Walking the talk: transfromative pathways for achieving the SDGs

On 17th October IIMA attended the event organized by UNRISD, the United
Nations Research Institute for Social Development, called “Walking the Talk: Transformative Pathways
for Achieving the SDGs.

The conference focused on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global commitment to “transforming
our world” and “eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere”.

The panelists discussed about the progress that has been achieved until
now. They underlined also the need to address the causes of the inequitable outcome,
creating specific innovation policies and new practice that would lead to social,
economic and ecological justice.

Mr. Paul Ladd, UNRISD director, together with the other panelists, talked
about the UNRISD 2016 Flagship Report. This document gives to government and
society a new definition of transformation that
could be a standard for creating policies for the 2030 Agenda, respecting the
imperative of “leave no one behind”.

The 2030 Agenda address his attention to the global
challenges of today: poverty and hunger; climate change; health epidemics;
migration, flight and displacement; unsustainable growth and economic crises;
inequality; social exclusion; lack of decent work and social protection;
political instability as well as insecurity and violent conflicts.   

The team of researchers of UNRISD has put together five years of research across six areas
–social policy, care policy, social and solidarity economy, eco-social policy,
domestic resources mobilization and politics and governance – showing how these
policy fields could have impacts for the success of the 2030 Agenda.

These six starting points are the basis to create reforms and
governmental policies that will need to attain the seventeen SDGs. These points
must be translated into local, national and international levels.

They gave also six guidelines to evaluate the “action toward
transformative change”: the first emphasizes the need to receive more
investments in research on innovative ways; the second shows the importance of using
an eco-social lens to design measures to combat climate change, while the third
should design institutional frameworks in relation to the principles of
universalism, human rights and social justice. Moreover, the fourth point
refers to the necessity to promote political participation and empowerment through
inclusive and transparent political processes; the fifth argument underscores
the need to reverse the existing normative hierarchy to position social and
environment priorities above economic ones. Finally, the last point addresses
the importance to re-embed markets in social and ecological norms, respecting all
the planetary boundaries.

The conclusions of the panel stressed the need of involvement of multiple
actors who “walk their talk” in terms of commitment and of translating their
vision into visible and measurable changes. This requires the monitoring,
evaluation and implementation of actions taken by the policy makers at all
levels; redressing power asymmetries and inequalities; altering the existing international
power relations; empowering vulnerable groups and promoting their political
participation; and, finally, reversing the norms and values that subdue social
and environmental goals to the economic objectives.