kiteboardThis week marks the two-year anniversary of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of transformative action for prosperity of the planet and its people. Two years on and amid the political upheavals, tightening budgets and natural disasters, achieving the SDGs remains a challenge as important as ever. To ensure a sustainable European future, it is therefore all the more vital that the EU demonstrates a concrete plan for meeting the goals, not as an ambitious peripheral objective but as objectives that make the very fabric of our aims to transform society and social action.

The goal of no poverty, good health and wellbeing, reducing inequalities and quality education have direct links with the work of our network; providing support to the most vulnerable and fighting for social justice. However, many more of the SDGs remain relevant to the work of Eurodiaconia and its members. The effects of climate change have direct effects on global nutrition and health. The ramifications of rapid urbanization puts pressure on access to vital services. The efficient management of our shared natural resources, including of waste, directly relates to our ability to produce and consume goods and resources, and therefore to ensure these resources reach the most vulnerable in our societies.

There is a disappointing lack of any new or concrete details about an EU-wide implementation plan for the SDGs, and we therefore need to see ambitious and concrete policies from the EU that address the SDGs head on, with specific implementation mechanisms and sufficient resources to ensure their effective execution. We need to ask how the latest technology and innovation can be harnessed to limit food waste and prevent disasters. We need to reflect on what policies could respond to migration trends and food insecurity that give equal access to vital services whilst minimizing the humanitarian and environmental impacts. In the face of rapidly increasing urbanization, we must consider how cities can become more efficient, adaptable and environmentally friendly – smarter communities that provide for all their citizens.

Members of our Eurodiaconia network, whether consciously or not, engage with the SDGs on a daily basis; striving for a world where equality, social justice, health and environmental protection, and equal access to education become reality. It is of extreme importance therefore that the remainder of the 2030 agenda engages directly with civil society, to facilitate how the SDGs are implemented and monitored in practice as well as in policy. The changes and progress we see are often brought about because a small group of determined people harnessed a dream, a hope, and made it a reality. We are proud of our network for their determination and commitment to a world where these objectives are brought to life.

Have a nice weekend,