ALIA advocates for UN Sustainable Development Goals | Signs international agreement with IFLA


Canberra, Thursday 2 February, 2017: The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has signed an international advocacy agreement with IFLA.

The agreement commits ALIA to advocate for the United Nation's 2030 agenda which is a framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  which span economic, environmental and social development.  (See notes for editors)

By working to achieve the UN agenda, the aim is to leave no-one behind. Libraries are key institutions to help achieve these goals.

By signing the agreement with IFLA, ALIA has committed to carry on advocacy work on how libraries are helping Australia, and the rest of the UN Member States, achieve the SDGs.             

Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer of ALIA, said: 'In the context of the UN 2030 Agenda, ALIA believes that increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICT), supports sustainable development and improves lives.'

'Libraries across our nation are critical institutions for the digital age. Libraries provide ICT infrastructure, help people develop the capacity to use information effectively and preserve information to ensure ongoing access for future generations.'

ALIA is already in discussions with the Federal Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) about libraries:

  • supporting the freedom of access to information outcomes;
  • providing examples of success, which can be used as part of Australia’s reporting; and
  • helping to communicate the 2030 agenda to the general population.

At the same time, the ALIA Board has reviewed its own Constitution and there will be an opportunity for Members to vote for a new Object of the Association related to the Sustainable Development Goals at its AGM in May.

Notes for editors

Access to information has been recognised in the SDGs as a target under Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels:

                Target 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Culture and ICT have also been recognised in the SDGs:

                Culture: Goal 11 target: ' Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage'


ICT Goal 5 target: 'Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

  ICT Goal 9 target: ' Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020'

ICT Goal 17 target: ' Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

And universal literacy is recognised in the vision for the UN 2030 Agenda.

We envision ...a world with universal literacy.

UN 2030 Agenda:



About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector. With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.



Heather Wellard, Communications Manager: | 02 6215 8225 | 0409 830 439 

Thursday 02 February 2017 12:30pm