Minister announces inter-ministerial group at Alliance Annual Conference 2019

Minister announces inter-ministerial group at Alliance Annual Conference 2019

On 25th September, on the 4th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Alliance held its 2019 Annual Conference. This was our biggest event to date, with over 200 delegates who came together to put gender front and centre.

To kick off an inspiring day of speakers and interactive sessions, Ben Macpherson MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, addressed the opening plenary session. He announced that he will be launching a new Inter-Ministerial Group that will take forward the Scottish Government’s commitment to policy coherence for sustainable development.

Mr Macpherson said that this new group will consider cross-portfolio areas of work such as equitable trade, migration, climate, security, justice and access to technology. The group will attempt to improve collaboration across government to ensure Scotland is a good global citizen.

Welcoming the announcement, Jane Salmonson, Alliance CEO said:

“This new group to be chaired by Mr Macpherson, has the potential to help Scottish Government Ministers make real progress on the SDGs at home and abroad. By bringing Government Ministers together in this way, it is more likely that we can achieve joined-up, ‘coherent’ government policy that puts sustainable development at the heart of decision-making.

“The Alliance and many of its members have been advocating for a group of this sort for many years. We look forward to supporting Ministers as they work on this important issue.”

In his speech, the Minister also challenged delegates to sign up to the Partnership for Change, an initiative which encourages organisations to set a voluntary commitment for 50:50 gender balance on their boards by 2020. By signing up, organisations can demonstrate real commitment to the changes we want to see at home and abroad, he said.

The Minister also announced the publication of the Scottish Government’s 2018-2019 Contribution to International Development Report that takes a holistic look at a wide cross-section of Scottish Government international development activity over the past year. This second annual report takes similar form to last year’s, and aims to capture The Scottish Government’s additional contribution to international development within the devolved context.

For a more detailed overview of this year’s conference please check out this dedicated page where you can admire the winning entry for our 2019 photo competition, read through some of the important takeaway messages from the day and find out ways in which you can continue conversations on the vital issue of gender justice.

Above all else, this year's conference made it clear that the onus is on all of us to put words into action, and ensure that gender really is put front and centre.