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Adopt an SDG LIVE with 10 MPs!

On Thursday 29 March, Building Change organised the event 'Adopt an SDG LIVE' in Dudok The Hague. After six months of 'Adopt an SDG', it was high time for a look back and forward. No fewer than 11 MPs took the stage to talk about what they have done in the past six months to contribute to achieving their adopted SDG(s). There was also room for civil society organisations to provide the MPs with feedback, and we talked about their future plans for their SDG(s).

In debate with MPs
The SDGs were divided into four clusters (peace and security, the social goals, the economic goals and the green goals). For each cluster, the respective MPs entered into discussions with monitoring organisations, who were present in the room. Like the MPs, these civil society organisations have chosen one or more SDGs. Their task is to monitor and regularly provide the MPs with substantive input. This time, the organisations had the chance to engage directly in debate with the MPs. Resulting in some good, critical questions. For instance, one visitor stated that adopting an SDG is one thing, but that it is also important to look at the question, "How does the government make us aware of the SDGs?"

New adoptive parents
During the event, Rob Jetten (D66) presented himself as the proud new adopter of SDG 7 (sustainable and affordable energy). During the handover, he made the link between energy and development cooperation. He said that he liked the fact that his family lives remote in Africa but has access to energy. The subject of energy was topical this afternoon anyway: shortly before the meeting, the news broke that Groningen gas is going to zero. Not only Jetten was extremely happy about this, Agnes Mulder (CDA and co-adoptor of SDG 7) also stressed that her big smile would not disappear from her face that day. By the way, at the end of the event, another name could be added to the list of adopters. That same day, Stieneke van der Graaf (ChristenUnie) adopted SDG 16 (peace, security and justice). Meanwhile, The number of MPs committed to 'Adopt an SDG' at 25!

The importance of integrality
Integrality is key when it comes to the SDGs, precisely because the SDGs are committee- and department-wide. This was recognised by almost all MPs. For instance, Carla Dik-Faber (Christian Union) said, "We are doing it for a reason, namely our children and the next generation". Gender is one of those topics where integrality is important, this was also stressed by Kirsten van den Hul (PvdA): "It is just very important that we start looking at many more issues through a gender lens".

Work to be done
In addition, more data is needed to better measure the achievement of the SDGs. Indeed, at present, data are only available for 51 per cent of the SDG indicators. Public attention for the SDGs remains essential, so that the goals also gain wider social support. An example given was a campaign in schools or at sports clubs.

Next time, the 'Adopt an SDG' campaign continues. The MPs will go further than just making their SDG(s) more visible. The next step is for the MPs to do their best to raise awareness of their SDG(s) outside their own committee, i.e. also in other policy areas and with other political parties.

MPs present:

Adopting SDG 7 and SDG 14, Agnes Mulder (CDA)
Adopting SDG 5 and SDG 16, Anne Kuik (CDA)
Adopting SDG 12 and SDG 14, Carla Dik-Faber (CU)
Adopter of SDG 6, Corrie van Brenk (50PLUS)
Adopter of SDG 1 and SDG 8, Joël Voordewind (CU)
Adopter of SDG 5, Kirsten van den Hul (PvdA)
Adopter of SDG 4, Michel Rog (CDA)
Adopter of SDG 7, Rob Jetten (D66)
Adopting parent of SDG 16, Salima Belhaj (D66)
Adoptor of SDG 15, Suzanne Kröger (GroenLinks)
Adopting SDG 14 and SDG 15, Tjeerd de Groot (D66)