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Government launches the National Implementation Plan for the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020 (the Plan) is a critical step for Ireland in achieving its goals under the SDGs.  The Plan consists of 19 high-level actions, and Social Justice Ireland welcomes the inclusion of our recommendations of documenting the SDG to which each Government policy relates, as contained in Annex II to the Plan, the ‘SDG Policy Map’.  We further welcome the inclusion of a Matrix of Lead and Stakeholder Departments (Annex I) as a move towards greater accountability by Government for the SDGs and call on each Department to include an impact assessment of each Government policy in how they may support Ireland’s progress in achieving the SDGs.

However, of the remaining 17 actions, only one specifically relates to how Ireland might achieve its SDG commitments.  Action 2 ‘During the lifetime of this first SDG National Implementation Plan, prepare a new Sustainable Development Strategy, taking Ireland’s SDG commitments directly into account’, Government plans to plan its SDG strategy.  This strategy must contain tangible targets for Ireland under each SDG, based on Ireland’s current position, together with a roadmap and timeline to 2030 of how we get there.  In order to do this, it is crucial that any data gaps are closed off and that sufficient information and resources are available to analyse Ireland’s performance over time and, in particular, over the longer-term. Without knowing where we are, we cannot plan for where we need to be.

To this end Social Justice Ireland has submitted a list of Data Considerations to Minister Naughten to facilitate more effective and comprehensive commentary and, in turn, the development of more robust policies for Ireland in achieving the SDGs.