We need to accelerate the transition towards a fair and ecological society, according to IFOP-Association 4D poll

By Vaia Tuuhia and Carole-Anne Sénit, Association 4D

Question replied on the graphic: Would you say that the situation on your chosen goals has got better, stayed the same, or got worse over the past 12 months?

French people strive for a peaceful society

IFOP has conducted a poll for Association 4D in partnership with the United Nations’ My World 2030 survey in the run up to the 2018 High Level Political Forum, which gathers all the member states of the United Nations in New York from 9 to 18 July. Every year, member states report to their counterparts and civil society on the actions they implemented to contribute to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. Among the 17 challenges presented to the participants, the promotion of just, peaceful, and inclusive societies has been marked as one of the main priorities by 50% of the respondents. And yet, only 9% of them consider that progress has been made in this area over the past 12 months. This is a powerful message in response to rising populism, the selfish and isolationist behaviors of states, and the shrinking of civic and democratic space in France.

The other issue marked as a priority by almost 6 respondents out of ten relates to health and the promotion of well-being for all at all ages (58%). The greed for (over)consumption has been substituted to the need for a healthy and balanced life, respectful of others and the environment.

The 17 challenges presented in the poll are based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, a societal project which all member states committed to on 25 September 2015. Taken together, the SDGs constitute an inspirational and transformational plan of action that is supposed to pull us away from the tipping points beyond which our environment would fall into a state much less favorable to the development of human societies. From the degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems to persisting poverty and rising inequalities, the daily warnings remind us of the urgent need to depart from the status quo.

France needs to change its course of action

Despite the adoption of the SDGs 3 years ago, we can only point out the difficulty of France to engage in such transformational plan, and to adopt and implement the needed public policies to achieve the SDGs. Respondents indeed feel that important setbacks have been taken place in France over the past 12 months on poverty (SDG 1) – 96% of the respondents consider that the situation on this issue has not gotten better. The state of the world’s oceans (SDG 14) has not gotten better for 93% of the people surveyed. As for inequalities among and within countries (SDG 10), 92% of the respondents consider that they have not been reduced.

Yet a contingency plan exists: the ambitious implementation of the 2030 Agenda by France, along with its European partners, can accelerate the transition towards a fair and ecological society. However, the IFOP poll indicates that merely 6% of the population seem to be aware of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Yet the goals will hardly be achieved without civil society, business, and public authorities taking ownership over the SDGs, and designing collective programs, policies, and strategies for their implementation.

The national roadmap for SDG implementation must be discussed by citizens

The French roadmap for SDG implementation is a great opportunity to foster citizen and decision-makers’ knowledge of and ownership over the 2030 Agenda. Steered by the State Secretary to a fair and ecological transition Brune Poirson and defined in partnership with civil society, this roadmap will be submitted to a series of consultations between January and March 2019, before its interministerial endorsement. This consultation phase must include citizens. Only with massive citizen participation will the shared implementation of the 2030 Agenda bring us closer to its objectives: transforming our world into an inclusive, safe, and sustainable environment allowing each and everyone of us to (re)bound with ourselves, with others, with nature, and to thrive in a fairer and more peaceful globalization.

Press contact: Vaia Tuuhia (Association 4D) +33 (0)7 81 65 51 47

IFOP contact: Adeline Merceron / Frédéric Dabi +33 (0)1 45 84 14 44

Association 4D was created after the Rio Conference in 1992 to build some expertise on sustainable development. They develop their activities at local, national and international level sharing with their network a vision of preserving the planet resources while reducing inequalities thanks to democratic practices.

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