Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Leave no one behind: realising resilient, sustainable societies

Time (GMT +01) 06:30 08:00
Hero image description: Investing to promote local actions that build climate resilience and participatory sustainable development in the Akagera Watershed in Rwanda’s east Image credit:Rwanda Green Fund/ARCOS Network Image license:CC-BY-NC-ND


Elizabeth Stuart @elizstuart - Head of Programme, Growth, Poverty and Inequality, ODI


Achim Steiner @ASteiner - Administrator, UNDP

HE Isidoro Santana - Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Dominican Republic

Celina Caesar-Chavannes MP @MPCelina - Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada




In committing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, member states acknowledged that the agenda’s goals and targets must be met for all members and segments of societies. Central to this tenet is the promise to ‘leave no one behind’ (LNOB) – an ambitious promise which aims to ensure that those who have been ‘left behind’ can ‘catch-up’ with those who have experienced greater progress and that resources should reach those who have been excluded first.

A considerable body of evidence demonstrates that people who are socially, economically, culturally, or politically marginalised are more likely to suffer disproportionately from disaster, climate change, violence and other shocks. This is due to constraints on their ability to prepare for, cope with and recover from shocks. But also due to poor living conditions, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of income diversification and basic services.

Poor and excluded persons are also rarely consulted on decisions that affect them and often cut off from information systems central to their wellbeing and development. Intractable conflict, more frequent and severe disasters and volatility have thus trapped many of the furthest behind in a spiral downward.

Without a break in business-as-usual, the left behind in 2015 are likely to be even further behind their peers in 2030, trapped by many of same deprivations and injustices the poorest and most marginalised people face today.

This breakfast event, held during the High-level Political Forum, provides an opportunity to re-examine LNOB’s critical role in realising more sustainable, resilient societies and take stock of current progress towards delivering on the pledge.

Please note: this event is being held within the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Prospective attendees must be in possession of High-level Political Forum accreditation and a UN Grounds Pass. 


Elizabeth Stuart is head of the Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme and leads the Institute's work on the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on the 'leave no one behind' agenda. Before joining ODI, she was director of policy and research for Save the Children, a former head of Oxfam International’s Washington DC office, and was a national newspaper and radio journalist writing about business.

Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator in June 2017 and is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Development Group, which unites the 32 UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies and other bodies that work to support sustainable development. Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. He has worked tirelessly to champion sustainability, economic growth and equality for the vulnerable, and has been a vocal advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals.

H.E. Isidoro Santana is the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Dominican Republic. He was previously a researcher and economic consultant in macroeconomic policies. He has conducted numerous studies on poverty, income distribution and education, health and social security policies and is a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes MP is the Member of Parliament for Whitby. She served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from December 2015 to January 2017 and is currently the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development et la Francophonie.


Fourth Floor, United Nations Visitor Center, 46th St and 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017