The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton today (Thursday the 31st of January) called for interested parties to become Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Champions.
SDG Champions will be organisations or individuals who are leading by example in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. They will be examples of best practice and will inspire others to contribute in whatever way they can to Ireland's attainment of the Goals.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are an ambitious set of targets, covering the social, economic and environmental requirements for a sustainable future. They cover policy areas such as poverty eradication, economic development, protection of the environment, access to health and education services, gender equality, peaceful societies and human rights.
The government are committed to fully implementing the Goals by 2030. An Implementation Plan has been put in place and a Senior Officials Group (SOG) established, led by the Department of an Taoiseach to ensure this commitment is met.
Launching the call at the third meeting of the National SDG Stakeholder Forum today, the Minister said, "Achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be a challenge, but it is possible if everyone across society gets involved.
"Many organisations across Ireland are doing some fantastic work in the target areas and I'm keen to harness this good work to inspire others to contribute in whatever way they can.
"Today I'm inviting those interested in being Sustainable Development Goal Champions to come forward and apply for the opportunity to inspire others to contribute in the same way."
Following on from the Forum, the Minister visited the HQ of Foodcloud which works with retailers and charities to address the related problems of food waste and food poverty .
The call for expressions of interest for the role of SDG Champion will remain open until Friday 28th February 2019. It is envisaged that the Minister will select a limited number of organisations to act as Ireland's first SDG Champions for a period of 12 months beginning in June 2019.
Notes to Editor
What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
The United Nations 2030 Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity that also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. The SDGs are central to the Agenda and essentially provide the framework for achieving its ambitions. The SDGs cover policy areas such as poverty eradication, economic development, protection of the environment, access to health and education services, gender equality, peaceful societies and human rights. The global nature of the SDGs means that action is required both on a domestic level but also through external policies supporting implementation efforts on an international scale, in particular those States most in need to ensure 'no one is left behind'.
The Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020, published in April 2018, sets out a clear structure of responsibility across all the Government departments allocating ownership of SDG activity to both Departments and State Agencies. The establishment of an 'SDG Champions' programme is one of the 19 actions the Government committed to in this plan.
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has lead responsibility for promoting and overseeing the coherent implementation of the SDGs on a whole-of-Government basis, and for the establishment of a robust SDG implementation and reporting framework.
In June 2018, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment established a National SDG Stakeholder Forum. The establishment of the Forum fulfilled one of the committed actions under the Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020. To-days meeting of the 31st January is the third meeting of the Forum.
The Forum was established to bring together, those working on, or involved in promotion of the SDGs across Ireland and abroad. The Forum allows for a unique opportunity for policy makers, civil society, business and other interested parties to come together to share experiences and information on SDG related activities taking part at a national and international level. The Department of Foreign Affairs, through Irish Aid reports on the international aspects of the SDGs.
Photographs will be circulated later today.