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Call for new Wellbeing and Sustainable Development (Scotland) Bill

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A member blog post by

Lewis Ryder-Jones

Scotland's International Development Alliance

The Alliance teamed up with many of its members and over 70 other diverse organisations across Scotland as part of the SDG Network Scotland and wrote an open letter to Scotland’s First Minister and other Party Leaders in Scotland asking them to bring forward a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development (Scotland) Bill during the next Parliament (WSD Bill). 

As 2021 gets underway, many of us worldwide still find ourselves in the grip of a global pandemic. The impacts on our collective health and wellbeing have already been grave; the social, environmental and economic determinants of inequality put under the spotlight; and our interdependencies starkly illustrated. 

As we look towards the future, we must be ambitious and bold to ensure we do not make our planet uninhabitable through irreversible biodiversity and climate chaos, leave people behind or lose sight of what is important in our own wellbeing and how that connects to others. 

That’s why over 70 organisations across Scotland have supported SDG Network Scotland’s open letter to Scotland’s First Minister and other Party Leaders in Scotland asking them to bring forward a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development (Scotland) Bill during the next Parliament (WSD Bill).  

This Bill would aim to ensure actions in Scotland contribute to the betterment of wellbeing, both here in Scotland and elsewhere as we navigate out of converging global crises. 

Lewis Ryder-Jones (SDG Scotland Network Chair and Deputy CEO at Scotland’s International Development Alliance) said: 

“People everywhere are facing the twin challenges of the pandemic and the climate crisis, with warnings of a new tidal wave of poverty and suffering on the horizon. Our political leaders must do everything in their power to ensure that Scotland acts now for its own citizens while remaining globally responsible. 

“While financial support remains a critical tool in tackling poverty here and elsewhere, we also know that everything we do in – and from – Scotland can impact on the wellbeing of people everywhere and the planet. It is therefore critical that global and local factors are taken into account across the full spectrum of decision-making here in Scotland 

“We hope all political parties support this call for a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill. Tackling poverty and inequality and standing in solidarity with the most marginalised and vulnerable people across the world must be at the heart of everything we do. 

“This Bill would be a critical step towards delivering the outward facing, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable country we all want to live in.

Thank you to every organisation, group, and individual that added their support to this call. The SDG Scotland Network sent the letter to party leaders on Wednesday 27th January 2021. 

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