SDG Advocate Richard Curtis, and Project Everyone Co-Founder Kate Garvey, gave evidence to the International Development Select Committee on 11th June, ahead of the UK Government’s submission of its first Voluntary National Review on the Sustainable Development Goals to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July.
Richard and Kate started by describing the work of Project Everyone – with multiple partners including the UN – to raise awareness of the Global Goals, to increase accountability for delivering them, and to accelerate the action needed to achieve them.
SDG Advocate Richard Curtis and Project Everyone co-founder Kate Garvey give evidence to the UK Parliament’s International Development Selected Committee ahead of the UK’s first VNR
As a UN SDG Advocate, Richard described the essential nature of the next 18 months. This starts at the September 2019 UN High-Level week when Heads of State will examine progress towards the Goals for the first time since 2015 and make commitments to accelerating action on key issues identified by the forthcoming Global Sustainable Development Report. And the year 2020 marks the start of the crucial Decade of Delivery and Action – including the vital climate action required – where commitments that will be crucial to the future of people and planet need to be made by governments, cities and communities, the business and finance sector, and all people everywhere.
The pair discussed with the Committee the need for a successful UN General Assembly week 2019 which include summits on Climate and the SDGs, and high-level meetings on Financing, Health and Small Island States as well as the annual Heads of State debate. They explained that it was crucial that the next British Prime Minister – to be announced in July – attends the SDG Summit in September and takes the lead on Sustainable Development, building on the global leadership position already held by the UK.
Richard spoke of using the momentum of this year’s UNGA to launch a global campaign to run throughout 2020 – building on existing activism and campaigning on issues across the Global Goals especially the climate protests by young people, and in the traditions of the Make Poverty History, Jubilee Debt and White Band campaigns – to galvanise public, private sector, and political commitment to the Goals, both in the UK and globally. This will be the launchpad campaign for the crucial Decade of Delivery and Action.
Kate illustrated that domestic and international engagement with the Global Goals could be increased through the creation of an annual Global Goals Day, which would provide a focal point for campaign efforts worldwide.
Richard and Kate highlighted the opportunity for the UK to take leadership on climate action by hosting the UNFCCC’s COP 26 in 2020, and called on the Government to remember and renew its past leadership and commitment to the Sustainable Development Agenda.