22 Jun, 2023

Executive Summary

Since we gathered last year, feminists and other movements have been protesting online and inthe halls of power demanding accountability for rising inequalities and calling for urgent action forhuman rights, gender equality, social justice, peace, and the full implementation of the 2030Agenda for Sustainable Development. At this pivotal political moment halfway through the 2030Agenda, the Women’s Major Group stands in solidarity with these tireless movements andremains committed to amplifying their visions, demands, and actions.

Now is the time to focus on immediate action for the full implementation of the SDGs, beforerushing to create new frameworks that override our existing agreements. Failure to achieve theSDGs – let alone make significant progress towards them – would be catastrophic for ourselves andour planet.

To avoid this catastrophe, we demand that governments match the political determination andpersistence that feminists in all our diversity demonstrate every single day. Our resilience comesin the face of existential threats from underfunding, trivialisation, anti-gender attacks andintimidation, criminalization, and violence. Our resistance is against the increasing attacks on ourpersonhood and bodily autonomy and the double burden of care we carry, the inaccessibility ofour rights as a result of austerity and privatization, and the appropriation and degradation ofnatural resources.

We call on governments to take the necessary steps to implement this critical, interlinked agendaas a matter of utmost urgency. We stress that these actions must be accompanied by strongaccountability mechanisms in order to address the multiple and intersecting forms ofdiscrimination the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated and to accelerate the faltering progresstoward the achievement of the SDGs.

We insist upon the critical importance of both policy coherence in the effective implementation ofthe SDGs and a cross-cutting approach to centering and reaching gender equality in theimplementation of all the SDGs. Too often we see that governments disregard global agreements,including the SDGs, when we attempt to bring them back home.

We call on governments to reclaim their leadership from the private sector and other actorsencouraging them to outsource, weaken, or abandon their human rights obligations. We remind governments that an independent and fully funded civil society is a prerequisite for thedevelopment of policies that will enable us to live our lives in dignity and equality.

Sometimes the task ahead of us to achieve the SDGs feels daunting. The interlinked systems ofoppressions that created the inequalities the 2030 Agenda should remedy continue to be upheldby actions and policies that centralize power and wealth and uphold and strengthen thepatriarchal, racist, colonial status quo.

And yet everyday members of the WMG lead actions to dismantle these systems. We will nevergive up on ourselves, on gender equality and the human rights of women, girls and gender-diversepeople, our planet, or this agenda. We demand that governments demonstrate that samecommitment and determination. This is the only way to achieve the SDGs!

The following position paper provides concrete recommendations and analysis to facilitate thetransformative implementation of the 2030 Agenda building on the knowledge of Women’s MajorGroup members and highlighting relevant recommendations and analysis from other experts, suchas UN treaty monitoring bodies and mandate holders. These actors have provided a rich body ofrights-based guidance that we too rarely see incorporated into the High-Level Political Forum(HLPF) proceedings or implementation at the national level.

We have also repeatedly seen that the structure of the HLPF itself, and the focus on reviewing asmall number of SDGs each year, undermines the interlinked nature of the Agenda. Our HLPFreview position paper proposes a non-siloed approach, grouping multiple Goals under four pillars:economic; social; environmental; and cross-cutting. This paper follows that conceptual schemailluminating new linkages and understandings that reflect our actual lived experiences of the 2030Agenda.

Read the full position paper here.