Sep 27, 2015

States must take financial ownership for implementing SDGs

As the UN General Assembly post-2015 Summit closes today, ACT Alliance calls on governments to take clear responsibility for financing the implementation of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The global humanitarian and development network said that to ensure synergy between global policy and national realities, governments must fund sustainable development and poverty eradication projects primarily through domestic resource mobilisation, such as building progressive and just tax systems, and realising the commitments to Official Development Assistance (ODA) that wealthy states have made to developing states.

ACT Alliance said that while private sector funding is also essential for the effective implementation of the SDGs, they should not be the primary source and will require safeguards to ensure that investments positively impact those living in poverty and do not exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities.

“While we celebrate the accomplishment of the SDGs as a political decision made by states, in order to move forward effectively, funding for the SDGs should come from states first and foremost,” said John Nduna, ACT Alliance General Secretary. “Private sector funds are an important and welcome contribution to global development, particularly in the areas of job creation and infrastructure development and maintenance; however, essential public services should never be the responsibility of business. This is a duty of the state. While all funds dedicated to social and economic sustainable development are welcome, governments must ensure that people, not profits, are at the heart of any funding scheme.”

“Poverty is a construct of human greed and the existing systems of power,” Nduna continued. “To effectively address the root-causes of poverty, we cannot sustain the current paradigm of an ultra-rich minority and an ultra-poor majority. Our hope in the ambitious SDG agenda is that governments will seek to address global inequalities, promote better governance and universally apply them – meaning that all countries will be held to the same standard, benefitting those in both absolute and relative poverty.”

ACT Alliance has been engaging with the United Nations and its member states on sustainable development policy dialogue since 2012, particularly focusing on issues of environmental sustainability and climate change, inequalities, peace and security and good governance which it sees as essential to eradicate the systems that create and maintain poverty.

The 17 SDGs are global goals that have been adopted by governments and now replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).