Mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of goals and targets to advance sustainable development by 2030. A global framework for accountability, the SDGs have a guiding principle that “no one will be left behind” and a commitment to prioritising the poorest and most marginalised. There is widespread evidence that sexual and gender minorities are often among the most socially, politically and economically marginalised populations and thus require specific consideration and targeted inclusion to realise the vision of the SDGs.
The Inclusive Governance Initiative (IGI) is explicitly framed around supporting African countries to achieve the SDG and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Communities, including sexual and gender minorities, can be “left behind” because of systemic discriminations related to, amongst other factors, race, sex, gender, national or social origin and disability. For this reason, enabling and supporting an inclusion agenda to advancing the SGDs is one of IGI’s areas of focus. Moreover, a key objective of the IGI is to support LGBTI activists and their allies to influence African decision-makers and hold state authorities to account. This includes the former’s increased involvement and attention to LGBTI issues within SDG processes, as well as increased interest and involvement in LGBTI issues by activists and organisation working on rights, development and gender equality more broadly.
Whilst there is no explicit focus on sexual and gender minorities in the SDG declaration, there is room and opportunity for LGBTI inclusion in SDG-related efforts. As such, the SDGs present an opportunity for LGBTI issues and participation to be amplified and advanced, and for those to be further connected to broader rights and development issues.
Against this backdrop, IGI initiated a webinar series titled ‘Leaving No One Behind: The SDGs and LGBTI Inclusion’. The series provides a platform for LGBTI activists and other development actors to deepened their engagement with the SDGs, through an LGBTI lens, with a view to supporting an intersectional and inclusive approach to their realisation. The series aims to:
- Increase understandings of, and interaction with, SDGs goals, targets, processes and actors in order to promote LGBTI inclusion.
- Grow cross-sectoral engagement, collaboration and strategizing around inclusive SDG-actions.
To date, 3 webinars have been run. Please find attached Reports:
Webinar 1: 'What's in it for LGBTI Communities?'
Webinar 2: ' Building forward better through Inclusive Governance: Working with Sexual and Gender Minorities.'
Webinar 3: 'Integrating LGBTI realities into SDG Reviews: A discussion for LGBTI activists at the 5th Pan Africa ILGA Regional Conference.'