SDSN Spain (REDS) launched the Spanish edition of the SDG Index & Dashboard in Madrid on December 12. The event had two main objectives: to present the SDG Index, a global report and country ranking prepared by SDSN and the Bertelsmann Foundation in July 2016; and to assess where Spain is situated in this ranking and why. In addition, REDS wanted to give an opportunity to the different representatives of the state, regional and local administrations, as well as the business sector, to present how they are addressing the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The event reached maximum capacity, and was attended by more than 200 people with an additional audience of 500 watching live online. It opened with a warm welcome from the General Director of Fundación Telefónica, José María Sanz-Magallón, and with a few words from Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Chair of SDSN Spain, who proposed to launch debates in the Spanish Congress and Senate on the SDGs and their implementation.
For the past year, Spain has had a provisional government and has undergone two rounds of national elections. These concluded with the selection of Mr. Mariano Rajoy for a second term starting in early November. This recent confirmation of a new government will finally allow an SDG implementation strategy to be developed at the national level. Mr. Moratinos proposed that such a strategy be complemented by a “Sustainability Pact,” and signed by all parties, to ensure the required political support for effective implementation of Agenda 2030.
The event also featured a roundtable moderated by Montserrat Domínguez, Director of the Huffington Post Spain. The roundtable began with the presentation of María Cortés Puch, Head of the Networks Program at SDSN, who presented the SDG Index report and offered an analysis of the results and a description of the methodology. Ms. Cortés stated that “the objective is to provide accessible and understandable data for all audiences to make the SDGs a shared tool for action.” Spain, who ranked 30th out of 149 countries on the SDG Index, is facing several challenges ahead especially within SDGs 13 (climate action), 14 (terrestrial ecosystems), and 15 (marine ecosystems). The panel also discussed how Spain could improve in the areas of SDG 8 (decent work) and SDG 4 (quality education). Finally, Ms. Cortés called on all stakeholders to collaborate on improving current indicators for the second edition of the SDG Index, which is set to launch in 2017.
Luis Tejada gave the official position of the national government. In his opinion, the coordination of all actions should fall directly under the President’s office. Coincidentally, after the lively discussion and that very same afternoon, it was publically announced that it would indeed be the President’s office that will coordinate the implementation of the SDGs.
Alberto Fabra, as a representative of the Senate, insisted on the importance of making a legislative change that can ensure the success of this great project. He added a positive note reminding participants that this agenda is the result of a successful and inclusive negotiation, and that further work must involve all citizens.
Federico Buyolo presented a fantastic example of a multilevel implementation approach, laying out the achievements of the Valencia Community in terms of getting started with the SDGs. This community has begun working on localizing the SDGs, focusing on raising awareness and engaging with 4 different groups: cities, NGOs, companies, and citizens, who have the duty to participate and hold their politicians accountable.
Juan Espadas, Mayor of Seville, offered his local perspective, explaining the importance of defining concrete projects that help advance the SDGs and make them a reality for all citizens.
German Granda gave a very clear presentation on the business case for Sustainable Development and for aligning the business core objectives to the SDGs. In his words, there is not only a moral argument but also one of gaining competitiveness.
Finally, five representatives from different sectors (private, public, civil society, academic and international) contributed their vision of how to implement and carry out Agenda 2030 following the report’s presentation, painting a bright future ahead for the SDGs in Spain.
The PDF of the Spanish report is available online: https://issuu.com/marta194/docs/sdg-index-es-final
The video of the event can be viewed on the SDSN Spain Facebook page (in Spanish)