Home > Feature > Call on Election Candidates to Back ODA and Sustainable Development

The local and European Elections are quickly approaching next week, and they offer a great opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable development to the candidates as they go door to door on the election trail. Read Eamonn’s blog below.

Irish civil society’s Coalition 2030, in which Misean Cara is very involved, has just developed an Election Manifesto for the local and European elections in order to guide supporters on what they can consider asking candidates in favour of a greener (low-carbon), fairer and healthier world for all people, everywhere.

In 2015, Ireland led the way in coordinating and shaping Agenda 2030 for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. Agreed by 193 countries, the SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. This transformative framework, applying to wealthy and low-income countries alike, includes the promise to Leave No One Behind and imperative to reach the furthest behind first.

While housing, homelessness and health are vital domestic issues at these elections, there are strong national and international dimensions to issues like wealth concentration, climate change, and the need to tackle extreme poverty, marginalisation and violent conflict. We also need global approaches to addressing our low-carbon future, inequality, violent conflict, financing sustainable development and taxing transnational corporations at a system level.

In broad terms, Coalition 2030 is asking candidates to:

  • Establish Ireland as a leader (at local, national and international levels) in implementing Agenda 2030 with urgency and ambition.
  • Deliver on the SDGs, whether through Local Area Plans, national policy responses, budget provisions, policy coherence, or EU/international affairs – while making special efforts to Leave No One Behind, and target resources to reach the furthest behind first.
  • Ensure strong monitoring and accountability for the SDGs, in relation to policy development, implementation, resourcing (reaching Ireland’s 0.7% ODA/GNI commitment, for example) and results – while ensuring public and political participation, and reporting within and across each of the 17 SDGs.

The SDGs and principles underlying them offer a framework for politicians to buy into that will help advance the intentions of 193 countries to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and sufficiency.

These elections, at a time of great transition locally, regionally and globally, give candidates the opportunity to consider and take a lead on policies that serve present and future generations fairly – and that give sustainable development (not just economic growth) the political weight it demands.

‘Use the Power of 4’

Ask your Local Government election candidates to:

  1. Take and stimulate local action for the SDGs: thinking and acting locally and globally
  2. Encourage adoption of the SDGs and Leaving No One Behind priority in Local Area Plans and Public Participation Networks
  3. Support fair and just SDG-centred budgeting
  4. Value the non-profit sector, engage with civil society organisations, protect their future (civil society space, resources, autonomy) and give them a seat at the table, with access to decision-making

Ask your European Parliament election candidates to:

  1. Make sustainable development, not economic growth, the political priority for your party and European Parliament group – and closely monitor progress on the SDGs, including the quantity and quality of Financing for Development
  2. Ensure that Agenda 2030 and Leaving No One Behind priority guides all actions of the EU as a whole (not just member states), and that the EU safeguards a budget for achievement of the SDGs by 2030
  3. Deliver Policy Coherence for Development (so the EU and its nation states are not ‘giving with one hand and taking with the other’)
  4. Value the non-profit sector, engage with Civil Society Organisations, protect their future (civil society space, resources, autonomy) and give them a seat at the table, with access to decision-making