The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: From Adoption to Reality
After over two years of consultations the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has been adopted. The highly ambitious ‘Transforming our World the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ (SDGs) contains 17 goals and 169 targets. Unlike the MDGs the agenda’s goals and standards are applicable for all countries, and this time covers the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic; social; and environmental.
Poverty reduction is central to the agenda; and there is considerable stress on universal access, to tackling inequities, with the intent of overcoming one of the major criticisms of the MDGs, that they didn’t always reach those most in need. And positively the framework is grounded in human rights, reaffirming the responsibility of all governments to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all people, which includes the duty of governments to progressively realise the right to health for its people.
But how are the SDGs relevant to eye health?
IAPB, and a number members who have been at the forefront of advocacy work on the SDGs, have contributed to achieving many positive gains. The framework includes neglected tropical diseases amongst other diseases targeted for elimination. There is a target on universal health coverage, progressing from the more siloed health MDGs, offering instead a potentially integrated approach which requires health systems strengthening, and creates entry points for eye health. Attention to disability inclusion is incorporated across many targets in the agenda including on work, education, and economic, social and political inclusion, amongst others.
Implementation, implementation, implementation
The challenge that lies ahead is in turning this framework into reality. Governments will be expected to develop national strategies and provide space for significant participation and monitoring of successes by all stakeholders including marginalised and excluded sections of society. And civil society will need to ensure that this occurs in practice. In order to ensure that the framework best benefits people at risk of vision impairment and persons with visual impairment, engagement at global, regional and national level will be essential.
The papers attached here provide analysis of the Goal and Targets and the current proposed set of indicators, opportunities and entry points for advocacy.
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