A citizenship that is prepared for the social transformation sustainable development requires.
In the framework of the 27th Ibero-American Summit held in Andorra in 2020, the countries of the region approved the Ibero-American Initiative on Global Citizenship for Sustainable Development, which objective is to contribute to raise Ibero-American citizens’ awareness of their role in development and the importance of international cooperation for the implementation of the SDGs on a global scale (SEGIB, 2021a).
This initiative, in which Chile, Andorra, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Uruguay, Spain and Portugal participate, is based on the need for a complex and multidimensional approach to problems and asymmetries that hinder all people from exercising their rights and having access to the same opportunities.
In this context, the concept of Global Citizenship for Sustainable Development (CGpDS by its Spanish acronym) – an essential educational process for people to be better prepared to face global problems and to provide answers to generate the necessary social change (SEGIB, 2021b) – is at the heart of this initiative, which has 3 specific objectives:
- Support the institutions responsible for international cooperation to promote the creation and strengthening of national agendas in CGpDS.
- Facilitate national processes on CGpDS with other stakeholders.
- Promote dialogue and networking on CGpDS with other regional and international organizations.
In practice, the aim is to create a management model with a shared principle: in order to achieve sustainable development, it is essential to make the interconnection and interdependence between the global and the local levels visible, and to stress the importance of promoting collaboration and solidarity among individuals and states for growing social cohesion on a global scale (SEGIB, 2021b). In addition, as the initiative is aligned with social transformation and sustainability – and since its ultimate beneficiary is the Ibero-American society – it places special emphasis on the most vulnerable, particularly women, children and minority groups.
It is also important to mention its design was the result of a series of exchanges between Ibero-American countries, supported by the Ibero-American Program for the Strengthening of South-South Cooperation (PIFCSS by its Spanish acronym). In addition to deepening progress already made, the aim is to reach other countries in the region and explore opportunities for debate with other stakeholders such as the EU or ECLAC (SEGIB, 2021b).
The initiative was launched on December 1st, 2022, at the Municipality of Maldonado (IDM by its Spanish acronym) in Uruguay, with the participation of the Portuguese Presidency, authorities of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation (AUCI by its Spanish acronym) and representatives of member countries’ cooperation agencies, as well as other organizations. In the following video, prepared by the IDM, its Under-Secretary General, Álvaro Villegas, and La Salete Coelho, Secretary of the Initiative’s Technical Unit, share their view on the initiative.
Participating countries have already made progress in achieving the first objective by working on initial national diagnoses, the design of a common conceptual framework on CGpDS and its integration into national agendas. Together with other efforts that are already being made by the region, this initiative reaffirms Ibero-American countries’ commitment, at the highest level, to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs.