The Open University, in conjunction with the Coalition of Aid and Development Agencies (CADA) NI hosted a seminar in Belfast exploring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The event is one in a series run by the OU, exploring responses to the SDGs across the UK. Agreed just under a year ago, Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out an ambitious plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It is underpinned by 17 global goals - the SDGs - and 169 targets, which will drive global efforts over the next 15 years.
Chaired by John D’Arcy, Director of The Open University, the event considered what these targets mean in practice for civil society, the private sector and of course academic partners like The Open University. The event heard specific views on implications for Northern Ireland, including speakers such as Claire Hanna MLA, and Chair of the All Party Group on International Development, Orla Devine, Global Learning Programme Coordinator Centre for Global Education, Jenny Williams, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland and Professor Giles Mohan, Chair of International Development at the OU.
Professor Giles Mohan said: “The Open University is unique among UK Higher Education Institutions for being a four-nation university with a presence in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. It also works in a distinct way by combining research and teaching with the practical delivery of development projects.”
“By convening these events we hope to learn how we can draw on these strengths and work with partners in each nation to maximize our contribution to the SDGs.”
David Thomas, from CADA NI said “The coalition of aid and development agencies is a network of organisations in Northern Ireland who are all working for a better world where everyone can live a full life free from poverty and exclusion. The sustainable development goals set out the challenges that must be tackled if this world is to become a reality and this event is a great opportunity for our members to join with others to discuss the contribution that we, in Northern Ireland, can make to this agenda.”
Photograph (L-R) - Professor Giles Mohan, John D'Arcy, Orla Devine, Claire Hanna MLA, Jenny Williams.