Introduction to the Agenda 2030 for LGBTI advocates

On January 1st, 2016, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force.

Last month marked the 7th anniversary of this important achievement, in which world leaders started mobilizing efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that they agreed to in 2015.

In commemoration of this date, Guillermo Ricalde (ILGA World Consultant on Special Procedures and SDGs) and Aoife Burke (Junior Professional Consultant on Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures, and SDGs) have prepared the following article in which they briefly explore the importance of the Agenda 2030 for our LGBTI communities.

The Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals constitute the current international development framework. Historically, international development has focused on economic growth, particularly in low and middle-income countries. This framework is frequently considered as existing in parallel and alongside with human rights mechanisms and, specifically, allowing to overcome the latter’s weaknesses.

However, the SDGs are anchored in human rights and are grounded in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), the international human rights treaties, as well as other instruments such as the Declaration on the Right to Development. Thus, although the development framework works according to distinct methodologies, bodies, language and aims, it is mutually complementary to the human rights framework. For instance, in recent decades, and mostly after the creation of the Agenda 2030, there has been a stronger emphasis on achieving particular development outcomes on a global level, such as health, gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability, which reflect the content of many international human rights standards.

Read more about Agenda 2030 and its 17 SDGs, and why they are an important framework for LGBTI communities and advocates here.


How ILGA World can support you?

International LGBTI organisations such as the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights (RFSL), Outright International, and COC Nederland have been leading the pathway for LGBTI advocates to engage with the SDGs framework since the creation of the Agenda 2030. ILGA World also has years of experience engaging with the UN in several areas, including the Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures, and now the SDGs. All these organisations, and many others, constitute the LGBTI stakeholder group and constantly work to make SOGIESC issues visible in the development forums.

There are several ways that ILGA World can offer support to LGBTI defenders seeking to engage with the Agenda 2030:

  • We are constantly monitoring opportunities in the development framework for LGBTI advocates, and we are on our way to start producing new advocacy materials on SDGs.
  • We collaborate with the LGBTI Stakeholder Group members and participate in the SDGs forums and other side events and strategic meetings.
  • We develop statements aiming to impact the outcomes concerning LGBTI persons and influence the language related to SOGIESC in development spaces.
  • We support activists to attend the HLPF and engage in the dialogue on their state’s VNR. In countries where governments are reluctant to communicate with LGBTI organisations, the HLPF can provide a unique opportunity for activists to establish contact with state representatives.
  • Furthermore, ILGA assists advocates in increasing the visibility of LGBTI communities in development spaces by providing technical support to produce a spotlight report on SDGs and LGBTI people in their country.