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Editor's Note: Happy International Women's Day 

Issue #264 | 8 March 2017

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By: Lynn Wagner, Ph.D., Group Director, SDG Knowledge, IISD <>

As women are honored around the world on 8 March, we recall the vision of UN Member States, in the Declaration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to strive to achieve “A world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed.”

The Declaration is accompanied by a set of 17 integrated and indivisible Sustainable Development Goals. This means that the Goal on gender equality (SDG 5), for example, cannot be implemented in isolation, but must be considered in all activities related to the other 16 SDGs, and vice versa. Achieving coherence in the implementation of the 17 SDGs will require collective vigilance as well as innovation and collaboration in everything we do. But how can we achieve coherence in a competitive, siloed system?

The story in this issue of Linkages Update about the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development illustrates a tool that can contribute to coherence, and one that we have seen the international community using more frequently – meetings that bring actors together outside their silos to engage in discussions about shared visions and options for collaboration. This tool is one way to foster coherent implementation of the 2030 Agenda. IISD’s work with the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem seeks to provide another such tool. This project seeks to mobilize Geneva-based actors towards realizing the 2030 Agenda by convening and supporting their efforts to create solutions to cross-cutting challenges and barriers to successful implementation of the SDGs. The SDG Knowledge Hub, from which the stories in this issue of Linkages Update are drawn, provides another tool to enhance policy coherence, by assisting decision makers to be cognizant of sustainable development efforts across the 17 SDGs and identifying ways in which the 17 Goals have been incorporated into decisions and projects.

As we collectively join together on International Women’s Day to reaffirm our intention to achieve a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and to remove all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment, we hope you will use the information from this issue of Linkages Update, and the SDG Knowledge Hub, to facilitate your efforts to incorporate all 17 SDGs into your own work, to hasten the achievement of all 17 Goals by 2030.