Asia, a continent rich in diversity and culture, is witnessing a transformative shift in its approach to sustainable development. At the forefront of this change is the civil society, which is playing a pivotal role in championing Sustainable Development Goal 17 (SDG 17) - strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.
HelpAge, a non-governmental organization, stands as a testament to the power of collective effort in Asia. Their mission is to ensure that the rights and needs of older people are not just recognized but actively integrated into global development strategies. Their guide, “Ageing and the SDGs – Six steps to older people's inclusion,” is a beacon for organizations and governments alike, providing a roadmap for the inclusion of ageing and age-inclusive policies in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The idea of a global society for sustainable development is not just a concept; it's a movement. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of nations, communities, and individuals in achieving a sustainable future. HelpAge's SDG Pilot Programme, which spans regions including Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Cambodia, Costa Rica, the Gambia, and Rwanda, is a testament to this global partnership. By ensuring that ageing and older people are included in development thinking, policies, and programmes, HelpAge is fostering a global society where sustainable development is truly inclusive.
HelpAge's co-chairing of the Stakeholder Group on Ageing (SGA) further solidifies its commitment to SDG 17. The SGA, a member of the UN’s Major Groups and Other Stakeholders mechanism, coordinates global civil society engagement with the UN system around SDG implementation. This collaboration is a shining example of how civil society can come together, bridging generational gaps, to achieve a common goal.
In a world where the challenges of sustainable development are vast and complex, the role of civil society in bridging gaps and fostering global partnerships is paramount. HelpAge's efforts in Asia serve as an inspiration for nations and organizations worldwide. Through collaboration, understanding, and a shared vision, we can build a global society where sustainable development leaves no one behind.