Belgium shifts gear on advancing SDGs

Published: 4 Apr 2017
Type: News

Brussels, 4 April 2017: What do business leaders like Paul Polman and Jack Ma have in common with Her Majesty the Queen of Belgium? They both promote the global sustainability agenda of the United Nations (UN) as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocates. Since Belgium is taking a leading role in advancing the SDGs worldwide, WBCSD’s Belgian Global Network partner, The Shift, is also doing its share in engaging the local business community and civil society on this 2030 sustainable development agenda.

Since the launch of the SDGs, The Shift have invited all its 350 member organizations to express a commitment towards one or more of the SDGs. A dozen of open workshops have been organized to this end, where member representatives can meet and learn about the Global Goals or SDGs. All commitments have been published online, and are continuously challenged by the young Belgian change makers of Generation T.

In addition to individual commitments, The Shift has also encouraged its members to take powerful collective commitments. Via an Open Letter for the Climate, 120+ signatories committed to reducing their own GHG emissions and taking a leading role in fighting climate change. In partnership with the Belgian Ministry for Cooperation and Development, The Shift has also brought together more than 90 organizations around the Belgian SDG Charter for International Development. Furthermore, 50+ members of The Shift have committed to SDG 8 and SDG 17 by initiating and scaling up partnerships centered on creating decent work for all.

All these ambitious commitments pave the way for change. Via a series of workshops called Change Labs, The Shift is now bringing its members together to explore, launch and promote partnerships that match their commitments. The outcomes, referred to as Change Projects, are grouped within five SDGs clusters: Partnerships, Planet, People, Prosperity and Peace.

In accordance with the international SDGs Advocates initiative, The Shift has nominated eight Belgian ambassadors for the Global Goals. Since September 2016, these SDGs Voices have promoted the 2030 sustainable development agenda in Belgium. This campaign has been set up on the request of the Belgian Minister of Sustainable Development, in partnership with the Federal Institute for Sustainable Development.

Going forward, The Shift will work with the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to advance the country’s National Voluntary Review process on the SDGs. To follow this process more closely, please follow The Shift online or on social media.

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