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By Cynthia Woodside
On March 21, Bread for the World hosted more than 50 U.S.-based organizations working to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
It makes sense that the 2030 Agenda brings together a wide range of American organizations, since the Agenda itself was finalized only after three years of consultation with leaders and ordinary citizens all over the world. It reflects the core values of peoples everywhere and has been designed to lead to a United States and a world where all people, no matter the circumstances or location of their birth, have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives, free from poverty and hunger.
The March meeting was Bread’s second convening on the 2030 Agenda and follows up on a commitment that Bread President David Beckmann made during a meeting of stakeholders at the White House in early January. It brought organizations working to achieve the goals in the United States together with those focused on efforts to achieve the goals in the developing world. All of the participants are committed to the Agenda’s core promises to leave no one behind and to reach the furthest behind first.
Responses to a survey of participants indicate that more than 40 percent represent organizations that support all 17 of the goals. The same percentage focus on Goal 5, gender equity. More than a third of the organizations work on ending hunger (Goal 2), reducing inequalities (Goal 10), promoting justice (Goal 16), and creating stronger partnerships (Goal 17). Other high priorities for participants include promoting health (Goal 3), improving education (Goal 4), and combating climate change (Goal 13).
Half of the organizations are working at the federal level, 25 percent are working for change at the state and local levels, and more than a third are working at all three levels. More than 60 percent are engaged in policy, advocacy, and research, while fewer than 25 percent are funders or provide direct services.
Participants in the meeting first heard from leaders in international and domestic policy and advocacy, the foundation world, local implementation, and data design.
Message highlights from the speakers included:
Participants then broke out into working groups on federal advocacy, mobilizing the grassroots, expanding the involvement of new stakeholders, working with cities, and measuring progress.
Following the breakout groups and ensuing discussion, the group agreed to form a coordinating committee to take collective actions to the next level. The stakeholders also agreed that it is important to reach out and deepen engagement with other communities, such as the faith, business, and environmental communities, and to collaborate with professional networks and with state and local governmental organizations. There was also agreement on the importance of developing a successful social media campaign and of creating opportunities for organizations and individuals alike to learn and engage with the 2030 Agenda and its goals.
The beauty and the challenge of the 2030 Agenda is the need and opportunity to fundamentally overhaul how we as a country work together to meet common goals that support our shared beliefs. We have about 14 years to build on the achievements of the MDG era and make further progress on a range of critical issues, including jobs, climate change, poverty, health, education, inequality, gender equity, and hunger.
If you are interested in the 2030 Agenda and engaging with other organizations working on the goals, please contact Cynthia Woodside, Senior Domestic Policy Advisor, Bread for the World Institute, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cynthia Woodside is senior domestic policy advisor at Bread for the World Institute.
To reach the 2030 goals, every sector must be engaged.
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