Coalition 2030 publishes parallel VNR ahead of July HLPF

By Coalition 2030

In July, Ireland will present its Voluntary National Review to the UN. 

In May, Coalition 2030 published its parallel review ‘Furthest behind First, or Falling behind Further? The human stories that challenge Ireland’s claims to be leaving no one behind ’ which provides a counter-view to the Irish government’s assessment of how Ireland is doing on the SDGs. The Coalition of 74 CSOs is now advocating for the adoption of the five key structural asks in this report and will continue to do so in the lead-up to the July HLPF (where it is sending a delegation) and the SDG Summit.

The five structural recommendations which, if implemented, would enable SDG delivery to develop at pace are:

  1. Move SDG responsibility and delivery from the Department of the Environment to the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister)
  2. Budget for the SDGs
  3. SDG-proof policy
  4. Measure what matters
  5. Establish a Future Generations Commissioner on a statutory footing

Coalition 2030 argues via this report that, although the State has been an influential advocate for the SDGs internationally, for example, by co-negotiating the agreement which led to the SDGs and co-facilitating the political declaration this year, commitment and progress domestically is far less apparent. This is most evident in how the State is failing to reach those in most need of the State’s support; the furthest behind. 

Reaching the furthest behind first is a core principle of the SDGs.

The State has so far failed to effectively embed the SDGs across the Government and provide the necessary political leadership for their achievement. Without dramatic shifts in policy-making, the State will continue to struggle to reach the furthest behind first, rendering delivery on the SDGs categorically unachievable. This has led to a significant gap between the State’s international rhetoric and its national action to reach the SDGs, and risks squandering the State’s moral leadership. 

Coalition 2030 is therefore making a concerted call on the State to bridge the gap between international rhetoric and national action and to unblock the structural obstacles contributing to thousands of people in Irish society being left behind.

The Coalition follows its five recommendations with an overview of the international and national contexts in which SDG delivery is taking place, provides a statistical overview outlining who is being left behind, and illustrates these statistics with a selection of harrowing and stark human case studies. Following each case study are very specific policy options that, if implemented, would enable the State to more effectively reach these people.

This report reaffirms and builds on the findings in a chapter submitted in April 2023 by Coalition 2030, included as part of the State’s official submission to the 2023 Voluntary National Review process.

Read the report in full here.

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