Ambassadors, civil society organisations, citizens, and government representatives gathered in Dublin today to mark the third anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the promise to Leave No One Behind.
Coalition 2030, an alliance of over 100 Irish civil society organisations and networks, today led a street march in Dublin city centre as part of the Global Day of Action to highlight inequalities and reinforce commitments towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
They were joined by members of the Irish public, alongside ambassadors from Belgium, Malta and Spain, and Government representatives.
They drew the public’s attention to a massive banner hung on Rosie Hackett Bridge which read ‘17 Global Goals and A Promise: Leave No One Behind’.
The group then walked to the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square where two young women living in Direct Provision led a spoken word performance.
The event, which began on O’Connell Bridge at lunchtime, comes just days after a sit-in on the city centre artery at the weekend over the escalating cost of living across the country. 
Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of Belgium and Coalition 2030 members highlighted the need to tackle rising levels of inequalities in Ireland, and live up to our Agenda 2030 promise to leave no one behind.
Dr Sean Healy, CEO of Social Justice Ireland, said that with 800,000 people in poverty, 700,000 on healthcare waiting lists and 10,000 people homeless, ‘Ireland is a profoundly unequal place’.
Dr Healy said that “real progress” toward leaving no-one behind in our current thriving economy will require “robust policy coherence” across and within government departments.
The Leave No One Behind promise aims to ensure that the 17 goals can only be considered met if they are achieved for all nations, peoples and segments of society, and that the poorest, most deprived and marginalised are reached first.
Other major events took place across 123 countries today to press for the practical application of the SDGs.
In New York, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney joined the annual global Central Park concert to mark the anniversary and will also speak at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival on Saturday.
Dr Sean Healy, CEO of Social Justice Ireland, said:
“With 800,000 people in poverty, 700,000 on healthcare waiting lists and 10,000 people homeless, Ireland is a profoundly unequal place.
“Policymakers must acknowledge that a thriving economy is not a goal in itself, but a means to social development and wellbeing for all.
“To see real progress towards the SDGs and the Leave No One Behind Promise, robust Policy Coherence across and within government departments is needed to ensure Ireland’s actions in all areas of government, do not exacerbate inequality and exclusion.”
“A concerted all-of-government and all-of-society approach is essential to achieve the SDGs and reduce inequality”.
Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar said:
“Ensuring meaningful participation across Irish society is crucial to combat exclusion and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for all people, everywhere.
“For this to happen, marginalised groups need to have their voices represented and space for collaboration in plans, policies and commitments towards the SDGs, with a continued strengthening of National Stakeholder Forum”.
Valerie Duffy, Development Education & UN Youth Delegate Programme Coordinator at National Youth Council of Ireland, said:
“Three years in and still we have a job to do to support education and awareness raising about the SDGs and how they can transform the world in which we live – personally, locally, nationally, and globally. Unless we have everyone on board in Ireland, we will not achieve the SDGs in Ireland.”
 Sit-down in Dublin city centre as large crowds protest over housing: https://goo.gl/H8WdVi