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

Our open letter

Over 80 organisations and 250 individuals working on the Sustainable Development Goals in Scotland have signed our 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 background

In January 2016, Scotland adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals. Since then, citizens, civil society organisations, business leaders and politicians across the country have tasked themselves to see that we achieved these goals both in Scotland and across the world. Scotland’s SDG Network is a coalition of people and civil society organisations committed to pursuing the SDGs and building awareness and engagement across Scottish society.

The purpose

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

Next steps

We will publish all responses in May 2018 in a report on this website. The purpose of collating this information is to inform the direction of activities in Scotland relating to the SDGs two years on since they were adopted in Scotland. Ahead of this time, we have asked all recipients of the letter to send their responses no later than April 2018 to globalgoals@scvo.org.uk.

Press release quotes

 

Paul Bradley, SDG Network Coordinator, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

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

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

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

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.

Letters and signatories

Dear First Minister. We are writing to you at what we believe is a significant moment in Scotland’s commitment to itself and the planet. Neatly captured by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we invite you to join our ambition that the SDGs are achieved in Scotland and across the world. Scotland was amongst the first nations to sign up to the 17 SDGs, which are the closest the world has come to a strategy to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change. As a group of citizens and organisations committed to the human and planetary wellbeing of this generation and future generations to come, we support the implementation of the SDGs in Scotland. This January marks two years since the SDGs came into force in Scotland, and over this time citizens, civil society organisations, business leaders and politicians across the country have tasked themselves to see that we implement the SDGs both domestically and internationally. This initial commitment to the SDGs has been vital and should be applauded. Every Party Leader in the Scottish Parliament has pledged support to the SDGs and 100 of Scotland’s 129 MSPs have chosen one SDG they will champion in Parliament. However, now is the tough part – implementing the SDGs. From the development of a national website for the SDGs to a special pop-up exhibition and the inception of Scotland’s SDG Network, our organisations have worked to mobilise people in Scotland around the SDGs since their adoption. We now want to work with you to achieve a breakthrough in sustainable development in Scotland and overseas. Because of this, Scotland’s SDG Network – a coalition of people and organisations committed to pursuing the SDGs and building awareness and engagement across Scottish society – is calling on you to demonstrate your commitment to the SDGs and the specific actions the Scottish Government is taking that contribute towards implementing the SDGs in Scotland and overseas. The SDGs are a call to action on the most serious and challenging issues facing our society and environment throughout the next decade. We invite you to respond to this letter with the action points your Government is taking that relate to the 17 critical areas reflected in the SDGs. We will publish all responses in May 2018 in a report on our website: www.globalgoals.scot. The purpose of collating this information is to inform the direction of activities in Scotland relating to the SDGs two years on since they were adopted in Scotland. Ahead of this time, please send your response no later than April 2018 to globalgoals@scvo.org.uk. We look forward to hearing from you on your commitments to delivering the SDGs in Scotland, and we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can move ahead with a Scottish plan to see that we achieve the SDGs. If you have any comments or questions or would like to arrange a meeting with the network, please contact our Network Coordinator: Paul Bradley, paul.bradley@scvo.org.uk We thank you in advance for your support and look forward to working with you.Yours sincerely, Co-signatories Organisation Signatories

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