This is the CSO statement that was delivered to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning, Dato’ Seri Wahid Omar at the SDGs Symposium on 23 February 2016.
Following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the global development agenda at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, more than 20 civil society organisations (CSOs) in Malaysia met on three occasions since October 2015 to reflect on the relevance of SDGs to the country.
We recognise that under the principle of leaving no one behind, the SDGs integrate human rights and development in a balanced, inclusive and ecologically sustainable way.
We note that the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) and the SDGs share some common policy and program focus. With that, the 17 goals, 169 targets and the many indicators identified will guide a clear direction for both policy and delivery in Malaysia’s development program.
We recognise the gaps and shortcomings in the Government’s development planning, priorities and implementation. However, many of these gaps could be addressed through the SDGs over the next 15 years between 2016 -2030.
This speech was delivered at “SDGs and ASEAN, Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights as Framework for Conflict Resolution and Mediation: Implications for ASEAN and Malaysia”, 27 Oct 2015 in KL Convention Centre. The event was organised by Global Movement of Moderates (GMM), Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM) and Institute of Ethnic Studies-Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (KITA-UKM). You may also find a copy of this speech in UKM Ethnic Studies Paper Series No. 45, February 2016, “Sustainable Development Goals and Malaysia Society: Civil Society Perspectives edited by Denison Jayasooria.
How can Asean promote the realization of SDGs? We are basically hearing the same language of socially responsible, people-oriented and people-centered development in SDGs and Asean. Recognizing that the MDGs might have failed certain people and countries, the 2030 Agenda sets out to “reach the furthest behind first” and concludes with a pledge that “no one will be left behind”.
SDGs are an opportunity for Asean. Asean should utilize the adoption of SDGs to both strengthen and partly refocus their framework for regional integration, as doing so would better serve sustainable development across the region. In practice, this would mean aligning the overall objectives of the Asean Community with those of the SDGs and strengthening this regional framework.