals that ended in 2015, the SDGs were the result of a large participatory and consultative process and member state negotiated manner giving due importance to human rights and environmental issues. To mark the first year anniversary, a number of high-level events and side events are taking place from 19 to 23 September in the United Nation at New York.
At the national level, the government has recognized the NITI Aayog as the nodal agency. The NITI Aayog has identified concerned ministries and core central schemes for being nodal and supportive to the 17 goals and targets under the 2030 agenda. The State governments along with NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation hold key roles in implementation of the SDGs. The final national indicators for the Goals and targets and the high level parliamentary mechanism are yet to be in place. The State governments are formulating state plans based on the SDGs. Research and Information System for Developing Countries, a think tank for Ministry of External Affairs, is spearheading a programme of consultations among lawmakers, policymakers, academia, private sector and the civil society in India on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure maximum awareness and participation at an early date towards drawing up a roadmap for the implementation of relevant targets in India as enshrined in this agenda. RIS is also collaborating with key international think tanks and organisations in India on specific issues related to the SDGs to strengthen knowledge partnerships.
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, a network consisting of over 4000 civil society organisations across the country in 22 states actively engaged in the SDG process from 2012. WNTA is organizing state level civil society consultations on Agenda 2030 to popularize the SDGs and to build an Inclusive multistakeholders platform to engage and monitor the SDGs. WNTA with its members plans to organize a national multistakeholders consultation for SDGs : Agenda 2030 on 8th & 9th November 2016 to engage, implement and to draft a inclusive accountability framework for monitoring the progress of the Agenda 2030. The Civil society envisages monitor the SDGs: Agenda 2030 by periodic shadow reporting and advocacy.
Concerned about the growing economic inequalities, WNTA members have been active in popularizing and building awareness on various SDG goals and targets. Organisations and networks have developed awareness materials and held consultations on SDG from the perspective of Dalits, Women, Children, and thematic issues – water and sanitation, urban development, peace and conflict, poverty and inequalities, education, health, environmental issues to name a few.
WNTA is concerned that the SDG does not refer to caste based discrimination as a basis for promoting poverty, violence and other development disadvantages. As larger populations in the country are particularly affected through caste based discrimination, we are hopeful that the national indicators will include it.
Internationally, many countries have taken up the Sustainable Development Goals as a part of their planning and development programmes, with many countries including China, South Korea and Philippines from Asia voluntarily agreed to be reviewed in HLPF 2016 held in New York in September. With list of SDG based events forthcoming, India needs to show more commitment towards the SDG process and effective and inclusive implementation as well as review and follow up. There is a need for systematic planning for engaging with various stakeholders like CSO, Private sector and others for inclusive and participatory implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets.
With IAEG-SDG meeting for final setting of the global indicators in October 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, there is a need for strong intervention for addressing of the developmental planning and developing of monitoring tools for the SDGs implementation and review. There is a need for the accountable, transparent and participatory approach towards the decision making, implementation and follow up of the SDG process in India. As a strong economic power, India needs to be more pro active in addressing the issue as well as being a model for Sustainable and participatory planning, implementation and follow up and review of SDG process.
We are encouraged by India voluntarily agreeing to be reviewed in 2017 and taking a lead role. The world recognizes that SDG achievement in India will influence global SDG achievement.
Recommendations/demands by the Civil Society
- India will take a lead role in maintaining the inter-relatedness and integrity of the SDG framework as a whole and advocate for global review on all indicators and not only select indicators.
- India will hold SDG as important framework in the engagement with BRICS, SAARC and G20.
- That the country level indicators recognize caste identity of Scheduled caste and other backward communities as a basis for discrimination and development disadvantages.
- Constitute a parliamentary body on SDGs to provide direction, oversight and monitoring on the implementation of the SDGs.
- The SDG monitoring will evolve the mechanism to track indicators disaggregated along social, gender, ability and economic locations.
- Mechanisms for collaboration and partnership between civil society and state for implementation and monitoring SDGs will be evolved at the national, state and sub state levels.
- An annual report on the implementation and progress on all the SDGs and the relevant interlinkages will be submitted to the parliament every year.