The role of faith groups in delivering sustainable development

Caritas at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development

Caritas Internationalis is co-organising and co-hosting the event during the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Speakers will discuss how national Caritas agencies from different regions meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) laid out in Agenda 2030, an international plan of action for people, prosperity and the planet adopted in 2015.

Sister Bridget is playing with a young kid, while talking to local women, came to the society at Shujaiya area, eastern Gaza city, where the Caritas Jerusalem medical team provides free medical services to people. Photo by Asmaa El Khaldi/Caritas

Fellow organisers, CAFOD, Caritas Ghana, Caritas Kenya and Caritas Madre de Dios and co-hosts, the governments of Ghana, Kenya, will also share progress reports about sustainable development.

Two thirds of national governments have now produced SDG implementation plans. The HLPF on Sustainable Development is the main global platform for countries and stakeholders to share plans and results. Faith groups are increasingly playing an important role in pushing for deeper systemic changes in line with the transformational principles of Agenda 2030.

The principles underpinning the Agenda are: addressing the environmental and poverty crises together; leaving no one behind; tackling inequality and promoting participation and dialogue.

Caritas is working at the heart of humanitarian and peacebuilding initiatives in Central African Republic.  Photo by Jiri Pasz/Caritas

Caritas Internationalis is a global confederation of 168 members from the global north and south, present in 200 countries. The confederation has been involved with SDGs since 2015 and is currently implementing programmes worldwide through national members that are making valuable contributions to deliver Agenda 2030.

Our SDG work focuses on highlighting the potential of Agenda 2030 by creating civic space, influencing national and sub-national policy and delivering the SDGs in our own programmes.

At the event, Caritas Ghana and Caritas Kenya will report on how the integration of environmental protection in labour policies ensures that no one is left behind while reducing inequality and promoting participation. Caritas Ghana will also focus on how it is helping to tackle electronic waste.

The Government of Ghana will discuss sustainable development achievements listed in its 2019 Voluntary National Review report. The Government of Kenya will offer concrete examples of meeting sustainable development goals while presenting its first domestic SDG progress report.

Caritas Peru supports communities with food and medical assistance, as well as farming support. Photo: Caritas Peru

A representative of indigenous peoples from Peru will report on how “those left behind” are working on the protection of the environment, and how agroecology improves equality and inclusiveness in these communities.

The Holy See will provide a Catholic perspective on the transformational principles through the lens of Pope Francis’s Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’, a critique on consumerism and irresponsible development.

The hosts and organisers hope the event will attract government representatives working on Agenda 2030, faith groups, UN officials, civil society groups and others interested in ways of meeting sustainable development goals on the ground.

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