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Sustainable Development Goals: A struggle of global society

Abong began in 2013 an activity geared towrads providing qualified information about the negotiations around the definition and composition of the SDGs in order to foster mobilization of CSOs to influence the position of the Brazilian government within the negotiations reflected the capacity build-up and positioning of its civil society.

Over the past 15 years, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) served as guidelines and as indicators of development. Although they have had a positive impact on developing countries, they have not been achieved for the most part.

In Brazil, Abong – the Brazilian Association of Non-Governmental Organizations- followed and focused on the intergovernmental negotiations that established at the end of September – during the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UN) – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , agenda that will replace the MDGs from next year on.

In partnership with its associated NGOs Gestos – HIV and AIDS, Communication and Gender, which holds a significant political role in this process, the Association has been involved in multiple actions, such as the Beyond 2015 action / 2015 campaigns as well as activities in partnership with the Agenda Pública and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). Together, these actions composed a joint political agenda and mobilization of Brazilian civil society around agenda 2030.

Abong argues that the definition and implementation of the SDGs should take into account the accumulation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that are working directly on advocacy in the fight against inequality and the respect of planetary limits. “Agenda 2030 is far from being a perfect agenda, but it does allow us to keep the debate open on what we consider to be an effective model of sustainable development. Our commitment in Abong is to continue radicalizing democracy and we will continue working within all possible spaces for dialogue. The democratization of the agenda, and the alignment of interests between different segments will be critical to induce local agendas and advance the implementation of the ODS, “argues Alessandra Nilo, director of Abong and coordinator of Gestos.

Mobilization of Brazilian civil society

Recognizing the importance of battling for an ambicious agenda and connect it to the struggles of civil society organizations and social movements from the field of advocacy and common goods, the Abong began in 2013 an activity geared towrads providing qualified information about the negotiations around the definition and composition of the SDGs in order to foster mobilization of CSOs to influence the position of the Brazilian government within the negotiations reflected the capacity build-up and positioning of its civil society. This process resulted in the formation of the Working Group (WG) of Civil Society for Agenda 2030, which is considered by many sectors today, as the main interlocutor of the Brazilian civil society with the government that defends progressive and demanding positions to ensure the effective, transparent and participatory implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Day of Action

On September 24, thousands of people in over 100 countries mobilized to mark the Global Day of Action and put pressure on world leaders to commit themselves to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

People around the world, in cities like New York, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Sydney, Sao Paulo and several locations in Brazil and the planet focused their attention on the start of the Summit for the adoption of the Post2015 agenda, responsible for approving the SDGs.

The objective of the Global Day of Action, sponsored by the international campaign Action / 2015 was that in the evening of September 24, thousands of people from five continents light a candle symbolizing the new proposals for ending poverty, social inequality and climate change to be implemented and achieved by the year 2030.

In different parts of the globe, organized civil society proposed actions to be call attention to the relevance of the SDGs to the world and demonstrate the importance of ensuring this debate is held in every country – in order to bring about the construction of a new development paradigm.

Watch here the video with images of #LightTheWay actions around the world.

Mobilization in social media

Abong also undertook through its presence on social networks a campaign to mobilize society around the importance of committing ourselves to the approval of this agenda that will guide concrete actions of States in order for them to comply with social and environmental commitments and striv e for a fairer and more sustainable world.

With the hashtag #iluminaocaminho, various contents like images, texts, videos, etc., circulated through social networks with information about the actions of Abong and the action / 2015 campaign underway in the country and on the contents of the SDGs themselves. This constituted a network of actions that articulated more actors and spread the importance of the issue within Brazilian society.


To expand access to information and analysis of the process of UN negotiations, Abong Brazil launched a blog on the Post 2015.

The channel brings together key moments of coverage, such as the III Conference on Financing for Development – which took place between 13th and 16th July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – and the 70th UN General Assembly, held from 21 and 25 September in New York at United Nations Headquarters.

After the approval of the new development agenda, the blog has been devoted to visualize production of qualified content on the topic – focusing on the next step: the implementation of the SDGs in Brazil. Go!

Monitoring the implementation of the SDGs

As we approached the end of the overall process and the definition and adoption of the SDGs, the GT Civil Society for Agenda 2030 group – composed of 50 Brazilian CSOs – began to in the second half of this year to reflect and guide the Brazilian government on the mechanisms of Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. The main demand of the GT is the formation of a joint committee (civil society and government) linked to a governmental body with executive power to debate and decide on the implementation of the goals with the various ministries, thus enabling the integrated and coordinated implementation between several sectorial ministries. Thus, the GT would ensure the participation of civil society in the formulation of the indicators along with the responsible government agencies.

It is known that a successful implementation process of the SDGs is only possible by articulating various sectors of society, and with broad participation of civil society, defining the state as the primary responsible for sustainable development. The effort to make civil society a recognized and legitimate actor in sustainable development construction is critical against the increasingly powerful imposition of the private sector and “partnerships” that are closer to an outsourcing role of the state and submission of development to the rules of neoliberalism.