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Minister Denis Naughten launches the Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan

Minister Denis Naughten launches the Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan


 Thursday 26 April 2018


 On Thursday 26 April at the Institute for International and European Affairs, Denis Naughten, T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD, launched Ireland's Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018 – 2020. Minister Naughten has lead responsibility for promoting and overseeing the coherent implementation of the SDGs on a whole-of-Government basis.


The National Implementation Plan demonstrates Ireland's ongoing commitment to the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provides for a whole-of-government approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Plan sets out an ambitious vision for how Ireland will fully achieve the SDGs at home by 2030 and support their implementation around the world, particularly through the work of our development cooperation programme, Irish Aid.



The Plan focuses on four strategic priorities, which can be summarised as follows:


•             Raising awareness of the SDG among the general public

•             Providing stakeholders with opportunities to engage with and contribute to national implementation of the SDGs

•             Supporting communities and organisations to make their own contributions toward achieving the SDGs

•             Supporting alignment of national policies with the SDGs



To support these strategic priorities, the Plan includes 19 actions to be completed in the period 2018-2020.



Today's launch marks an important milestone in Ireland's response to the SDGs, and Minister Naughten will follow-up on this by presenting Ireland's first SDG national progress report [referred to as Voluntary National Review] to the United Nations in July this year.



Minister Naughten stated: "the National Implementation Plan is the framework for how Government will put all 17 SDGs into action. My view is that the most exciting thing about the SDGs it that it forces Government and the public service to think differently.  The SDGs are the responsibility of all of us. The 'it's not my job' culture won't work if we are to achieve our objectives. We must bring the public and key players such as NGOs, with us if we are to deliver the SDGs. We are now at a very exciting point in the development of our country as a big community rather than a big economy."




Note to Editors




Copy of the SDG National Implementation Plan 2018 – 2020

Q& A for Press Office Staff and Officials on SDG National Implementation Plan 2018 - 2020


What are the SDGs?


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 "Global Goals" adopted by UN Member States in September 2015. Progress on the implementation of these Goals will be measured by 169 targets.  The SDGs address the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development and cover a broad range of issues like poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality and social justice.


The SDGs are officially known as "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". The Goals were developed to follow the Millennium Development Goals which ended in 2015.


The Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has lead responsibility for promoting and overseeing the coherent implementation of the SDGs on a whole-of-Government basis.


The Minister will also present Ireland's first Voluntary National Review (SDG Progress Report) to the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2018.



SDG National Implementation Plan – 19 Actions


Ireland's first SDG National Implementation Plan includes 19 Actions which the Government commit to implement over the duration of this first Plan or proceed with from now until 2030. Some key Actions Ireland has committed to undertake include:


•             Reporting on progress either at a national or international level seven times between now and 2030.

•             Establish a SDG Stakeholder Forum.

•             Provide speaking time to a stakeholder representation during Ireland's Voluntary National Review presentation at the HLPF 2018.

•             Prepare a new Sustainable Development Strategy, building on Our Sustainable Future and taking Ireland's SDG commitments directly into account.

•             Reference the SDG targets in Government Departments' Statements of Strategy and also provide information on progress in implementing those targets in Annual Reports.

•             'SDG Champions' – select a number of national organisations to raise awareness of the SDGs, drawing on their own experiences to demonstrate the relevance of the SDGs to daily life.




Ireland's Voluntary National Review (VNR)


The ministerial segment of the 2018 HLPF will take place on 16-18 July 2018 in New York. Minister Naughten is scheduled to attend as Ireland's representative and Head of Delegation, and present Ireland's VNR. The VNR is currently under preparation by DCCAE, with contributions and engagement with all Government Departments through the SDG Interdepartmental Working Group and Senior Officials' Group arrangements.


Stakeholder engagement, involving NGOs, civil society, the private sector, academia, and other groups, is extremely important as Ireland prepares its 2018 VNR, and throughout the SDG implementation period to 2030. Under this Plan, there is a commitment to ensure stakeholder representatives will be included in the Irish delegation for the HLPF and a stakeholder representative will also be provided speaking time during Ireland's VNR presentation.


Ireland's whole-of-Government response to the SDGs


While the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has lead responsibility for promoting and overseeing the implementation of  the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a whole-of-Government basis, and for the establishment of a robust SDG implementation and reporting framework, all Ministers retain responsibility for implementing those elements of the SDGs relating to issues under their areas of responsibility. This is in line with the whole-of-Government approach Ireland is adopting to implement the SDGs and will ensure that individual Departments take ownership of those SDGs most relevant to their work. It will also mean that the public knows which Minister and Department are responsible for each element of the Goals.



More information


Further details on the SDGs National Implementation Plan and on the HLPF arrangements and UN processes can be found at the following websites:

Press Release Documents