In July 2019, the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) – the successor to the Commission on Sustainable Development – convened in New York to review global progress on the last set of SDGs and to allow countries to present Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).To inform the Forum, two official SDG progress reports (the UN’s official Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019 and the Secretary General’s report) as well as numerous civil society reports (such as the SDG Index Report 2019) shed light on the progress the world is making, and they show that the global response to the 2030 Agenda has not been ambitious enough.One outcome is the essay volume titled, ‘ The SDG Update compiles the news, commentary and upcoming events that are published on the SDG Knowledge Hub each day, delivering information on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to your inbox.
This article presents two arguments why foreign policy could play an important role in their achievement.
This year marks the end of the first four-year cycle of 2030 Agenda implementation.
The benefits are mutual: for the SDGs to succeed, integrated action is key, and integrated action across thematic silos is just where foreign policy can provide valuable support.
As world leaders head to New York for the SDG Summit in September 2019, they have a chance to renew their commitment to the SDGs and revive the spirit of 2015.
The SDGs and foreign policy share the same objectives: peace, prosperity and stability.
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For the SDGs to succeed, integrated action is key, and integrated action across thematic silos is just where foreign policy can provide valuable support.
Governments need to implement more radical and ambitious solutions.
To that end, foreign policy is urgently needed: foreign policy actors play a key role in taking leadership, in increasing political will at a global scale, and in steering international action to implement the Goals.
They can strengthen and shape the level of international cooperation that is needed to address global structures, through fora such as the UN, G20, G7 and EU.
Just as importantly, they can help build relationships and enable cooperation on the ground.