New York, 14 July 2022

The Major Groups and Other Stakeholders (MGOS) voice deep disappointment and frustration with the 2022 Ministerial Declaration. The Declaration is an opportunity to guide action, demonstrate strong political leadership, make recommendations to overcome inequalities, and push forward commitments on sustainable development, yet this ambition has fallen vastly short. With only eight years to reach the 2030 Agenda, maintaining the status quo, and even regressing on agreed language, is unacceptable. In our opinion, this result is due in part to the limited involvement of MGOS and civil society in general.

At a time when humanity and life on this planet are under threat, we are dismayed to see no actionable path mandated in this Ministerial Resolution to meet the urgent current global challenges and no political guidance to shift from existing paradigms that are deepening inequalities, violating human rights, and destroying the environment.

Without concerted efforts and action to address systemic issues, structural inequalities, and change current systems, we cannot deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing threat, with already visible, lethal, and catastrophic consequences, disproportionately impacting Global South countries. This is largely due to the criminal hoarding of vaccines by wealthy countries, but, even more, to the disaster-profiteering of elites and rich countries in favor of big pharmaceutical companies. All the while, colonialist, extractive, and heteropatriarchal States and actors continue to exploit those who are already oppressed, with impunity

This 2022 Ministerial Declaration is irrelevant in the face of the real, systemic, and structural solutions that are needed now. Prior inequalities and vulnerabilities are being exacerbated including, environmental and climate devastation, unsustainable debt, abject hunger, excruciating poverty, and greater crises in education, care work, and energy, adding to alarming levels of gender based violence and discrimination.

All of these and their intersections, are leading to massive violations of human rights. The impacts of these are felt differently across the globe: those facing multiple and intersecting forms of oppression bear the brunt of these crises. Meanwhile, the Global South continues to struggle for a policy space wide enough to address the structural challenges imposed on them, including through extractive and predatory practices of some Global North countries.

We underline the importance of the Ministerial Declaration, but currently we find it lacks the political will, ambition, and collective action on sustainable development, leading to a growing sense of despondency, defeat and despair.

We call on Member States to urgently fulfill their responsibilities in the most important and democratic multilateral space, the United Nations, and to make timely and responsible decisions to face the crises of our times, while upholding the human rights framework, gender equality and environmental integrity. The Major Groups and Other Stakeholders have been key drivers to change and are committed to support and promote bold, ambitious and transformative actions of Member States.

Mabel Bianco and Ajay Jha on behalf MGOS