Press release: Coalition of Irish NGOs call for action on 2nd anniversary of UN Sustainable Development Goals

25 september 2017


Monday 25th September 2017


Coalition 2030 – a national alliance of over 40 Irish social inclusion, development, environment and trade union groups and networks – are today marking the 2nd anniversary of the historic signing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were signed at the United Nations in New York on 25 September 2015. They provide a universal framework, with 17 goals and 169 targets, aimed at fundamentally changing the way all countries work toward eradicating extreme poverty, ending hunger and tackling climate change.

Suzanne Keatinge, CEO of Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations, a member of Coalition 2030 said, “The signing of the Sustainable Development Goals was an historic turning point for global development. The SDGs represent a transformative agenda – one that commits all of us to eradicating extreme poverty, ending hunger and tackling climate change by 2030. The SDGs are universal and provide a roadmap for all countries – including Ireland – to work towards achieving these goals.

“Ireland played a key part in the development of the SDGs, with David Donoghue, the former Permanent Representative from Ireland to the UN co-chairing the negotiations that led to the signing of these essential goals. This is a role that Ireland should be extremely proud to have played in the fight to ‘leave no-one behind.’”

“The SDGs are based on the understanding that our natural environment, society and economy are all intrinsically interlinked and so for example we cannot eradicate hunger if the natural environment that supports our food production is being decimated by a focus on narrow economic objectives,” said Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar, itself a coalition of 26 national Environmental NGOs

Valerie Duffy, Development Education & UN Youth Delegate Programme Coordinator National Youth Council of Ireland said, “Two years on from signing this historic agreement, it is time for the Irish government to put the words of the SDGs into action. We need strong, principled leadership to champion these goals at a national level. We urgently need an all-of-government approach to drive this agenda, with every government department needing to work individually and jointly on their implementation.

“We hope that this 2nd anniversary will signify an important shift in their approach to these crucial, potentially transformative goals. It is particularly urgent now, as Ireland is due to present its Voluntary National Review on our progress on the SDGs at the UN in July 2018. The publication of a National Action Plan for SDG implementation is long overdue. We need national targets and indicators in order to measure our progress.

“Civil society stands ready and waiting to partner with the government in working together towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and creating a better future for everyone.”


For further information, please contact Aideen Blackwood, Dóchas Communications Officer on 01-4053801 or by email at

Notes for the editor:

  • The Sustainable Development Goals have particular significance for Ireland. The SDGs are 17 global goals which world leaders from 193 countries have signed up to. Ireland co-chaired the negotiation process to achieve these goals. For more information see:

  • Coalition 2030 is an alliance of leading civil society groups working for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in Ireland and across the globe. It represents over 40 organisations, working both at home and in over 50 other countries. Its expertise ranges from children’s rights to environmental sustainability and from humanitarian relief to education.

  • Coalition members to date include the following umbrella bodies and other civil society organisations:

Age Action Ireland; All Together in Dignity (ATD); ChildFund Ireland; CBM Ireland; Centre for Youth Research and Development, Maynooth University; Christian Aid; Comhlamh; Community Work Ireland; Concern Worldwide; Development Perspectives; Disability Federation of Ireland; Dóchas; ECO-UNESCO; 80:20 Educating & Acting for a Better World; Environmental Pillar; European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN); Gorta Self Help Africa; Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU); Irish Development Education Association (IDEA); Mercy International Association; Misean Cara;  National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI); National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI); Oxfam Ireland; Presentation Sisters (PBVM); Services Industrial Professional Technical Union (SIPTU); Social Justice Ireland; Society of St. Vincent de Paul; SpunOut; The Wheel; Trócaire; UCD Centre for Sustainable Development Studies; UNICEF; Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO); and World Vision Ireland.