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2030 Agenda: Fiocruz and the United Nations hold consultation on ST&I

André Costa (CCS)

On the last November 6, 7 and 8,  the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); the UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre) and Fiocruz promoted the International Consultation on Science, Technology and Innovation in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Health-Related Goals. The meeting brought together government and UN Officials, researchers, and representatives of civil society, providing a diverse picture of the opportunities and challenges of the UN document.

The discussions involved points such as what policies and implementation mechanisms to prioritize to achieve the SDGs, considering the interaction between them, and how to enhance health as a monitoring reference for the agenda and the SDGs. Given the degree of complexity of the questions, the answers were diverse and sometimes contradictory. In some presentations, the debate revolved around international governance for the 2030 Agenda and issues such as the means to finance it. Participants also emphasized the interdependence between the various goals, and how social inequality must be directly targeted for the achievement of all the SDGs

Fiocruz Presidente Nísia Trindade Lima said at the opening of the event that "it is not possible to think about sustainable development without focusing on the big issues of social inequality and the social determinantes of health. The social determinants are the basis of health, from the incidence of infections to the relationship between natural disasters and unequal social structure. Only by looking at them we can meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda".

"it is not possible to think about sustainable development without focusing on inequality", said Fiocruz President Nísia Trindade Lima.

Former president and Fiocruz coordinator for the 2030 Agenda, Paulo Gadelha said the seminar "was the starting point of a network. There are a number of bilateral partnerships that will be consolidated from the meetings held here. We must now act in a common and systemic way, with the capacity to generate concrete effects to achieve the SDGs", Gadelha said. 

The chief of the policy analysis sector of the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development , Shantanu Mukherjee focused specifically on TFM. For the leader, the Mechanism seeks to "promote cooperation between the private sector, the academy, civil society and policymakers, the most important sector of all, which determines where technology sits. We often do not know how to translate knowledge into public policy".

Jorge Martinez Navarrete, for its turn, presented UniteIdeas, a collaborative platform of the United Nations to "transform society and enable personal contacts with leaders". The site's propcosal is "to mobilize a global community of problem solvers to develop and apply technology that produces social impact". The development principle was that of a gradual evolution: "building the smallest viable product" and evolving from there.

The director of the Social Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac), Laís Abramo, said in her presentation that the Latin American continent saw a significant reduction in inequalities between 2006 and 2014, when social policies in several countries prioritized the fight against poverty. For this to happen again and inequality decreases again, according to the researcher, "we have to understand the axes that structure and reproduce it". These include "a culture of privilege (such as the naturalization of inequality and exclusion of the other") and the affirmation of a "concept of equality, which includes equality of means, income and productive resources".

This meeting is another result of a collaboration between Fiocruz and the UN: at UN-92 in Rio de Janeiro, the Foundation had an active and relevant participation, participating in and conducting discussions on health and sustainability. The same happened 20 years later, at Rio+20. The United Nations agencies and programs that helped organize this consultation were: Department of Economic and Social Affairs; the Technology Facilitation Mechanism; the World Center for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Center); the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

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