Business-Friendly & Rights-based Approaches to Achieve SDGs

Dilum Abeysekera is Founder & CEO, LEEG-net
| LexEcon Consulting Group*

By Dilum Abeysekera
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Feb 5 2019 (IPS)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by all
United Nations Member States in 2015 has entered its fourth year of
implementation.

In terms of the estimated cost and the universal coverage of
both developed and developing countries, it is the biggest ever
development program that is being implemented to end poverty,
protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and
prosperity.

LEEG-net (Legal & Economic
Empowerment Global Network – https://www.leeg-net.org ) is a
multi-disciplinary network of professionals and a pro bono
partnership for the Goals launched in January, 2017 in response to
the global call-to-action extended by the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development.

It plays a catalytic role in implementing the SDGs by promoting
legal innovation and empowerment of the poor and disadvantaged
groups towards addressing the “greatest global challenge of
eradicating poverty” – the unifying thread throughout the 17
Goals.

According to LEEG-net, the focus on legal innovation is an
ongoing quest for new strategies and ways of thinking about what
the law can do in the field of development.

The focus on legal empowerment as a human rights-based approach
to development is an attempt to make the law work for the poor and
disadvantaged groups by enhancing their capacity to resist poverty
and get over it.

LEEG-net links the two themes by virtue of their shared
importance in finding solutions to sustainable development
challenges.

Current status of the implementation of
SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018
published by the United Nations reviews progress in the third year
of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The report states that the rate of global progress is not
keeping pace with the ambitions of the Agenda, necessitating
immediate and accelerated action by countries and stakeholders at
all levels.

The 2018 SDG Index and Dashboards report
published jointly by Bertelsmann Stiftung and the UN Sustainable
Development Solutions Network (SDSN) provides a ranking of
countries by the aggregate SDG Index of overall performance.

It also presents an updated assessment of countries’ distance
to achieving the SDGs. Key findings include:

(a) The Report states “For the
first time, we are able to show that no country is on track to
achieve all the goals by 2030.
For example, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland top the 2018 SDG Index,
but they need to significantly accelerate progress towards
achieving some goals, including Goal 12 (Sustainable Consumption
and Production) and Goal 13 (Climate Action)”

(b) Most G 20 countries have started SDGs implementation, but
important gaps remain.

(c) Achievement gaps are greatest towards universal completion
of secondary education.

(d) Countries experiencing conflict have experienced some of the
sharpest reversals, particularly towards achieving Goal 1 (No
Poverty) and Goal 2 (No Hunger).

(e) Progress towards sustainable consumption and production
patterns is too slow. High-income countries obtain their lowest
scores on Goal 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and Goal
14 (Life Below Water).

(g) High-income countries generate negative SDG spillover
effects.

Human rights foundation of the SDGs

The 2030 Agenda is grounded in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and other international human rights treaties.

According to an analysis of the Danish Institute for Human
Rights, around 92% of the 169 SDG targets are based on the
provisions of international human rights treaties and labour
conventions.

LEEG-net perceives the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs as a restatement
of universal human rights that encompass the three dimensions of
sustainable development – social, environmental and economic.

The SDGs can be seen as a goal-based operational plan for
realizing human rights including the right to development as
recognized by international, regional and national instruments.

The “human rights foundation” of the 2030 Agenda justifies
the adoption of a human rights-based approach to implementing the
SDGs. A human rights-based approach to development seeks to achieve
development objectives by following a legal roadmap.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the two
International Covenants adopted in 1966 respectively on Civil and
Political Rights, and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights along
with other human rights instruments operative at the international,
regional and national levels constitute the legal roadmap of a
rights-based approach to development.

With the objective of advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development, LEEG-net seeks to incorporate business-friendly and
human rights-based approaches (or a holistic approach) into
national action plans for implementing the SDGs.

The proposed mechanism is the promotion of legal, economic and
technological empowerment of people including the poor and
disadvantaged groups within the human rights foundation of the
SDGs.

This process is visualized by the infographic named SDG
Temple of Justice
– an outline of a blueprint developed
by LEEG-net team (web: https://www.leeg-net.org/sdg-temple-of-justice).

This blueprint seeks to prioritize policies and actions to
advance eightfold rights that are considered imperative for
developing countries in particular if they are to fully realize the
SDGs.

These rights, as depicted by pillars of the infographic, are
Gender Equality, Property Rights, Contract Rights, Business Rights,
Labour Rights, Right to an Effective Remedy, Right to Information,
and the Right to Development. Click on the pillars of the SDG
Temple of Justice infographic to see how these rights critically
impact on achieving the SDGs.

Member States’ commitment to adopting business-friendly
approaches, including efficient legal and regulatory frameworks,
promotes innovation, employment and inclusive growth.

As supported by empirical evidence, actions taken by State
institutions that promote, protect and assure the rights of
businesses (irrespective of their size) have had a direct impact on
reducing poverty.

Economies with better business regulation have lower levels of
poverty on average (Doing Business-2018, World Bank). Such
commitments are required to help achieve SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8 and 10 in
particular.

LEEG-net considers the Ease of Doing Business
(EODB)
score as an effective indicator for measuring the
“SDG-readiness” of national business regulatory frameworks.

The EODB score has been developed by World Bank’s Doing
Business team to indicate an economy’s position to the best
regulatory practice in relation to 10 indicator sets – the best
score is set at 100, and the worst performance is set at 0.

LEEG-net believes that a considerable number of SDG targets of
the 2030 Agenda can be easily met if countries maintain an EODB
score of 80 or more.

Web: www.leeg-net.org |
www.lexecongroup.com

The post
Business-Friendly & Rights-based Approaches to Achieve SDGs

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Excerpt:

Dilum Abeysekera is Founder & CEO, LEEG-net
| LexEcon Consulting Group*

The post
Business-Friendly & Rights-based Approaches to Achieve SDGs

appeared first on Inter Press
Service
.

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Business-Friendly & Rights-based Approaches to Achieve SDGs