IFLA continues to encourage libraries to work with the United Nations 2030 Agenda as a means of getting to the heart of policy discussions. With the Buenos Aires Declaration and the 2019 Development and Access to Information Report, there are two great new tools to support this.

The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, can seem very broad.

However, in reality it provides an excellent means of showing all the different ways in which libraries – through their own collections, their spaces, their staff – can change lives.

Global Goals: Local Action

IFLA continues to work with its members around the world to make the most of the structure and language of the 2030 Agenda to accelerate library advocacy.

We have seen great work to raise awareness about the SDGs (a key UN priority in itself), and efforts to reorganise services in order better to deliver them.

Crucially, we have also seen libraries set up meetings with governments and UN offices, go on radio and TV, and generally work to put libraries at the heart of the development debate.

In a growing number of countries, libraries now feature in national development plans, and official reporting to the UN.

A Stronger Global Voice

In parallel, IFLA works at the regional and global levels to ensure the contribution of libraries is recognised and supported. 

A highlight has been the Buenos Aires Declaration, agreed on 22 May 2019 at the Forum of Ministers of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In front of an audience of libraries, ministers and their representatives from thirteen countries recommitted to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the role of access to information delivering this.

They also committed to supporting libraries as key partners for delivery. IFLA then brought these messages to the world at the UN High-Level Political Forum in July.

IFLA also launched its Development and Access to Information (DA2I) Report, sharing new data and insights into progress in delivering access, and the contribution it makes to five further SDGs.

Let’s Go Further!

Yet the work does not stop here, and the UN continues to place the SDGs high on the agenda. Libraries can continue to work with them, both to engage in policy discussions, and in planning their own activities.

To help, IFLA is launching a new brochure on how you can use the DA2I report and will work with countries submitting reviews to the UN in 2020 to ensure everyone hears about the difference libraries make.

If you happen to be in Athens, come to our advocacy sessions (Monday 26 August at 2:45 and Tuesday 27 August at 11:45, both in the Lambrakis hall) to find out more or visit us at the IFLA Booth (A116) on the same day from 09:30 to 10:30.

Find out more about IFLA’s work on the UN 2030 Agenda, read our report on Development and Access to Information, and follow @IFLA_Lib4Dev on Twitter to keep up to date!