In cooperation with a network of Egyptian alumni who have graduated from Master, PhD and other programmes in Sweden, the Embassy of Sweden in Cairo organised a #FirstGeneration event in the form of a panel discussion on the Global Development Agenda. The meeting brought together key stakeholders for an interactive and enriching discussion around the SDGs, their implementation, as well as the interlinkages with national sustainable development strategies in Egypt.
The panel consisted of high-level representatives including Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Assistant Minister of Environment; Mr. Richard Dictus, UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt; Ms. Helen Henriksson, President of Ericsson in Egypt and Ms. Margareta Davidson, Sida Regional Programme Manager. Swedish Ambassador to Egypt Ms. Charlotta Sparre moderated the discussion.
At the opening of the discussion Ambassador Sparre stressed the strong interlinkage between the 17 Global Goals and said that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seek to end poverty and hunger, realise the human rights of all, achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.
UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Dictus highlighted that the Global Goals are integrated and indivisible, and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The SDGs seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. The adoption of the Goals in 2015 was left an important signal from world leaders to commit to take bold and transformative steps, urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path, where no one should be behind. He also underlined that the Goals can only be met if everyone takes a responsibility on this collective journey on which important roles exist for all stakeholders, governments, private sector, civil society, media etc.
The Ministry of Environment’s Dr. Fouad shared information on Egypt’s effort to integrate the Global Goals in its domestic development agenda – Vision 2030, which aims to create a “competitive, balanced and diversified economy, dependent on innovation and knowledge, based on justice, social integrity and participation, characterized by a balanced and diversified ecological collaboration system, investing the ingenuity of place and humans to achieve sustainable development and to improve Egyptians’ life quality”. She highlighted the interconnected work of different ministries and discussed the ways in which the Egyptian government coordinates work on the SDGs.
Ms. Henriksson from Ericsson gave the perspective of a private sector company. She said that the Global Agenda was strongly integrated in the internal policies of the company, as well as in its efforts to contribute to sustainable development in projects and products, including for more efficient use of resources.
Ms. Davidson presented an overview of Sweden’s regional development work, underlining the ways in which the Swedish development cooperation support the SDGs.
The alumni, who come from a variety of fields and backgrounds, engaged with the panel and reflected on their own role in advocating for and working towards the SDGs in their personal and professional lives.
– For the SDGs to become a reality, we need to open up the discussion around these topics as much as possible so that everyone can be involved, the Ambassador said.