Posted: 23 Sep 2015 03:13 AM PDT
With the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals this weekend, the world will take an important step towards a more sustainable future. But the journey can be made so much easier with consumer protection as a companion, writes Consumers International’s (CI) Director General Amanda Long.
On Friday, UN Member States will adopt an ambitious set of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals build on the work of the Millennium Development Goals, which focused on poverty eradication and fighting hunger, and will take a more inclusive, universal approach with the addition of new measures to reduce inequality, tackle climate change and environmental degradation, promote peace, prosperity and sustainable economic growth.
With slightly less fanfare, but no less significance to consumer organisations, the revised UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) are also expected to be adopted by this year’s UN General Assembly. Consumers International have been at the heart of this revision process, working with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Member States to ensure they are both stronger and more relevant to consumers in today’s global marketplace.
I strongly believe that much more should be made of this opportunity to link these two important global agendas. Consumers are at the heart of many of the issues dealt with in the UN SDGs and it will be a missed opportunity not to use the UN Guidelines to promote consumer welfare, sustainable consumption and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
People’s ability to consume, the consumption choices available to them and whether they are treated fairly as consumers, fundamentally affects the quality of their lives and of the environment around them.
The UN SDGs’ ambition is commendable, but to meet this ambition, everyone needs to be on board. Consumers are the largest constituency in the economy and should not be ignored.
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