Nicaraguan children during the consultation process on the Sustainable Development Goals. SDGs. ©UNICEF Nicaragua/2015/O. Moraga
18 de September de 2015

Managua.- The proposal and roadmap for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015-2030 will be discussed on September 25-27 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This is a decisive moment for the United Nations as it is the first time that all aspects of sustainable development—social, economic and environmental—are being linked together in the same place.

“These goals have a fundamental value in relation to the lives of children,” said Nicaraguan adolescent Digema Artola. “We children support the SDGs because they seek to eradicate poverty, among other things.”

Digema is president of the “Luis Alfonso Velázquez Flores” Movement’s Network of Girls and will take part in the special United Nations session in which the member states will approve the new Sustainable Development Goals for 2015-2030. She is one of five children from Latin America and the Caribbean who will participate in the meeting.

Children from across the globe were consulted on their vision of the world for children over the next 15 years. The consultations in Nicaragua were conducted by the Nicaragua Chapter of the Global Movement for Children, made up of 14 organizations that work for child rights.

“For me, it’s a privilege that they are taking us into account and letting us know that we children are also worth something,” said 16-year-old Allison Alondra Merlo, who participated in the dialogue. “The 17 SDGs have a fundamental value in our lives, particularly those related to sustainable development, or in other words helping the present generations and not affecting future ones.”

According to 16-year-old Fleury Cárcamo, who also participated in the event, “These 17 goals are highly important as we’re the future of Nicaragua and we have to contribute to our development because we’re agents of change and we must help produce it. We have a very important role to play because we’re the protagonists of this change. Above all, the state has to support the implementation of these goals because it has to jointly contribute to this cause.”

Children at Nicaragua’s National Assembly

Over 200 children from different municipalities in the country held a meeting with National Assembly representatives on September 11, 2015, in which they informed the parliamentarians of the results of the consultation process carried out during the last two years at the municipal and national levels on the proposals for the new Sustainable Development Goals. These recommendations were sent to the Nicaragua Mission in the United Nations through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, as part of the Open Working Group established by the United Nations, which worked on the proposals for the new SDGs.

“I’m grateful they’ve listened to our voice and taken it into account because generally speaking they don’t include us despite the fact that we’re the future of Nicaragua, we’re agents of change,” stated Allyson Hernández Molina during the event.

Equity as a guiding principle

The guiding principle behind the 17 SDGs is equity, which implies leaving no-one behind. This will only be possible through investment in the rights of children everywhere in the world. Thanks to the objectives and goals proposed by the Open Working Group, inspired to a large degree by the Millennium Development Goals, children have many reasons to celebrate.

The goals on the reduction of inequalities, the elimination of violence against children and the fight against child poverty represent important advances. These goals must be quantifiable and translated into indicators in order to measure the progress made within and among the different countries and to monitor the equity gaps.

These advances in the area of child rights must be maintained in the negotiations for the new development agenda, with attention focused on those spheres in which there are still gaps. The prioritization of the poorest and most disadvantaged children must be reflected in the formulation of all of the goals, indicators and national application frameworks.

Investing in the rights of all children, everywhere, regardless of their sex, ethnic origin, race, economic situation, disabilities or other conditions, is fundamental to achieving the future we want to see.

The proposals from the Open Working Group provide a universal programme to protect the rights of all children, everywhere, allowing them to enjoy the best start in life, survive and prosper, receive a quality education and live free from violence and abuse.

As rights are not restricted by national borders, it is hoped that the different countries commit themselves to putting their heart and soul into achieving the objectives and goals through national action plans. This universality must be maintained in the definition of the objectives and goals and in the production of the indicators.

The proposed Sustainable Development Goals:

1.End poverty in all its forms, everywhere.
2.End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustaiable agriculture.
3. Ensure health and promote well-being for all at all ages.
4.Ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning opportunities for everyone.
5.Achieve gender equality and promote the empowerment of all women and girls.
6.Ensure access to and the sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
7.Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
8.Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; full and productive employment; and decent work for all.
9.Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
10.Reduce inequality within and among countries.
11.Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
12.Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
13.Take urgent measures to combat climate change and its negative effects.
14.Protect, reestablish and promote the sustainable use of land ecosystems; sustainably manage forests; combat desertification; halt and reverse land degradation; and stop biodiversity loss.
15.Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development; facilitate access to justice for all; and create efficient, responsible and inclusive institutions at all levels.
16.Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development in the areas of finance, technology, capacity building, trade, policy and institutional coherence, multi-stakeholder partnerships, data, monitoring and accountability


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Olga Moraga, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Nicaragua