SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Why the SDGs Matter: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a global blueprint for dignity, peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future. A few years into the Agenda, we see how civil society, private sector, and governments are translating this shared vision into national development plans and strategies.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.


In 2002, the International Conference on Financing for Development, which issued the Consensus, brought over 50 heads of state and an unprecedented number of finance and other ministers together to agree on the first international framework for financing development. A follow-up process has continued through intergovernmental negotiations to build on and update commitments, including the Second Global Conference on Financial for Development in Doha in 2008 and the Third International Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa in July 2015. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda created a new Financing for Development Forum under ECOSOC, which Council is charged with reviewing follow-up to the landmark Monterrey Consensus (*) on financing for development.

(*)
the outcome of the 2002 Monterrey Conference, the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico. It was adopted by Heads of State and Government on 22 March 2002. Over fifty Heads of State and two hundred Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Development and Trade participated in the event. Governments were joined by the Heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO), prominent business and civil society leaders and other stakeholders. New development aid commitments from the United States and the European Union and other countries were made at the conference. Countries also reached agreements on other issues, including debt relief, fighting corruption, and policy coherence. Since its adoption the Monterrey Consensus has become the major reference point for international development cooperation. The document embraces six areas of Financing for Development (FfD):

1. Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development.
2. Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment and other private flows.
3. International Trade as an engine for development.
4. Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development.
5. External Debt.
6. Addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“The problem is not so much a lack of initiatives as the Citizens of the World’s incapacity – our incapacity! - to collectively coordinate and constructively articulate the multitude of local, regional, national, continental, worldwide initiatives, action plans, roadmaps, research programmes and Sustainable Development Goals together for global planetary benefit creating further fragmentation and division. There is no solidarity. Suspicion prevails, trust is lost. This very lack of solidarity between citizens enforces the power of institutions creating a vicious circle” (Prof Vivian R.F. Linssen, International Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research Centre)


On September 25th 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDG’s to transform our world. Governments, businesses and civil society together with the UN and the EU, which has committed to implement the SDGs both in its internal and external policies, have started to mobilize efforts to achieve the Agenda by 2030. Universal, inclusive and indivisible, the Agenda calls for action by all countries to improve the lives of people everywhere in order to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. And yet integrating these efforts remains a formidable challenge. If our leaders are ever to realize the world envisioned in the SDGs, they will need a roadmap for navigating the complex policymaking terrain.


More generally, each country will need to monitor its progress toward each SDG, and revise its approach as needed. This will require diligence from all policymakers. But the potential return on investment, not least a better planet for generations to come, is enormous.‘Project Syndicate’ published 6 June 2017 the article ‘A Scientific Method for the SDGs’, inspired by the ICSUorganized study of how different goals and targets relate to one another, and how an independent analytical framework was developed to help leaders prioritize policies within their own countries and came up with SDG-specific insights for world leaders to follow: A Guide to SDG Interactions: from Science to Implementation.

We can build cities like Rome, New York, ….. or put a man on the moon and create microchips. Science could actually save the world, because it can help us solve our greatest health and development problems. Those problems are at the heart of the UN’s SDG’s. But comprehensiveness can come at the expense of effective action. Few people can actually name all of the SDGs, much less explain how every country can achieve them over the next 13 years. And some SDGs have reinforcing relationships, whereby achieving one will make it easier to achieve others or, conversely, some SDGs may be in conflict, if progress in one area comes at the expense of others.

Whether science really will save the world remains to be seen. But one thing we know is that scientists can point us in the right direction by putting the right questions. Attainment of the SDG’s will demand gigantic funds, sustainable innovative finance, values based banking. The UN is an intergovernmental organisation. It don’t have legal sanctional power if agreements are not fulfilled or undermined, e.g. when countries move production to abroad.

Can we use big data? How about teaching about sustainability in education? Is there sufficient coordination and supervision within the system of multi-level governance in order to achieve successful implementations? What indicators and how to measure progress? What do governments do for propaganda for the SDGs? Where can public and business address questions? How does policy reach society? Can capital flows be used more effectivily? Can those who loose be compensated?


Calculating individuals will bring about the best social-economic organization, homo economicus

In the early modern era, there was a period of conflict between kings and parliament, overseas trade and of materialism, utilitarianism, revolution, homo economicus, who is out to satisfy needs in an efficient, rational or logical manner. This era was characterized by rapidly accelerating scientific discovery and invention, wars and revolutions, capitalism and economic liberalism, theories that assume that the satisfaction of needs by calculating individuals will bring about the best social-economic organization. It was also in this era where Adam Smith, moral philosopher / political economist, examined the nature and causes of wealth.

It was a period of social change; slavery was abolished, and the Second Industrial Revolution led to massive urbanization and much higher levels of productivity, profit and prosperity. European imperialism brought much of Asia and almost all of Africa under colonial rule. During at the end of this era, Stuart Mill (philosopher economist) focused on empiricism, utilitarianism, classical liberalism: each and every single person or society should be his own leader. Human happiness (happy planet index) and liberty is served when we as individuals have sovereignty.

The time of the rise of neoliberalism

The 20th century was a strange and confusing century of wars, technological changes, youth cultures, individualism and postmodernism. In 1920, Keynes described in “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” the era of the first globalization with the words:

What an extraordinary episode in the economic progress of man was that age which came to an end in August 1914. … The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea, the various products of the whole earth, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep. Militarism and imperialism of racial and cultural rivalries were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper.”

He became known through the book ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money’, published in 1936. It was the time of the rise of neoliberalism, a theory of politico-economic action, according to which human welfare is best served by the liberation of private freedom and skill of enterprise, within an institutional framework of highly private property, free markets and free trade and with a role of the government to create and maintain such a framework.

The economic theory behind neoliberalism initially stems from the monetarism that the Chicago economists adhered to in the 1970s, which has two key points:

1. valuation by supply and demand. This also applies to labor, so that its market value is the real value;
2. the efficiency of the free market. The expectation was that a market without government intervention would automatically come into equilibrium and come to full employment, because the market does not tolerate waste. Inflation was only expected from government intervention.

Capitalist values lived on through the dissemination of libertarian ideas, in particular through the highly popular novel of Ayn Rand’s bestseller Atlas Shrugged, “a capitalist manifesto” that depicts a utopian picture of capitalist, transforming society as a whole and reduce all interpersonal relations to money trade in contrast to human capital, the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value (World Bank, World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In the conference building of the UN, CIFA (Convention of Independent International Advisors) organized the XVIIth International Forum on "How to Mobilize Private Finance towards Funding the UN-SDGs?"

PanSlovenian Shareholders Association commented: The United Nation Organization (UN) in New York, USA, hosted the conclusion of the 17th International Forum of the Convention of Independent Financial Advisors (CIFA), this time titled "How to mobilize private finance towards funding the Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)?". The high profile conference, organized in cooperation with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), was attended by numerous prominent guests, decision makers, business persons, representatives of diplomacy, international organizations, universities and institutes as well as financial consultants and other renowned experts from around the world. More than 150 eminent guests at the gala reception and sponsor dinner at the famous Metropolitan Club in New York, USA were also addressed by the VZMD President and member of the European Federation of Investors (Better Finance), Mr. Kristjan Verbič. He welcomed the CIFA and UN initiative, and expressed support for the efforts to mobilize private finance towards funding the sustainable development goals (SDG), designed under the aegis of the UN. In these efforts, he has also undertaken to establish cooperation between the European and the World Federation of Investors (WFI), and highlighted some additional proposals from the experience of the VZMD and its international business-investor programs. He also presented the latter at yesterday's meeting at the UN palace and in an interview. The two-day conference brought together influential participants and high guests from all over the world, including Chantal Line Carpentier, UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade & Development), Louise Kantrow, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Ambassador to the UN, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Joe Oliver, former Minister of Natural Resources and former Minister of Finance.

Debate focused especially on the urgency and the processes to mobilize private finance towards funding the sustainable development goals, the struggle to eradicate poverty, limiting the causes and consequences of climate change, the G77 group and the ECOSOC designed program for funding development (FfD Forum), encouraging people to build an equal and inclusive society, regulating global financial systems, taxation and related funding for the SDGs.

During the intensive events, the VZMD President participated in numerous other meetings and discussions, including with the Director of the UN Division for Inclusive Social Development, Ms. Daniela Bas, the Director of the UN Financing for Sustainable Development Office, Mr. Navid Hanif, and the Slovene Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent UN Representation, Mr. Miha Erman, and on Sunday, he also attended the reception at the Millennium Hotel near the UN palace. The VZMD has been working successfully with the CIFA, the influential Geneva, Switzerland-based international foundation, for many years, and in 2016 Mr. Verbič was an invited speaker at the highly visible 14th CIFA forum in Monte Carlo, Monaco.


"Yesterday, I heard the name Adam Smith and am happy with that. Adam Smith argued that a moral framework and cooperation are essential for a successful society. 250 Years later, we landed in financial crisis and in air pollution. But we can also build cities like Rome and New York or put a man on the moon and create microchips.

In the current era, we are living in several worlds; a world of modern humanism, a world turning more Hobbesian and a world of ethnic distancing and religious separatism. To achieve the SDGs, modern humanism along with a free market economy and a liberal economic model is the most eligible to meet the broadest needs of the people. But this is still not enough. What lacks we discussed last 2 days. Capital will flow where it is wanted and stay where it is well treated", Walter Wriston wrote. Investors want to invest where there is trust, future expectations and sufficient return on equity, to add with return on environment.

Probably it's to consider to register the SDGs in its own ecosystem in the blockchain."