News 25th January 2018

SDG network publishes open letter to ScotGov on Sustainable Development Goals

by Paul Bradley

An Open Letter Scotland's Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals

Scotland’s Sustainable Development Goals Network has co-ordinated an open letter to government bodies asking them to evidence their commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Scotland.

The SDG Network – along with organisations and individuals across the country – issued the open letter to Scottish political parties, parliamentary committees, the Scottish Cabinet, Scotland’s Secretary of State and all 32 local authorities.

The letter calls on these key decision makers and institutions to show their commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Scotland by publishing the specific actions they are taking that relate to the 17 critical areas reflected in the SDGs.

The purpose of the letter is to raise awareness of the SDGs at strategic level, encourage a sense of responsibility from institutions and key individuals, and map out where existing activity is and track progress over the coming years.

The letter has 300 signatories from across the private, public and third sectors, including Scotland’s International Development Alliance, Glasgow Caledonian University, WWF, Business in Community Scotland, UN Global Compact UK (representing some of the UK’s largest businesses that are signatories to the UN Global Compact), HIV Scotland and SCVO.

SDG Network Co-ordinator Paul Bradley said: “The SDGs are the closest the world has come to a plan to end extreme poverty, tackle inequalities and combat climate change, and Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to sign up in 2015. Now entering our third year of action, this letter presents an opening for civil society, business and government to come together to make sure that actions are taken in Scotland to see that the SDGs are achieved.”

Jane Salmonson, CEO of Scotland’s International Development Alliance, said: “Our organisation is the membership body for everyone committed to creating a fairer world, free from poverty, injustice and environmental threats. As such, we fully endorse the Sustainable Development Goals and align our objectives to the international commitment to meet them.  Importantly, achieving the ambitious SDGs is only possible if there is buy in and commitment everywhere, including here in Scotland.  We also recognise that decisions at any level of government here in Scotland or elsewhere can have implications across the globe. We were therefore happy to sign the open letter by Scotland’s SDG Network, and look forward to decision makers across the country publicly committing to the SDGs in the coming weeks.”

Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “Glasgow Caledonian University signed the SDG Network’s open letter because we feel the SDGs provide a powerful framework for collaborative action to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges.  At the university, we have ensured that the SDGS form the foundation of our Research Strategy. Across the university, from fair fashion to access to health we are using our applied research to work across disciplines and sectors to promote sustainability and social impact.”

Alan Thornburrow, Director of Business in the Community Scotland, said: “The SDGs are the world’s roadmap towards a fairer and more sustainable future. They will only be realised through collaboration between business, government and civic society to solve the pressing problems of our time. The SDGs sit at the heart of our strategy and are central to the pursuit of a truly inclusive and sustainable Scotland.”