In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly created the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the 17 goals and 169 targets seek to develop five areas of critical importance for humans and the planet: people, the planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. The Agenda was built on the Millennium Development Goals and hopes to achieve what the Millennium goals did not. The goal is that, by 2030, the world will have realized the Agenda and will have created the conditions for sustainable development.
The Sustainable Development Goals are by essence interconnected and integrated, these aspects are critical to the ensured realization of the 2030 Agenda’s objectives. Accomplishing all the 17 interlinked goals established by the Agenda will extensively enhance and better the lives of many as well as ameliorate the world we live in.
The objective of the International Institute for Rights and Development, Geneva (IRDG) is to build on the interlinkages of the goals, working within two main sectors of the SDGs: physical development parameters and socio-economic/political parameters. Working within physical parameters, the IRDG hopes to use these as a tool to enhance and support the socio-economic/political parameters. In this sense, IRDG intends to politically support peace and strong institutions and improve governance. Working with the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, combined with Health and Climate Change, IRDG hopes to address physical aspects of development while helping further the socio-economic and political goals. The IRDG hopes that this approach will allow a move away from conceptual ideas toward implementation of attainable solutions and completion of the SDGs. IRDG seeks to promote sustainable development and human rights in specific areas around the world.
IRD-G will concentrate on discussing the roles and responsibilities that different stakeholders should take in achieving these goals – in particular, how to best implement this universal framework at the local level. It will focus on enhancing and facilitating the participation of all sectors of society, including civil society organisations (CSOs), the private sector and the general public at the local level. Localisation is defined as “the process of defining, implementing and monitoring strategies at the local level for achieving global, national and subnational sustainable development targets. Thus, IRDG will focus on various concrete mechanisms, tools, innovations, platforms and processes to effectively translate the development agenda into fruitful outcomes at the local level”. It will get involved in the local implementation of the new set of goals and the monitoring of progress at the sub-national level.
The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals differ from the Millennium Development Goals, partly because the SDGs put responsibility on individual countries to implement the new and expanded set of developmental goals. This is an important reason why IRDG wants to become engaged, because some countries do not have the necessary knowledge and resources to implement and achieve these goals. IRDG’s approach is to work with governments, NGOs, and academia in order to increase their capacity to achieve the SDGs. IRDG plans to use capacity building, education, and knowledge dissemination to improve the capacity of other entities. Improved capacity leads to better understanding and implementation within policy and strategy programs.