The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of goals that meet the urgent environmental, political, social and economic challenges facing our world. Utilising The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission’s SDG publication Go and Do Something, we have created easy to read focus articles looking at each SDG from an Australian, Salvation Army perspective. These articles explore how each SDG affects us locally, and include practical tips of how you can get involved. We hope this tool will be of benefit to you as you seek to partner with God in bringing about his Kingdom.
Sustainable Development Goal 17: STRENGTHEN THE MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION AND REVITALIZE THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
- Improve domestic capacity for revenue collection.
- Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments.
- Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources.
- Assist developing countries in attaining long‐term debt sustainability.
- Enhance international support for implementing capacity‐building in developing countries.
The International Social Justice Commission’s ‘Go and Do Something’ begins this last SDG with “Finally, we reach the last SDG – number 17. The other 16 SDGs risk remaining simply hopes and dreams of a few unless the final goal is achieved.” Commissioner Jane Paone recognises that unless we all work together, achieving SDGs 1 – 16 will be almost impossible. This is a helpful way to finish our exploration of the Sustainable Development Goals, because often we look at issues such as climate change, or poverty, or sustainability, and think ‘what can I do?’
As this final goal highlights, we are not called to do the work of justice alone, but rather as communities, families, congregations and nations. The Australian CEO Statement of Support for the Sustainable Development Goals highlights this importance, and that Australia wants to act in this manner. It states:
“The SDGs provide points of focus around which we can innovate and collaborate in the search for solutions to critical global and local sustainability challenges, while at the same time positioning competitively for the future. Through our participation in the UN Global Compact and the incorporation of the SDGs into our strategies, we will continue to invest in these priority areas and work together with Governments, civil society, academia, and other businesses to realise the opportunities the SDGs offer to all, and we call on other business leaders to join us.”
Partnering for God’s Kingdom work is important and vital if we are to be successful. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” and Paul reminds us in both letters to the Corinthians that we are ‘Co-workers’ and not individuals working alone.
As Commissioner Paone states “For real lasting impact, sustainable development requires inspired action. We cannot do it all ourselves. Partnerships change things. Also remember, partnerships change us as individuals!”
What can we do?
- Well not surprisingly, we can work in partnership with others! For the SDGs to be achieved, there will be high-level nation to nation cooperation through government agencies and private business, but this doesn’t mean we don’t have a role to play in our day to day lives. New initiatives that will help address poverty or affordable clean energy or gender equality, or any of the other SDG’s, will get off the ground through the work of individuals partnering with friends, family, colleagues, and other church members – so be brave with your ideas about how you can make an impact. Seek out like-minded people to partner with; there is strength in numbers!
- Think globally! While our SDG reflections have focused on Australia to help you think through a local response, SDG 17 needs a broader focus – a global one. We must recognise that Australia is just one of hundreds of nations which make up planet earth, and therefore we must take a global focus to work together. Commissioner Paone highlights that “the Bible places great emphasis on community rather than individualism, yet each person has a responsibility to work for the good of the world that God created. Together, we are stronger.” Become educated about how others are doing things and be open to sharing in these new ways and ideas. Your new partners may do things differently, but that may be just what you need.
- Pray. Commit this SDG to God in prayer, both individually and as a Corps. You could pray:
– For the success of individuals, NGOs and other organisations as they work towards the fulfilment of the SDGs. May partnerships between these parties be strong and successful.
– For The Salvation Army as it seeks to develop good partnerships with other agencies and groups around the world. May we be willing to work with others to achieve God’s purposes on earth.
– That we will be willing to learn from others so that God’s justice, and not our own perspectives, may be accomplished.
For more reading on The Salvation Army’s thoughts around SDG 17, see the International Social Justice Commission’s Go and Do Something publication.
 http://dfat.gov.au/aid/topics/development-issues/2030-agenda/Documents/sdg-voluntary-national-review.pdf p.106  ISJC, Go and Do Something, p.38  ISJC, Go and Do Something, p. 38