Advocating for the Sustainable Development Goals

Around the world, efforts are underway to make the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality by 2030. Aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all, the goals need the involvement of everyone to be reached.

To help spread the word about the SDGs and with a mandate to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030, a group of 17 SDG Advocates was announced in January 2016.

One of the Advocates is Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who is also the co-chair of the group. During her recent visit to China, Prime Minister Solberg promoted the SDGs. On 10 April, the Prime Minister spoke at Peking University in Beijing, where she emphasized that the SDGs are the roadmap for achieving the future we want.

“The 17 SDGs are interlinked. This means that progress on one Goal will have positive effects on several other Goals,” the Prime Minister said during her speech. Prime Minister Solberg stressed the need for increased innovation and innovative partnerships as a way to manage globalization and achieve the SDGs, saying “innovation made globalisation possible. And innovation will help us manage globalisation in a good way.”

She also encouraged the students to hold political leaders, including herself, accountable to the pledges they made in adopting the SDGs in 2015 – namely, to achieve the 17 SDGs by 2030 and leave no one behind.

Prime Minister Solberg also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Among other topics, the two leaders discussed their efforts to combat climate change, and their work to achieve the SDGs.

During her visit to China, Prime Minister Solberg also met with her fellow SDG Advocate Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman. In a meeting on 9 April, they stressed the need for innovative private public partnerships to improve rural education, drive inclusive growth, eradicate poverty and stop climate change.

The Advocates emphasized the crucial role that business plays in sustainable development. They agreed that to achieve the SDGs by 2030, innovative job creation is needed to tackle poverty in a sustainable way.

On 11 April, a new member of the SDG Advocates group was also presented. Secretary-General António Guterres then announced that His Excellency Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, will serve as co-chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Advocates. He will be co-chair of the group along with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway until the end of 2018.

Photo credit: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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