A central theme of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is a pledge “that no one will be left behind.” Since the establishment of the SDGs in 2015, the importance of this commitment has only grown in political resonance throughout all parts of the globe. Yet, to drive meaningful results, the mantra needs to be matched with action.
In that spirit, a newly edited book, “Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals,” aims to translate that ambitious commitment into an action-oriented mindset, focused on supporting specific people in specific places who are facing specific problems. The volume covers everything from tackling the obstacles faced by women, migrants, refugees and the ultra-poor to closing gaps in access to healthcare and quality education.
On October 18, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings, together with the UN Foundation and the JICA Research Institute co-hosted an event to highlight outcomes from the September SDG summit in New York and to explore how key actors move from incremental action and approaches to transformative change, especially with respect to fulfilling the leave no one behind commitment. Book co-editor and co-author John McArthur, who is also a senior adviser at the UN Foundation, opened the event with a presentation on the volume’s central themes. A moderated panel of experts followed.
Following the discussion, the panel answered questions from the audience.