National reports

Due to the lasting impact of the international financial crisis and resulting increase in poverty and insecurity, and especially due to the Government’s extensive austerity policies, Italy faces challenges in many of the areas addressed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goal. Moreover, the political context is critical, the result of three changes of Government without elections, in which the executive power has taken decisive initiatives for reform in many fields, including constitutional reforms, resulting in a progressive worsening of the gap between the political action of the "palace" and the daily exercise of citizen democratic participation.
This report looks at the incorporation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into the national development plan-- Eleventh Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 –and asks whether Malaysia’s approach to the SDGs will demonstrate the same neoliberal biases, aims and agenda of all development plans since 2009. Will it belie the same fetishes for GDP or market/corporate stratagems instead of real socio-economic development plans? Does it package structural adjustment and austerity plans in the guise of ‘rationalizing’ and ‘integrating’ limited resources, funding and collaborative programmes? Will the imaginary crisis of a ‘middle-income trap’ continue to occupy the policy agenda, as opposed to the real crisis of the increasing income divide between the few who have and the many who have not?
Honduras has committed itself to implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. This commitment is essential to overcoming the pervasive violence that is destroying people’s lives. Women’s lives are particularly at risk, which means that achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls by 2030, as mandated by SDG 5, will be a major challenge. Women’s rights are continuing to suffer major setbacks with the increasing concentration of power in the Presidency of the Republic. Implementing the SDGs, however, requires political will and as resources are increasingly allocated to re-militarization, it is clear that human rights are not the priority. Only if social organizations, with the support of the international community, encourage compliance may the situation of the Honduran people improve.
The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprises a number of goals which concern the internal situation in Germany. Among these are goals which derive from the human rights obligations, such as in the areas of education, health and social security. Examples include reducing the proportion of poor people in Germany by half and increasing the proportion of young people who complete secondary education. Other goals address the external effects of German politics and economy. They demand domestic measures which also have immediate impacts for people in the countries of the South. These include goals for reducing resource use, for changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, but also for the relationship to migrants and refugees. Still other goals go to Germany’s international responsibility and solidarity. Besides the traditional development policy obligations the corresponding targets concern all areas of structural policies, particularly trade, investment and finance.
Canada’s newly-elected federal Liberal government has committed to working towards achieving the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda “both at home and abroad.” However, the government inherits a country that has been profoundly shaped by the conservative economic and social policies of the past decade. The new government will have to overcome the challenges posed by a much-diminished federal government, social and income inequality, and an economy based on growing wealth rather than wages in order to deliver on its commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
In September 2015, Belgium declared that the 2030 Agenda will give a new élan for Belgian global engagement, calling for human rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, decent work and the power of digitalization, concluding that Belgium was ready to implement the agenda. However, by referring mainly to international cooperation, it was not clear if Belgium accepted the challenge to also change its national policy in order to reach the 2030 Agenda. A national strategy framework is to be established by September 2016 involving all levels of government, under the auspices of the Inter-Ministerial Conference for Sustainable Development (IMCSD), which is best suited to ensure a coherent strategy among the three regions and the federal government. Nevertheless, midway into the first year of implementation, the policy actions needed remain distant. Belgium should have had a head start, since a 1997 law on the coordination of the federal policy on sustainable development authorizes the federal government to set out a plan that takes into account the long-term vision of sustainable development and international commitments taken to realize it. The SDGs are the result of a political negotiation and are not always as ambitious as needed. Yet the achievement of these goals would be a crucial step forward. It is important that Belgium meet the challenges of this universal 2030 Agenda through an integrated, overarching strategy.
In December 2015, the Swiss Federal Parliament approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a "new universal framework in efforts to promote human prosperity and sustainable economic development and protect the environment both at home and around the world". However, in October 2015, three weeks after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the Government austerity programme reduced the 2017-2019 budget for international cooperation by 540 million Swiss francs (CHF), following a reduction of over 115 million CHF in 2016. Thus, despite official commitments, Switzerland saves on the back of the poorest and moves ever further away from the agreed target (0.7% of GNI to ODA). Given the apparent lack of political will in allocating adequate resources for appropriate measures at home and abroad , this report analyses the extent to which Switzerland is institutionally and strategically prepared for effective planning and implementation of the2030 Agenda.
In South Korea, an institutional arrangements for sustainable development were established in 2000 in the form of the Presidential Commission on Sustainable Development (PCSD), following which the Framework Act on Sustainable Development was passed as a fundamental law in 2007 and came into force in 2008. From 2000 to 2008, the PCSD acted as a presidential advisory body, and the Government and National Assembly worked together on national strategies for sustainable development implementation. However, by 2010, the Framework Act on Sustainable Development had been revised and put under the Framework Act on Low Carbon and Green Growth, and the Committee on Sustainable Development (CSD) fell under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment. As a result, subsequent five-year sustainable development plans were concentrated on the area of the environment, no longer reflecting the general state of the nation.
The main challenge in implementing the 2030 Agenda in Finland will be integrating the principles and targets of sustainable development into all of the country’s domestic policies, including those policies related to developing countries. At the outset, it is especially important to pay attention to choosing suitable indicators and monitoring and following up on them. Coherence will not be possible without concrete targets and indicators by which to measure them. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved only in co-operation with all stakeholders including civil society, the private sector, scientific institutions and the media. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda is also broadly supported by Finnish civil society, which is currently in the process of building a systematic internal co-operation structure to create new kinds of partnerships in line with the universal spirit of the SDGs.
The fact that France has volunteered for National Reviews at the High Level Political Forum in July 2016 initiates the long road that will lead to the implementation of Agenda France 2030, both domestically and internationally. France must now get involved in implementing a just transition from an unsustainable economy to genuinely sustainable development that leaves no one behind. This involves shifts in investments, creating decent jobs, establishing social dialogue and maintaining social protection. A country should be considered as having achieved a just transition only if poverty is eradicated and sustainability achieved.
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