Ruth Maguire, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, has pledged her support for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at an exhibition in the Scottish Parliament.

The exhibition, “Scotland, Malawi and the Global Goals”, created by the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP), aims to create awareness of the SDGs in every constituency across Scotland and is asking MSPs to help them achieve this.

Scotland was amongst the first to sign up to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or ‘Global Goals’) when they were launched in 2015.  Each of Scotland’s major political parties has committed to the delivery of these goals which will fight inequality, poverty and climate change in every country over the next 15 years.

Today, more than 94,000 Scots are actively involved in a civic link with Malawi and some 46% of all Scots can name a friend or family member personally involved. This is one of the world’s strongest people-to-people relationships, with more than £40m a year being contributed by Scottish civic society for the benefit of more than 4 million Malawians and 300,000 Scots a year.

The Scottish Parliament has been at the forefront of the bilateral relationship since 2005 when the then President of Malawi was the first Head of State to visit the reconvened Parliament, to sign the historic Cooperation Agreement. Today, MSPs continue to be twinned with Malawian MPs, the Scottish Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has an active link with the National Assembly in Malawi, and the Parliament’s Malawi Cross Party Group continues to be active in briefing and engaging MSPs.  All 128 MSPs have Malawi civic links in their Constituency or Region.

This exhibition champions the spirit of dignified partnership behind these bilateral people-to-people links, as a powerful example of how Scotland can take a distinctive and effective approach to implementing the Global Goals.

Commenting, Ruth said:

“I was delighted to take part in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals exhibition, hosted by the Scottish Malawi Partnership (SMP), in the Scottish Parliament, where I chose to champion Goal 10, ‘Reduced Inequalities’ –  as reducing inequalities, such as those based on gender, must be at the heart of any sustainable development.

As a member of the Cross Party Group on Malawi, it is always great to see work promoting the links between our two nations, and I am grateful to the SMP for staging this exhibition.”

David Hope-Jones, Chief Executive of the Scotland Malawi Partnership said:

“It’s inspiring to see more and more communities across Scotland becoming involved in the SDGs in Scotland.

An estimated 46% of Scots personally know someone with a Malawi link.  This is a unique whole-nation effort: an example of civic activism and partnership which has gathered significant interest in the UN as the Global Goals are launched.”