Madrid, 29th November, 2021 – Under the slogan “Embracing Sustainable Commitments”, and as a result of exchanges between participants of the 3rd. Edition of the Diplomatic International Day (DID) last Friday, a series of collaboration agreements involving partners and potential allies were suggested, which point at the implementation of projects and initiatives in favor of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) .
Organized and sponsored by the Diplomatic Coalition, the gathering brought together personalities and experts from various fields of expertise, in a practical debate, which helped shape bilateral business rounds among participants. The Diplomatic International Day seeks to consolidate alliances and cooperation modalities inspired by models based on the SDG17 rationale.
By way of introduction, the plenary listened to a presentation by H.E., Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia, Ms. Fatma Omrani Chargui, who provided the audience with a detailed overview of progress of the SDGs in Tunisia. “If, on the one hand, the country has witnessed recurrent cycles of instability in the last decade, and this added to regional conflicts, immigration and demographic movements, social inequalities, economic fluctuations, and the high levels of domestic debt in the past decade, the integration of the SDGs into national and municipal planning has, on the other hand, made it possible to progressively bridge the gap between the country’s long-term aspirations and the investments and reforms necessary to achieve the goals by the end of 2030,” stated the Tunisian diplomat.
For her part, Ms. Laura Sánchez Navarro, Head of APlanet‘s Global Customer Service Strategy, offered a specialized look at issues relating to the consolidation of business sustainability reports and the measurement of impact, as well as the auditing of non-financial information, including the environmental risk analysis, or the calculation of the carbon footprint of each industry individually.
APlanet emerged as an innovative startup specialized in technology solutions applied to sustainability management in the corporate environment. “At APlanet we understand sustainability as the present and future of the business sector, particularly in terms of its ability to integrate sustainable and eco-friendly production processes throughout its value chain as part of its digital transformation,” Sánchez noted.
In her role as Vice President of the UN Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Ms. María Cortés Puch enlightened event attendees on the evident setbacks that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on the achievement of the SDGs. Based on the organization’s flagship publication, the 2021 Sustainable Development Report, Puch warned that “pressing performance gaps persist in terms of SDG implementation, especially vis-á-vis SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production); SDG 13 (climate action); SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land), with no country achieving an acceptable rating in the aforementioned set of goals. Trends on endangered species and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions also indicate efforts in the wrong direction ”.
SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological knowledge to promote practical solutions for sustainable development. Operating under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General and the leadership of the economist and professor, Jeffrey Sachs, since 2012, the network brings together universities, research centers and other knowledge institutions that focus on: a) Providing and mobilizing support for the SDGs; b) Promote decisive initiatives and provide demonstrable track-record on SDG implementation at the local level; c) Promote collaboration in high quality education and research for sustainable development; and c) Support governments to fully grasp and properly address pending challenges regarding sustainable development and Agenda 2030.
On the other hand, from his perspective as an expert and World Bank consultant on Urban Development, Tourism and Sustainability, Mr. Carlos Andrés Bastida referred to successful experiences and failed attempts in land planning in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and emphasized the importance of strengthening medium-term links with the productive sectors, particularly the agricultural and industrial fronts, to achieve the SDGs. He also pinpointed sustainable tourism development as a definitive engine for economic growth and employment generation, with close support of the urban development sectors, so that the whole cycle is allowed to revalue and enhance concerned territories, thus returning the sustainability policy to its pre-condition of service to communities.
Closing the circle of DID presentations, Head of the Caude School of Majadahonda, Ms. Pilar Barroso, argued that the Education Sector enjoys a privileged position to support the myriad of necessary social transformations that will eventually allow for new generations of children and young people to develop knowledge and capacities in support of the SDGs., especially by means of research, leadership and mobilization in numerous areas and dimensions. “At Caude School, we have the capacity and know-how to respond to the complexity, scale and urgency of actions required in teaching and fostering the SDGs. Our mission in this sense includes the empowerment of our students, so that they assume their role in full confidence, in the framework of the ongoing Decade of Action”, concluded Ms. Barroso.
Starting the 2021-2022 school year, the Caude School launched the SDG module for the 2nd Grade of Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO), with specific actions and objectives, which seek to shape a new curriculum that involves the training of Agents of Change among its students.
Agreements and projects resulting from the DID include the informal support offered by the Embassy of Tunisia to ongoing initiatives promoted by the Caude School, in addition to the reactivation of the modules of the Peace and Cooperation Foundation, with emphasis on the Peace and Cooperation School Award, and the School Day of Peace and Non-violence, which the Diplomatic Coalition seeks to reactivate shortly, in coordination with the educational institution.