On 7 July 2016 the GCSP hosted the second SDGHub.org workshop on “Opening up knowledge to action on the SDGs: opportunities for peace, business, and policy coherence”. The meeting brought together 50 participants from international organisations, civil society, and the private sector.
The opening panel was led by the GCSP as a contribution to the Maison de la Paix SDG Hub. Chaired by the GCSP, speakers on the panel included representatives of the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative (IPTI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the GCSP. The panel addressed “Governance: Peace and Security” in the context of Goal 16 on “peace, justice and strong institutions”. The panel recognized that it is the first time that the peace and security perspective is integrated in the global development agenda and that this in itself is momentous. One of the speakers also proposed that achieving Goal 16 can strengthen the implementation of the other SDGs. Crucial questions surrounded: a humanitarian critique of the SDGs, and a need to look closely at development aid effectiveness and why so often humanitarian crisis follow such inputs; the need to consider the environment at all points during the conflict cycle and the role of natural resources and the environment in building resilience and peace; the importance of inclusiveness in countries in transition with special attention to civil society and gender dimension as well as potential for political challenges of monitoring implementation. All the above elements were seen as vital to fulfill the call to “leave no one behind” in the context of the Agenda 2030.
Other panels and breakout sessions during the workshop focused on policy coherence and the role of the private sector as an agent of SDG success, capacity building and education, and engaging communities in and outside Geneva.
The meeting was an opportunity to think about how to improve the link between knowledge and action in order to advance the SDG agenda. Possible next steps include: opening the process to a wider audience, coherence and cooperation around SDG initiatives in Geneva, and the development of the SDG Expert Group (an initiative of SDGhub.org).