If Belgium and its regional governments want to achieve sustainable development, they need to shift gear and make political decisions, the coalition is saying. This is essential if we want to answer the needs of the current generation without creating mortgages for the next generations. The government consequently needs to encourage renewable energy, discourage banks from investing in fossil fuels and other damaging projects, curb the unsustainable production of palm oil, achieve gender equality, etcetera. The government is still too focused on loose initiatives rather than structural governmental changes.
Propositions to move forward
The coalition is therefore asking for a decisive and comprehensive answer to all challenges, and offers concrete proposals to do so. The stock-taking and recommendations for the achievement of the 17 sustainable development goals are documented in the ‘Mind the Gap’ report. The report serves as a sustainability checklist for the next government, following the May 26 elections.
Everyone has the right to good health
In terms of health, the NGOs are calling on Belgium to advance equal access to quality healthcare through the support for solidary financing mechanisms, investment in healthcare staff and prevention of the privatisation of care, which undermines the quality and affordability of healthcare. It also calls upon Belgium to protect healthcare as a public good when making trade agreements. Belgium is also asked to increase its development support for health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to promote the importance of health and SRHR in Europe’s development cooperation.