Summit calls for action on SDGs

New Zealand like many other countries around the world is taking seriously the ambitious challenge to ramp up efforts to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in just 11 years.

In July, New Zealand’s first Voluntary National Review on the SDGs which are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, was presented to the UN and next week the country’s second national, multi-sector Summit on the SDGs will be held in Auckland on September 2.

The need for urgency and greater action to progress sustainable development are recognised in the summit’s theme of “Accelerated action, together”.

The University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology are co-hosting the summit which will bring together people from all sectors to develop and commit to positive action and accountability on the critical SDGs within our broader spheres of influence.

HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi says the summit is timely in light of the recent dissemination by HPF of the legacy documents from the 23rd IUHPE World Health Promotion conference in Rotorua to leaders and organisations in the public health sector for endorsement.

In the Waiora Indigenous Statement, and the Rotorua Statement which were endorsed by acclamation at the conference co-hosted by HPF last April, participants call on the global community for urgent action to “promote planetary health and sustainable development for all, now and for the sake of future generations”. 

According to the Rotorua statement: “Urgent action is needed because mounting evidence tells us that the current economic and social development paradigm of infinite growth and endless exploitation of limited natural resources is unjust and unsustainable, leading to inequities within and among countries and across generations. “

The opportunity provided by the summit to recognise the importance for discussions about the SDGs to be grounded within Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique context is also reflected in the Waiora Indigenous Statement.

The statement calls on the health promotion community and the wider global community to make space for and privilege indigenous peoples’ voices and indigenous knowledges in promoting planetary health and sustainable development for the benefit of all.

Mr Tu’itahi will be attending the seminar at which he will giving out copies of the legacy documents.

The summit aims to bring together people from all sectors to develop and commit to positive action and accountability on the critical SDGs within our broader spheres of influence. It will provide a platform for recognising, sharing and combining knowledge and skills, and seeking to weave together many threads of accelerated action through preparatory work, keynote addresses, panel discussion and action planning.

The goals address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

The summit outcomes will be:

  • Participants with increased knowledge, skills and tools to act and influence;
  • Enhanced commitment and momentum for accelerated action, together beyond the Summit;
  • Expansion of key partnerships to deliver accelerated action, and
  • An electronic record of the keynote addresses and panel discussions, and the accelerated action plans developed and agreed to within the summit and contributed to by all those who join in.