Israel was lauded by nations from around the globe for its efforts to make the world a better place.
Israel has earned high praise from the United Nations for its efforts to promote the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Speaking at an international conference hosted by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya’s School of Sustainability on last month, Roberto Valent, the Special Representative of the United Nations Development Program, informed participants that “Israel is pushing forward and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a very practical manner. The UN is very happy that Israel is advanced in not only its own actions towards the SDGs implementation, but in also providing a platform for others in the areas of gender, gender equality, education, and especially in innovation.”
The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlines seventeen goals for the international community to implement by 2030 “to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.”
The IDC conference, which was attended by Israeli officials, academics, industry leaders and a variety of members from the diplomatic core, discussed Israeli and international progress in promoting four of the agenda’s goals: quality education, clean water and sanitation, innovation and infrastructure, and good health and well-being.
Livia Link, of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, highlighted Israel’s strong commitment to advancing the SDGs both in Israel and abroad.
“For the last two years, the MFA has been working very hard to promote awareness of the SDGs in all relevant sectors and this conference is actually a part of an outreach program that is designed to expose agenda 2030 to the civil society,” she said.
Water and Sanitation
In the sphere of water and sanitation, panelists referenced Israel’s success in combating water scarcity on a global scale through a series of revolutionary technologies such as water desalination and drip irrigation.
Israel, which has been ranked as a world leader in water conservation, continues to share its expertise with countries struggling with water shortages.
Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) has trained thousands of scientists and farmers in developing countries such as Swaziland, India, Ghana, and Columbia in water purification methods, helping the UN reach its goal “to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.”
As for quality education, Israel, which spends a higher percentage of its GDP on education than most of the developed world, continues to utilize technology and innovation to provide its citizens with quality education. The Israeli city of Be’er Sheva is Israel’s first educationally “digital city,” incorporating smart boards, interactive videos, and state of the art equipment in schools throughout the city, to encourage creativity and critical thinking in the classroom.
In addition, Israel continues to invest in distance learning which gives children across the country access to some of Israel’s best educators. Israel is also a leader in informal education with thousands of non-profit organizations, youth movements, and after school programs, which specialize in creative forms of education outside of the classroom. These efforts help Israel advance the UN’s fourth SDG which calls for countries to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”
Good Health and Well-Being
In the realm of good health and well-being, Israel, which has one of the world’s highest lifespans and was ranked by the UN as the 11th happiest country in the world, continues to promote the UN goal to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.”
A network of 45 Israeli cities and municipalities known as “Healthy Cities” are implementing this goal through a series of strategies that aim to improve the physical and mental health of Israeli residents. Participating municipalities have created several health workshops and outdoor spaces for residents, which include walking trails, exercise equipment, and sports courts to encourage their citizens to take an active role in maintaining their overall wellbeing.
Innovation and Infrastructure
On the issue of innovation and infrastructure, with more startups per capita than any other country, Israel continues to use its expertise in science and technology to find solutions to a series of global challenges.
The UN’s ninth goal to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” is present in all facets of Israeli society. From security, to health, to transportation, Israeli startups have not only significantly bolstered Israel’s economy, but continue to improve the quality of life for millions around the world.
Israeli startups like Mobileye, a company which developed technology for autonomous driving and driving assistance systems to prevent collisions and accidents, are saving lives and helping the United Nations meet a diverse set of goals.
“Israel is proud to advance the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and will continue to work with the international community to create a safer, healthier, and more prosperous future for all,” Israel’s Foreign ministry stated.