National reports

The cases below show some of the problems with partnerships for sustainable development. First, as implemented in Thailand, the SDGs are bounded by mindsets and practices of bureaucracy. Consequently, the goals are reduced to measures or mere numbers without recognition of the principle of development that must put human values and ecological concerns at the centre, so that many minority groups and ordinary people are overlooked (or invisible) and discriminated against. This stems from the second point: the imbalance of power in public-private partnerships. Our examples show that they are not initiated from below but from the centralized power of the corporate-government complex, strengthened by a curtailment of freedom of speech and continued neoliberal policies. This leads to our third point: lack of feedback. In order for implementation to be meaningful, a participation process should be organized regularly to ensure that diverse voices from below are taken seriously, especially those who are suffered or suppressed. In terms of an institutional framework, there must be effective mechanisms to monitor monopolizing conglomerates and practices that undermine health, environment and diverse local ways of life. Furthermore, local or indigenous forms of knowledge must be channeled into a broader public policy space; co-production of knowledge among various sectors (community, academic, expert, private company, entrepreneurial, etc.) and across many silos of knowledge should be supported in order to rebalance power relations and to enable local initiative and innovation to flourish. Above all, so-called ‘glocal’ networking is a crucial part in learning to accomplish the SDGs and to construct powerful partnerships.
In the first four months of 2017, severe floods isolated hundreds of Peruvian towns, leaving thousands of families homeless and destroying over 100 bridges (many of them already faulty), especially along the Northern coast: Tumbes, Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Huarmey. The waters have swept away bridges and roads. In the cities of Piura and Trujillo the main squares were flooded.
The 2017 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (10-19 July), scheduled to review progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), features Voluntary National Reviews from 44 countries, including Bangladesh. The reviews aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The selected seven goals to be reviewed in depth include SDG 17 on a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development. The other six are SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere; SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all, and promote sustainable agriculture; SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation; SDG 14: Conserve and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources. SDG 17: Strengthen and enhance the means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development will be considered in each yearly review.
This text is based on the executive summary of a larger report titled “Großbaustelle Nachhaltigkeit – Deutschland und die globale Nachhaltigkeitsagenda”, which will be released 5 September 2017 by CorA – Netzwerk für Unternehmensverantwortung, Deutscher Bundesjugendring, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, Deutscher Naturschutzring, Diakonie Deutschland, Forum Menschenrechte, Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst, Global Policy Forum, Netzwerk Steuergerechtigkeit, Plattform Zivile Konfliktbearbeitung and VENRO – Verband Entwicklungspolitik und Humanitäre Hilfe deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen with financial support from Engagement Global on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency).
One of the important issues in the transition of Eastern European countries from central planning to market economies was the lag behind the then so-called First World, especially behind the states of Western Europe. Unfortunately, even after 26 years, this lag persists. Attempts to develop civic structures and to integrate them into international networks have largely failed, though in this respect the Czech Republic has advanced further than most of the former Eastern Bloc. A sustainable development agenda might help to change the situation, if it were treated seriously by all participants. As for now, however, it remains unclear whether the interests of a decent standard of living and environmental protection will prevail over the interests of selfish profit.
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