Article written

  • on 04.08.2015
  • at 03:10 PM
  • by Naomi Cohen

UN agreement reached on SDGs. Next stop: 2030 0

The United Nations agreed to new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Sunday night that will replace eight Millennium Development Goals with 17 broader interconnected goals to be reached by 2030.

The new goals include attacking gender and income inequality, improving alternative energies and water management, and encouraging international cooperation led by developing countries so that “no one will be left behind,” according to the agenda published August 1. A product of over two years of consultation with civil society and other stakeholders with “particular attention to the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable,” the agenda also includes UN-gathered insights on sustainable development financing and technology facilitation. The SDGs target Africa and countries with more obstacles to development and will build on already existing bodies and national policies with regular reviews, coordination, and knowledge sharing.

Both coordinators and experts have described the new SDGs as highly ambitious, setting out in the preamble to “free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet.” The agenda addresses multiple issues that emerged from critiques of the MDGs, like the interconnectedness of the SDGs and the need for a favorable social and economic climate. Some new goals are as abstract as peace and intercultural understanding; others touch on current trends like migration, sports and debt.

Skeptics have voiced that the new SDGs are a tall order that will require the complex task of coordinating between a diverse set of actors, identifying all stakeholders and trade-offs, and accounting for unreliable data and governance. Last month in Addis Ababa, 100 Member States agreed to contribute 0.7 percent of gross national income to fund the goals, which experts say is expected to cost $3.3 to 4.5 trillion annually. To help cover the costs, the UN is for the first time soliciting contribution from the private sector and investors. The General Assembly will launch the post-2015 development agenda next month at a Summit in New York.

by Naomi Cohen

Photo Credit: Flickr/Number 10

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