Position Paper of the Non-Governmental Organizations Major Group High Level Political Forum 2018


For the 2030 Agenda to be truly transformative, urgent action is required to reorient and restructure global systems towards equity and justice. This includes the meaningful and active participation of stakeholders at all stages of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, the NGO Major Group calls for a new development paradigm that prioritizes the flourishing of humans, nature, and animals. Our proposals specific to the SDGs under consideration at the 2018 High Level Political Forum follow below.

Recognizing the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene in ensuring human rights, gender equality, and peace, we call for a rights-based approach to SDG6 that prevents the commodification and privatization of water sources and that ensures transparent, accountable, and fair distribution of services; increases domestic resources and aid for water, sanitation, and hygiene services to ensure equitable and affordable access; protects environmental ecosystems that secure water systems; and strengthens community-based water resource management.

To achieve SDG7 and ensure sustainable energy for all, we call for inclusive, multi-stakeholder collaborations in designing and delivering sustainable energy solutions that protect the environment, cultural heritage, and human rights. This includes upscaling investment in renewable energy, through innovative approaches to reach energy-poor communities through end-user-oriented energy services that are truly affordable, reliable, safe, and sustainable.

Recognizing the right of humanity to safe, decent, culturally adequate, and resilient living environments, we call for the implementation of SDG11 through inclusive approaches that bring together local, national, and international actors, including women and marginalized groups, in urban planning, expansion of technologies, and disaster risk management. Age-, gender-, and disability-sensitive and participatory budgeting and planning are key in urban planning and integrated territorial governance.

We call for increased political will and action to achieve SDG12, particularly through regulation of corporate activity and waste, consumer education, and environmental stewardship. Governments have a fundamental role in regulating the private sector and ensuring all-of-society action towards changing consumption and production patterns, moving from an excessive focus on profit and growth to a planetand people-centered economy.

In the context of the ongoing degradation of our planet’s ecosystem, we call for the involvement of civil society, indigenous peoples, women, and local communities in coordinated action to achieve SDG15, in line with biodiversity-related intergovernmental frameworks and targets. States must implement policies and effective enforcement systems to hold extractive and polluting industries accountable, prevent further deterioration, conserve and protect biodiversity, and work towards restoration of past damages.

The “means of implementation” of the 2030 Agenda, encapsulated in SDG17, must ensure the policy space required for governments to enact regulation, enforcement, and fiscal measures to advance their democratically-owned and rights-based development agendas. We demand the overdue introduction of a financial transactions tax and the establishment of an intergovernmental tax body for international tax cooperation at UN level. Trade must be organized along principles that support policy space and the rightsbased implementation of the SDGs, and the global North must provide at least 0.7 percent of GDP in ODA, particularly for least developed countries.

Noting the “interlinked and indivisible” nature of the 2030 Agenda, we call for a holistic, coherent, multisectoral, and multi-stakeholder approach to SDG implementation. Partnerships between governments, intergovernmental institutions, research and academic institutions, and civil society are critical to gaining the comprehensive perspectives, expertise and resources necessary to fully implement the 2030 Agenda, as well asto ensure monitoring, review and accountability. Crosscutting issues must be addressed through a collaborative approach, to enable our collective success in furthering the well-being of humans, nature, and animals and ensuring transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies for all.