Seventeen goals. 169 targets. 15 years. These three figures summarise the 2030 Agenda, the universal roadmap adopted in 2015 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to ‘free the human race from the tyranny of poverty’ and to ‘heal and secure our planet’. An ambitious objective that can be achieved if the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are met in a global impetus of collaboration between actors of all sectors and levels.
As the global champion of sustainable urban mobility, UITP, and its members, have been enthusiastically committed to helping communities advance towards the SDGs. Throughout the years, numerous actions have been taken, advocacy events organised and knowledge papers drafted to ensure that the public transport sector remain an important driver in the journey to reach the goals. The leadership of UITP and our global partners has been key in the preparation of the SUM4All Global Mobility Report, our Sustainable Development Commission has organised the first public transport event in the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue Platform and we keep actively working all around the world.
UITP’s devotion to reach the SDGs is intrinsically linked to the Goal 11, and more precisely 11.2, which aims to “provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons”. It is directly linked and has a multiplier effect on 13 out of the 17 SDGs.
The Goal 11 to ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ was high on the agenda of the latest United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which was held in New York from 9 to 18 July. Created in 2012 as the main platform of the UN on sustainable development, its main role is to follow-up and review the 2030 Agenda.
UITP had the opportunity to participate in this crucial Forum, in collaboration with our partner United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Indeed, Mr Projjal Dutta, Director Sustainability Initiatives at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York and Chairman of the UITP Sustainable Development Commission, represented UITP at the event, discussing how improving access to integrated urban public transport is key to achieve the SDGs. In the context of the Mobility Champions Community, working together with local and regional governments, since SDGs will be only reached if “localised”, Mr Dutta stressed the importance to increase the public transport share, while reminding the audience that “if public transport is handled well, it increases people’s confidence in the local government”.
The Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious, still they can have a decisive impact on offering next generations a planet more secure, without poverty, yet they remain a dream until actions are taken. The 2018 HLPF offered a great opportunity for all the stakeholders to find common ways to move further on the long journey to a more sustainable world.