On 26 September, in conjunction with the Federal Institute for Sustainable Development (FISD), we appointed 8 organisations to act as spokespeople for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Belgium. For the next year they will promote these United Nations development goals and call on everyone to realise them.
These eight sustainability ambassadors were officially presented during a ceremony in the Egmont Palace, with the support of Marie Christine Marghem, Federal Minister for Sustainable Development. There is one Dutch-speaking and one French-speaking organisation for each of the three themes People, Planet and Prosperity, as well as two organisations active round the theme of Peace & Justice.
The idea of these SDG Voices was inspired by the appointment of 17 international sustainability ambassadors. After the launch of the SDGs in September 2015, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon appointed, amongst others, Queen Mathilde, CEOs Paul Polman and Jack Ma and celebrities like Lionel Messi and Shakira to promote these development goals worldwide. “But even locally there is great need,” according to our Co-Director Sabine Denis. “In Belgium 15% of the population live below the poverty line and there is a threat of growing inequality. The climate problem is having an increasing impact on the country too, on biodiversity and water management, for example.”
That is why The Shift and the FISD selected eight Belgian organisations last summer, each of which will carry out a national communication campaign as spokespeople for the SDGs. The organisations were chosen using a double selection procedure. First, a nomination committee, consisting of 17 experts from civil society, drew up a list of organisations which they thought had the most potential to promote the SDGs in Belgium. From this longlist a jury of communication experts chose eight organisations best able to reach a large public.
The SDG Voices will not only familiarise a large public with the SDGs, they will also help other organisations to see that they can improve their efforts towards sustainability by linking them to this global framework. The real impact of the campaign will be clear from the extent to which both individuals and all sorts of organisations use the SDGs to make their contribution towards a more sustainable world by 2030. You can have a front-row view of the progress being achieved by following it on our website, in our newsletters, on social media and the campaign website www.sdgs.be.
Meanwhile we hope that these SDG Voices will give our members more inspiration to develop their own ambitions in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. If you would like more information about the role of The Shift in this initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. On the following link you can find all relevant information about the SDGs.