Bold action needed on Sustainable Development Goals

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Oxfam Scotland has said politicians must ensure that no one is left behind in the bid to meet the goals

15th January 2020 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Politicians must be bold in ensuring that no-one is left behind in Scotland’s drive to be become a better place to live.

Oxfam Scotland has called on MSPs to be prioritise tackling inequality ahead of a Scottish Parliament debate on Scotland’s progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) tomorrow (Thursday 15 January).

With ten years until the 2030 deadline for the United Nations SDGs – which Scotland signed up to in 2015 – the Scottish Parliament will debate progress in meeting the goals: which cover issues as varied as poverty, climate change, nutrition, fair work and education.

Last year, Oxfam Scotland in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland and the SDG Scotland Network produced a report, entitled On Target for 2030?, which asked civil society organisations in Scotland to assess what progress Scotland is making in meeting the goals.

The report paints a mixed picture of how well we are doing in Scotland across the 17 targets. However, a cross-cutting theme was that too often the most vulnerable places and people in our society are being left behind.

Oxfam reported directly on Goal 10, Reduce inequality within and among countries, and highlighted that while economic inequality is extreme and growing at global level, Scotland is far from immune. Despite welcome policy attention and action on reducing poverty in Scotland, poverty levels have been rising and the gap between rich and poor is deepening.

On Target for 2030? was designed to supplement to reviews on progress from the UK and Scottish Governments. The UK government published its Voluntary National Review in June 2019, and the Scottish Government was expected to publish its Scottish Supplementary Review shortly after. However, the Scottish review is still yet to be published.

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “With ten years to go, Scotland must redouble its commitment to a world where nobody is left behind.

“The Sustainable Development Goals will only be successful if every country signed up to them puts in place the measures needed to drive forward change.

“Whilst there is clear policy focus in Scotland on reducing poverty, more needs to be done to achieve the 2030 vision and ensure no-one is let behind.

“We must therefore be bolder and seize the tax and spending powers at our disposal.

“The Scottish Government must also swiftly publish its own review of progress on the Goals to ensure its assessment is transparently captured and informs the critical next stage in our efforts to deliver this ambitious vision.”

16th January 2020 by Ruchir Shah

Loving the fact that progressing the SDGs is finally becoming newsworthy and topical in politics and media.