The SDGs at the Knesset – the Israeli Parliament

Photo: Members of the Knesset, Israel

Source and photo credits: The Knesset

To mark this year’s Knesset Day to Eradicate Poverty, the Knesset – the Israeli Parliament – featured the first Hebrew translated UN Exhibition on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Knesset is the heart of Israeli democracy. Every day, hundreds of people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds visit the Knesset –a building open to the public– to see and even participate in committee sessions and various events. It was therefore natural for the Knesset to take a leading role in raising awareness on the SDGs to both parliamentarians and the Israeli population.

With encouragement from Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Yoel Edelstein and Director General Albert Sakharovich, the Knesset Foreign Affairs Department works throughout the year with international organizations and parliaments worldwide to exchange views on SDGs and learn from one another, with the goal of eventually realizing Agenda 2030.

SDG exhibit in Hebrew at the Knesset

The Knesset marks various special days throughout the year: LGBT rights day, International Women’s Day, World Food Day, and many more. Although all are related to SDGs, to date, the events have used different terminology. So, to mark this year’s Knesset Day to Eradicate Poverty – which is the number 1 SDG –, the Chair of the Knesset Labour, Welfare and Health Committee, MK Elie Elalouf, was happy to join forces with the Knesset Foreign Affairs Department to introduce the Sustainable Development Goals, through an exhibition designed by the UN SDGs action campaign.

The exhibition was displayed at the Knesset on Tuesday, 21 February. In addition to a prominent display of the SDG logos and selected panels (both translated into Hebrew), SDGs video clips were shown on two screens, and brochures in both of Israel’s official languages (Hebrew and Arabic) were distributed to participants. Coalition and opposition Knesset Members from various parties across the political spectrum joined hands and provided an example to the public by raising awareness of the SDGs, in particular SDG1.

MK Elalouf said, “After heading the Committee to Fight Poverty, my foremost goal at the Knesset was to work tirelessly to end poverty in Israel. To my satisfaction, I was appointed Chair of the Labour, Welfare and Health Committee, which allows me to put the issue of ending poverty at the center of the parliamentary debate and activity. However, Israel does not stand alone in its efforts to end all forms of poverty; this is a global phenomenon, and it is being addressed worldwide. Therefore, when the Knesset held its Day to Eradicate Poverty, it was important for me to highlight international activity on the matter, our part in the global efforts, and the need to exchange perspectives and ideas. We have done that this year by showcasing the UN’s exhibition on the SDGs, which was viewed by hundreds of people who attended today’s event.”

The Knesset plans to continue its efforts to raise awareness of the SDGs, and more activities are expected in the coming months and years. We believe that, by working together, parliaments of the world can realize the vision of Agenda 2030.

Left to right => MK Abdullah Abu Maaruf (Joint List), MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz), MK Elie Elalouf (Kulanu), MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List), MK Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid), MK Akram Hasoon (Kulanu)
Members of the Knesset