Last year, the United Nations approved the very ambitious Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls amongst others, to be achieved by 2030.
Last month, more than 80 companies, civil society organisations and representatives of the public sector signed the Belgian SDG Charter for International Development. The charter was an initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo. Close the Gap’s strategic partner The Shift helped draft the charter and is currently managing the ongoing process. In the Charter, and for the first time, the important role of the private sector in international development is explicitly recognized in the SDGs.
“The Belgian SDG Charter is intended to increase awareness of the ambitious SDG agenda within the private sector in Belgium. The fact that, today, more than 50 companies have already signed the charter is an important signal.”
Alexander De Croo
On October 18th , Close the Gap, together with over 80 Belgian companies, partners from civil society and the public sector, signed the SDG Belgian Charter which was praised by Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General and Jim Yong Kim the World Bank President in a video message at this event.
The Belgian SDG Charter for International Development outlines the engagement of the private sector, civil society and the public sector in Belgium based on the SDGs. In the months and years to come, concrete initiatives will be set up, based on the charter, between the authorities, the private sector and civil society organisations. The focus will be on health, renewable energy, digitization, agriculture & food, and sustainable entrepreneurship.
Ms. Inge Knapen (Operation Director, Close the Gap) with Mr. Alexander De Croo (Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services)
Close the Gap is focusing its efforts towards achieving the SDGs through ICT4D, since this approach plays a pivotal role in achieving a world of prosperity, equality, freedom, dignity and peace, as outlined by the SDGs. Close the Gap and its stakeholders feel that education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality, laying the foundations for sustained economic growth, and ICT for Education can be a powerful tool in support of achieving the SDGs.