Libraries, Development and the UN2030 Agenda​The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda underlines the importance for development of many key library activities. In 2019, there will be a particular focus at the UN on education, employment and equality – as well as access to information. This creates a special opportunity to underline the importance of libraries’ work and place our institutions at the heart of policy-making.

The world’s governments agreed on the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda – and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in 2015. They recognised not only that sustainable development is an issue for all countries.

They also saw that success relies on progress across all policy areas – health, education, agriculture, for example – as well as cross-cutting factors.

Access to information – Goal 16.10 of the SDGs – is just such a cross-cutting factor. And libraries, by providing this in an effective way, to all people, are therefore key to development.

A Framework for Advocacy

IFLA has already focused much of its advocacy on the SDGs. It has engaged strongly at the United Nations in New York, and produced the Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report.

The 2030 Agenda has also been at the heart of IFLA’s work to build capacity at the national and regional level. The SDGs provide an excellent framework for explaining libraries’ value, and an opportunity to get involved in strategic policy discussions.

The International Advocacy Programme has built the skills and confidence of libraries in doing this. Our recent convening, held in New York, provided an opportunity to take this message to the UN. 

A Unique Moment

2019 offers a special opportunity. There will be a focus on SDGs 4, 8, 10 and 16 at that year’s High-Level Political Forum – education, employment, equality and access to information.

Politicians will be talking about some of the issues where the contribution of libraries is easiest to show, and, often, already recognised in other policy documents.

It is a perfect moment to help national and international leaders understand the role of libraries, and the need to involve them in policy-making. 

Join with IFLA over the coming year in realising this potential, and ensuring libraries get the profile and recognition they deserve.

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!