Advancing SDGs in Israel: Moving Forward

With the support of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in 2017, Itach-Maaki initiated a process aiming to create a civil society action plan for the implementation of SDGs in Israel, focused on the mitigation of poverty and inequality, advancing peace and gender equality and a society that is better for its diverse members. The process will include two phases in the year 2017 and will continue through 2018.

Actions: In the context of this initiative and to mark International Women’s Day, Itach-Maaki participated in a March 7th session of the Knesset Committee for Gender Equality on SDGs.

This event was an unprecedented opportunity for Itach-Maaki to raise awareness of Knesset members and civil society about the crucial importance of SDGs. Further, it was an opportunity to discuss the importance of taking steps to formulate concrete actions and to ensure advancements in the field.

At the event, Itach-Maaki’s director, Attorney Anat Thon-Ashkenazy highlighted the importance of understanding that SDGs’ agenda “can only be tackled with the recruitment and cooperation of a large number of bodies with expertise and specialization in each of the 17 goals and connections with affected populations”. Further, a report composed by Itach-Maaki was distributed among participants, containing an analysis of activities organized in various countries by civil society to promote the goals’ implementation and aimed at understanding the important role civil society plays regarding the SDGs’ enforcement.

Outcomes: The report and the presentation itself are useful tools in engaging NGOs to join the process of advancing SDGs and to commit to working collaboratively. Moreover, although the State of Israel has not yet begun a genuine process of adopting and assimilating the goals, MK Touma-Suleiman, the chair of the committee, clearly indicated that the event presented potential for future actions, especially on decision-making levels. During the event, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, The Speaker of the Knesset, announced the Knesset’s endorsement of the Goals. At this stage, Itach-Maaki was invited to join an initial study process, coordinated by the Knesset Committee for Gender Equality, during which goals and indicators that are relevant to gender equality will be examined. The information to be obtained will surely lead to further development of a binding plan for the SDGs adoption and implementation.