The Global Promotion & Mediation of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

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3rd International Conference on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, hosted by LSPR Jakarta and DMU.

About this Event

On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development came into force. The UN describes its Sustainability Goals as ‘a

shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future’. Consisting of 17 inter-connected fields of activity, the UNSDGs are framed as a moral intervention, and couched in the language of development. It is this perspective – an apparently progressive commitment to justice combined with adherence to the expansion of the economy – that has encountered both support and some criticism from academic commentators. While Kopnina believed that the UNSDGs will lead to ‘a greater spread of unsustainable production and consumption’ (2015), the sheer scale of the UN’s ambitions prompted Biermann et al (2017) to note that ‘[the Goals] collective success will depend on a number of institutional factors such as the extent to which states … translate the global ambitions into national contexts’.

The SDGs address a number of ‘stakeholders’- ranging from multinationals to Governments; NGO’s and of course are regarded as objectives that should apply to all citizens of the world. Over the next fifteen years, the UN intends to mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’. Four years into this programme, the conference series examines the progress made in the fight to end poverty, to promote health, to develop sustainable smart cities, to prevent further climate change, to facilitate economic growth, to protect the oceans, and to end world hunger.

However, in light of the worldwide pandemic caused by the novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, these ambitions have clearly taken a backseat as various territories have ploughed resources into PPE, plexiglass/acrylic screens and other complex recyclables in an attempt to maintain public safety. Although the aim of the conference is to debate the ongoing success/mobilisation of the UN SDGs, for the third instalment of this series, there will be an open call to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on sustainability – i.e.; on health, welfare, safety, security, and the environment.

Conference themes include:

• how the objectives above are communicated or promoted within ‘developed’ and especially ‘developing’ nations

• the extent to which these goals being encouraged, measured, enacted or resisted

• the local, autonomous, grassroots initiatives that may embrace or go beyond the framework set by the UN

• the social, political, cultural and economic barriers to the successful attainment of the UNSDGs

• the application of discourse/multi-modal approaches to the textual material produced within a material/symbolic environment

• the representation of those groups identified as vulnerable and in need of support

• the ways in which the rights of women, notions of gendered identity, descriptions of class location, and ideas about race/ethnicity are articulated (or not) within the UNSDGs

• the use by state and corporate authority of discourses that attempt to reproduce the symbolic references employed by the UN

• who, within the various DAC territories and within ‘developed’ nations, are presented as the main proponents, actors, or opponents of the UNSDGs

• the relationship between the UNSDGs and the concept and practice of globalisation

• the role of policing, surveillance, regimes of border-control, and other barriers and impediments to collective social action

• the relationship between the Goals and the activity of social movements

• how ‘existential’ and other threats are constituted through the language and images used in the SDGs

• the media ecology/context of the call and the responses it creates

• case studies covering the successes or failures of the initiatives

For those submitting papers please note …

The conference itself will take place online 17th December 2020, and will be hosted by the

London School of Public Relations, Jakarta.

Original research generated from this phase of the conference will be considered for our forthcoming Book with Rowman Littlefield International.

The Global Promotion and Mediation of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals – 2020



Corporate Videos etc. LSPR


Introduction - Dr Ben Harbisher

Panel One – Politics and Economics


Mariana Abreu– Political Scientist, Chamber of Deputies Brazilian Parliament

Bárbara Cruz - Political Aide, Chamber of Deputies Brazilian Parliament

‘United Nations SDG on Gender Equality and Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies through the Analysis of Speeches and Legislative Bills’


Elisabeth Claudea – LSPR

The Negative Economic Impacts of Covid-19


Prof. Stuart price – De Montfort University Media Discourse Centre

The Rule of Capital? Private Enterprise, Covid-19, and the Discourse of Recovery


Dr Ben Harbisher – De Montfort University Media Discourse Centre

‘Critical Sustainability: Dimensions of Social and Political Theory as Responses to the UN SDGs’


Questions for the Panellists


Comfort Break

Panel Two – Education and Media Discourse


Dr Steven Graham, Assistant Professor. Director, English Preparatory Program – American University of Phnom Penh

‘Promoting Sustainable Development Goals to University Students’


Ms Rachel Carter - De Montfort University Media

‘Citizen Science’: The Role of Factual Entertainment TV in Climate Change, Ecology, and Sustainability Awareness


Mr Rhys Davies - De Montfort University Media Discourse Centre

‘Transnational filmmaking; a model for filmmaking without borders’


Mr John Coster – Documentary Media Centre

'This is me: Taking the audience on your journey'


Dr Richard Snape – De Montfort University



Questions for the Panellists


Plenary and Closing Remarks - Dr Ben Harbisher

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