The UNDP has released the Istanbul Declaration following a gathering in Turkey, and the key take-home message is one of sustainability, more specifically sustainable development.
There is plenty that Turkey would do well to heed among the four key points in the statement:
1) A globally adopted vision that combines equitable growth with environmental sustainability, rooted in universal values and global social justice, is needed. It should include a strong emphasis on social inclusion, social protection, and equity -- in recognition of the fact that economic development has too often gone hand in hand with environmental degradation and increased inequality. In Istanbul we discussed this vision, as embodied in the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel Report on Global Sustainability, and in the UNDP Human Development Report.
2) Additional resources are needed to fund innovative solutions to address today’s challenges to ensure a more sustainable and equitable development. Official Development Assistance remains an important resource and must be used in an effective manner. A coordinated approach in mobilization of global capital and local resources is essential to solve global environmental and social problems. New partnerships, inclusive of the private sector and civil society, can increase resources and contribute to a better life for all people today and for generations to come.
3) Women constitute half of the world’s population. Empowering women, enhancing their opportunities through access to education, health care, basic services and their participation in the labour force, are essential. Promoting their larger participation in decision-making processes is also vital for sustainable development efforts.
4) Good governance for sustainable development is essential at global, regional, national and local levels. The United Nations has a vital role to play in engaging all societal actors and supporting national capacities to devise and implement comprehensive sustainable development strategies.
We were delighted to see such a firm commitment to sustainability voiced in Istanbul (a city that itself faces significant problems in finding a balanced roadmap for development). Will Ankara be taking steps in this direction in the near future? We certainly hope so…
--HK Matters team
* “Sustainability at home, sustainability in the world!” – based on a popular saying by Atatürk