Do the current events catalyze the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals?
United Nations Day is a day of remembrance for the founding of the United Nations (UN). The UN was founded on 24.10.1945 with the aim of creating a world where people could live without the threat of war, as equals and healthy. The message from the UN Secretary-General this year is that, especially right now, the organization is being tested more than ever before, but that is what it was once created for.
Today, our organization is being tested like never before. But the United Nations was made for moments like this.
(United Nations, 2022)
The Covid-19 lowered international confidence, raised barriers, and sparked the talk of global exclusion. The Russian invasion showed how difficult it is to control the dynamics of war and peace. International relations are undergoing a transformation, and uncertainty is growing. It is difficult to maintain optimism about the state of global governance. Global challenges have not gone away. Although a global consensus was reached in 2015 on the SDGs, the momentum to achieve them has taken time at the operational level.
However, could recent events, the pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine and the energy crisis act as catalysts for achieving the SDGs? Global storms, such as the rapid detachment from Russian hydrocarbons, can also be opportunities. The agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have already been set to be achieved by 2030. The pressure increases for each goal and contributes to guiding the development of our society towards achieving the goals.
Finland is committed to the sustainable development action plan, and the common goals are also reflected in the everyday life of central government. In addition to guiding everyday work, the State Treasury instructs the entire central government, all ministries, agencies, and institutions to report on their operations in a uniform manner in accordance with sustainability reporting. Already in a couple of years, we can see differences in the emphasis (State Treasury, 2022).
It is desirable that each organization, team, and individual reflect on the achievement of goals through their own work. The activities affect the future of our society inside and outside Finland’s borders. Actions such as promoting decent work or justice can take place in a national or international context.
At HAUS, our operations are based on building better central government. Our activities and services in the field of training and development services comply with the UN Principles of Sustainable Development. For example, through training, we support continuous learning for each civil servant in an accessible manner. On the other hand, by means of development, we are formulating human-centered services in central government so that they better serve every citizen. We lead extensive international network projects in which we encourage central governments to choose more sustainable solutions by supporting the development of public administration.
Around the globe, we Finns are well-known of promoting equality, good governance, and the rule of law. In addition to the fact that the basic pillars are and will continue to be in order, glass ceilings are gradually being broken down. In a country like Finland, we together can get at least one step closer to the sustainable development goals. Not only is there hope, but we must also have a shared motivation and strength.
- United Nations (2022). United Nations Day 24 October. https://www.un.org/en/observances/un-day
- State Treasury (2021). Yhteistyötä kestävän tulevaisuuden rakentamiseksi – Yhteenveto ministeriöiden, virastojen ja laitosten vastuullisuusraporteista vuodelta 2021. VALTIOKONTTORIN JULKAISUJA | VASTUULLISUUS 10/2022. https://vkazprodwordpressstacc01.blob.core.windows.net/wordpress/2022/10/Raportti-Yhteistyota-kestavan-tulevaisuuden-rakentamiseksi-painos2.pdf