The LWF is committed to helping realise the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. In September 2015, the UN adopted an agenda that set up 17 goals covering a wide range of issues, including ending poverty, hunger and promoting well-being, ensuring access to education, water and energy and working for peace, equality and combat the negative impacts of climate change. The SDGs are meant to encourage action over the next 14 years in areas of importance for humanity and our planet.
What is the LWF reflection on the SDGs?
In a worldly analogy to Christ’s promise to “make all things new” (Rev. 21.5), the SDGs represent an opportunity to enhance human dignity and our stewardship towards God’s creation. In intersection with various priorities of the LWF own strategy With Passion for the Church and the World, the SDGs invite the LWF “to leave no one behind” and to engage with actors within and beyond the ecumenical family to change social structures to bring wider attention to people in need.
How is the LWF involved?
The SDGs align with various strategic priorities and goals of the LWF Strategy 2012-2017. Through its program work and its 145 member churches in 98 countries the LWF is already involved in work that relates to the SDGs. While supporting the SDGs as a whole, the LWF has a particularly strong involvement in eight of the goals:
• End poverty (SDG 1)
• End hunger and achieve food security (SDG 2)
• Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being (SDG 3)
• Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education (SDG 4)
• Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls (SDG 5)
• Combat climate changes and their impact (SDG 13)
• Promote peaceful, inclusive and accountable societies (SDG 16)
• Revitalize global partnership for sustainable development (SDG 17)
The LWF has a strong role in building member church capacity to implement the SDGs, supporting church advocacy to improve policy locally, as well as working to alter unhelpful beliefs and values.
How is LWF working with other international and UN organisations?
The LWF seeks partnerships within its membership and with external partners, in particular with ecumenical partners and networks such as ACT Alliance, the World Council of Churches and Caritas Internationalis, to implement the SDGs. With the WCC, the LWF is exploring funding opportunities with UN organisations to support SDG projects and programs.
The LWF takes part in platforms related to the SDGs, such as the Moral Imperative Working Group (the World Bank’s initiative to work with faith-based organizations to reduce poverty by 2030) and ecumenical meetings on policy engagement, advocacy and action. As a member of the Civil Society Partnership for Development Effectiveness faith-based constituency, the LWF, with Islamic Relief Worldwide and other international faith organizations, fostered its advocacy mandate by attending the High–Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2016.
What is the purpose of this involvement?
As a communion of churches, the LWF works for “a just, peaceful and reconciled world.” Working together to meet the SDGs is a way of recognizing and valuing the dignity of all human beings, of being responsible stewards of creation, of seeing our neighbor and reaching out where help is needed. For the LWF and its member churches, the SGDs are an important opportunity to have their work recognized and supported in new partnerships. Working both globally and in local contexts, the LWF is a valuable partner to the UN, and an important advocacy voice and implementing actor of the SDGs on the global and local stage.