Declaration on the sustainable development goals

Meeting of the SI Council at the United Nations, New York, 6-7 July 2015

The Council of the Socialist International, meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, reflected  on  the  progress  made  towards  the  Millennium  Development  Goals  and  the  post-­2015 development agenda. This process will be centred around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as proposed by the Open Working Group that emerged from the Rio+20 outcome document.

The Socialist International has consistently argued that to achieve the aim of full development and opportunity for all, while at the same time protecting the future of the planet, a paradigm shift to a wholly sustainable pattern of development is needed. As such, the SDGs are in line with the values of the global social democratic movement, and the SI and its member parties must be at the forefront of a global drive to achieve these goals over the next fifteen years. The development agenda of our movement has three pillars – the economic, the social and the environmental, which must be given equal priority in order to deliver genuine development.

The goal of ending poverty has long been a focus of the work of the Socialist International and in many  countries  of  the  world  its  member  parties  in  government  have  been  instrumental  in  anti-­‐ poverty programmes. The continued existence of extreme poverty is  shameful  and  its  eradication  must be an absolute development priority. Poverty and underdevelopment are also among the root causes of conflict in the world.

Development and security are therefore closely related, and food, water and energy security need to be achieved within a sustainable framework, for which in many cases investments in infrastructure will be required. The challenge of building up this infrastructure where it is lacking calls for an innovative approach, harnessing technological advances to deliver sustainable industrialisation for developing countries.

The Socialist International has consistently placed equality at the heart of its agenda and it is therefore gratifying to see this vital question among the SDGs. Gender equality is key, as true development will only be achieved with the full participation of both genders at all levels of society, without discrimination. Ending violence against women, giving equal access to education and eliminating poverty are crucial to achieve women's empowerment. The reduction of inequality within and among countries is not only a fundamental progressive value but an absolute priority if the SDGs are to be achieved.

Sustainability is fundamentally about how we ensure the long-­‐term future of the planet, and for this to be achieved, changes need to be made in patterns of consumption and production. Eliminating overconsumption and waste make both economic and environmental sense. Less consumption will equally relieve pressure on terrestrial ecosystems. The atmosphere in which future development will take place will be in many ways defined by the scope and ambition of the global commitment to combat climate change, which ranks as among the most pressing challenges facing humanity.

The Council recognises the importance of 2015 in terms of development. The ability to implement the  post-­‐2015  agenda  is  very  much  dependent  on  access  to  finance,  and  with  this  in  mind  the success of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development is paramount, with the amount  estimated  to  achieve  the  SDGs  by  2030  in  key  sectors  estimated  at  $3.3-­‐4.5  trillion.  A successful pledging conference can have huge positive ramifications for the UN Summit to adopt the

post-­‐2015 development agenda in September and COP21 in December, making this year a once in a generation opportunity to secure truly sustainable development.

The SI Council reiterates its full support for the SDGs and calls on all countries to adopt the new Post-­‐2015  Development  Agenda  at  the  UN  Sustainable  Development  Summit  in.  These  ambitious goals can be the cornerstone of the development agenda for the next 15 years, pointing the way to a more prosperous, more equal, more green future for the planet.





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