Strategic Sustainability Consultants Submits Recommendations to Senate on Global Goals
Updated: Nov 4, 2018
Canberra-based Strategic Sustainability Consultants has put forward a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s Inquiry into Australia’s involvement in the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
The Global Goals were agreed upon by all 193 United Nations member states at the 70th United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The Hon Julie Bishop MP was present to voice Australia’s commitment to the 17 goals and their 169 targets.
Little progress has been made politically towards the achievement of the goals despite efforts by Strategic Sustainability Consultants CEO, Caterina Sullivan, in her role as CEO of Global Goals Australia.
“We were excited to work with the three major parties during the 2016 federal election to design three commitments to the Global Goals; however, there seems to be little action going forward. While it is standard practice for the government to move slow on the uptake of an agenda as intricate as the 2030 Agenda, the goals require a business-as-unusual approach in order to see their achievement by the stated deadline. The normal speed of government is not going to cut it,” Ms Sullivan stated.
The Senate referred the matter to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on December 4, 2017 for reporting on November 29, 2018.
“I have been working on the goals for almost three years now, and I am thrilled to see this matter being referred to the Committee for inquiry. However, I am concerned that this was not undertaken two and a half years ago at the signing of the 2030 Agenda in New York. We are now already two years into the 15-year agenda and, by the reporting date, will be one-fifth through the timeline we have to achieve the goals, only allowing us 12 years to achieve the world’s most ambitious development agenda to date,” Ms Sullivan wrote in the covering letter of the report.
Ms Sullivan continued, explaining “Had our commitment to these goals been taken seriously from the date of signing, we would be well under way to achieving economic, social and environmental sustainable development in Australia and in the countries to which we provide Official Development Assistance (ODA). We would have a plan in place, supported by policies and programs with appropriate metrics and targets. Now, we must work harder to ensure we honour the commitment we made to the other 192 member states.”
The submission included 29 recommendations to the committee with reference to other member states who are making significant inroads to the achievement of the Global Goals.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, has described the 2030 agenda as comprehensive, progressive and innovative. “Australia is committed to promoting sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, and working with others to build a true global partnership to deliver the 2030 Agenda,” Ms Bishop has stated.
The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade will conduct a series of public hearings before finalising their report later this year.