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Women’s Major Group statement on the new set of Sustainable Development Goals


The Women’s Major Group (WMG), representing 500 women’s human rights, environment and development organizations, among them ASTRA Network, that have engaged substantively in the negotiations of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) throughout its one and a half year process, released a statement on July 21st, marking the end of the OWG’s final session and proposal for a set of goals, raising critical red flags on the content and level of ambition encased in the proposed SDGs.

The final SDG text encompasses a broad spectrum of the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental, and against much opposition, includes a goal on “peaceful and inclusive societies”. There is a fair amount of progressive, development-oriented language, as well as some demonstration of political will to prioritize a more holistic framework for development through sustainability.

While appreciating and acknowledging efforts of the co-chairs and many countries to promote women’s rights, engage civil society across the process and to push for more ambitious language, the WMG concludes the goals fall short of women’s aspirations for a strong set of transformative goals needed to achieve gender equality, women’s human rights, sustainable development in harmony with nature, and an end to inequalities.

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