NWO-WOTRO signs Dutch charter on Sustainable Development Goals

5 October 2015

On 29 September, a successful high-level meeting: 'Kick-starting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Netherlands' took place at tthe Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. In total, representatives from more than 100 organisations participated in this charter of Dutch SDGs. Minister Ploumen pointed out the uniqueness of the SDG Charter that NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development also signed.

Over 60 companies and NGOs – such as DSM, Philips, Unilever, AkzoNobel, Friesland Campina, ABN AMRO, Tony’s Chocolonely, True Price en Oxfam Novib – together with Minister Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) signed a Charter with which they commit themselves to more cooperation and collaboration to reach the new development goals. This took place during a meeting in The Hague on a joint contribution to the Post-2015 development agenda.

Worldconnector Herman Mulder opened the floor to the welcoming words by Bernard Wientjes on behalf of the Rijksmuseum. After that, Adrian de Groot Ruiz of True Price and co-founder of the SDG Charter zoomed in on the SDG Charter’s vision that solution partnerships and innovation are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Concrete solution partnerships are already taking shape as presented by Jan-Willem Scheijgrond of Philips in the form of their active engagement with Charter signatories Bioneedle, Hospitainer and World Vision on the topic of Health. Next, André Veneman explained how AkzoNobel is actively building on a partnership for Human Cities, together with a.o. Arcadis and the Human Cities Coalition. Thereafter, Steven van Eijck explained the focus SDG themes the Major Alliance Netherlands will center their efforts on in the coming years.

The three A's

Minister Lilianne Ploumen pointed out the uniqueness of the SDG Charter, bringing together so many organisations for one purpose. We can surely be a bit proud of this achievement, which targets a wider context of Global Goals, whilst building on the unique capacities of the Netherlands. As Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, indicated this is especially valuable since the pressing global issues require everyone to work together which is why cross-sector partnerships are essential to reaching the SDGs. Building on that notion, Steven van Eijck highlighted the importance of bringing in the perspective of philanthropy in achieving the SDGs.

Fokko Wientjes, Vice-President Sustainability & Partnerships at DSM and co-founder of the SDG Charter, concluded the meeting with underlining the three ‘A’s that are central to the next steps of the SDG Charter:

  • Aspiration
  • Ambition 
  • Aaanhaken’ (joining)

What’s next?

In follow up to a successful meeting, the organising committee is extending a call for another ‘A’: Action. The SDG Charter and Major Alliance Netherlands will present a plan in November, including the results they want to have achieved in a year and the roadmap to it. They will also engage more organisations to form concrete SDG solution partnerships and institutionalise the actions undertaken so far.

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Source: NWO