Why Global Citizens Should Care
The Sustainable Development Goals are targets for United Nation member states to achieve. They include topics like gender equality, quality education, and universal health coverage. Global Citizen campaigns on all 17 goals. Australia currently ranks 37th in the Global SDG Index Rank, behind New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and the United Kindom . You can take action here.

United Nation member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015. Despite becoming a signatory four years ago, Australia has long wrestled with the question of how to best implement the SDGs to achieve the 2030 agenda successfully.

Now, Australia could see a clear national implementation plan on the horizon.

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A new report, released by Australia’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, has put forward 18 recommendations for the nation to implement — including establishing a national SDG secretariat and regular reports of Australia's performance against the goals.

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the Australian Council of Social Services, and United Nations Association Australia released a joint statement Wednesday applauding the report.

"The SDGs provide a framework for collective action to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and sustainable growth,” the statement reads. “We congratulate the Committee for a thorough and well-considered report and support the Committee’s recommendations which provide a clear pathway to implementing the SDGs.”

ACFID CEO Marc Purcell told Pro Bono News that in the three years since the SDGs were adopted, Australia has ultimately fared well — especially in the areas of health and good-quality education. This national implementation plan, however, would allow Australia to address various shortcomings.

“Governments do best when they plan and actually set out what they are going to do,” Purcell stated. “And, at this point, we don’t have that.”

Alice Ridge, International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) policy advisor, similarly commended the report.

“We remain committed to the potential of this agenda to drive joined up efforts towards transformative change in Australia and around the world,” Ridge told Pro Bono News. “We encourage Parliament to use the SDGs as a framework for change.”

Read More: What Australia Needs to Do to Achieve the Global Goals by 2030

The Senate inquiry report comes six months after Australia revealed how it is progressing in achieving the SDGs in an inaugural Voluntary National Review. The report has used the review as a benchmark of national progress and has taken into consideration public and NGO submissions, including from Global Citizen.

Various non-governmental organizations and the parliamentary committee will now aim to work alongside the government with the goal of implementing the report's recommendations.


Demand Equity

New Report Could Set 'Clear Pathway' for Australia to Implement the SDGs

By Madeleine Keck