UN Concludes Post-2015 Negotiations in New York
On Sunday 2nd August, after more than three years of negotiations and intense involvement from many stakeholders, including IFLA, the Member States of the United Nations agreed the final version of the post-2015 Development Agenda – now known as 2030 Agenda. The new 2030 Agenda is a framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a total of 179 Targets spanning economic, environmental and social development. They lay out a plan for all countries to actively engage in making our world better for its people and the planet. The official version of the post-2015 Development Agenda will be adopted by Heads of State upon during the United Nations Summit in New York, September 25-27 2015. IFLA will continue to raise awareness during the Summit for access to information and the essential role libraries play in fulfilling this.
IFLA welcomes the 2030 Agenda and is pleased to see access to information, universal literacy, safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage, as well as access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) strongly represented across it. We are particularly pleased to the see the strong mention of access to information in Target 16.10: “Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements”
The new vision
The 2030 Agenda will help all UN Member States focus their attention on poverty eradication, climate change, and the development of people. Libraries can support many aspects of its vision and the supporting SDGs. Libraries are key public institutions which have a vital role to play in furthering development on every level of society. The Agenda also creates a UN Interagency Task Force on Science Technology and Innovation. The Task Force will look at information and technology transfer mechanisms world-wide and collect these in one place to ensure access to information, knowledge, best practises and lessons learned are available to all. IFLA welcomes the creation of this task force, and will continue our advocacy to ensure our views and the expertise of the information community are taken to account in its creation.
All Member States have agreed to the new Agenda, however follow-up is voluntary and the Agenda represents political rather than legal commitments. Furthermore, IFLA would like to stress the importance of integrating the results and ongoing achievements of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) within the Means of Implementation of the new Agenda.
What is next?
Leading up to the UN Summit to launch the new development 2030 Agenda in September 2015, IFLA will work on a detailed analysis of the SDGs and provide information on how libraries can contribute to reaching them.
IFLA will also actively participate in monitoring the progress made on the access to information target (Target16.10), other relevant targets, and ensure appropriate data regarding libraries as access points will be included. We will publish a Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report which furthermore will strengthen the monitoring of the impact of access to information on the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda will be implemented at national levels. IFLA would like to encourage librarians to continue your active work in engaging with your governments and their National Development Plans and ensure libraries, as information, skills and ICT providers as well as agents to safeguard cultural heritage, are represented in these.
Thanks to you
IFLA together with you, our network, and the signatories of the Lyon Declaration we advocated and promoted access to information as an essential aspect to ensure the success of the post-2015 Development Agenda. The hard work done by all of us means that the new framework offers libraries a great opportunity to help fulfil their country’s National Development Plans by showing how their activities and skills can support the newly established SDGs – now we must rise to the challenge and prove that libraries are crucial partners for sustainable development. Please also see the webversion.
Julia Brungs, Policy and Projects Officer
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)