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New Sustainable Development Goals Offer Broad Array of Global Targets
By admin October 2, 2015

SDG

The United Nations has unanimously adopted a successor group of objectives to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs feature 17 major global goals that will cover the next 15 years, to 2030, and will be formally adopted in January 2016.

 

The new, broader goals are the outcome of wide global consultations. At the Rio+20 Summit (2012), a working group of 70 countries was appointed to create a draft version of the goals. Surveys and national consultations were conducted simultaneously. This is in contrast to the MDGs, which were crafted internally by UN experts.

 

The MDGs were specifically targeted and measurable, falling under the major categories of universal education, gender equality, child and maternal health, HIV, malaria and disease, environmental sustainability and global partnerships. The MDGs were criticized for leaving out or falling short on critical focus areas, such as economic development, human rights, gender equality and underlying causes of poverty. Successes for the MDGs included a massive drop in the extreme poverty rate, and a near halving of undernourished people, the mortality rate of children under 5 and maternal mortality rates. However, gender and income inequality remain entrenched, millions have been displaced by conflict, climate change is affecting many, and approximately 1 billion people continue to live on $1.25 a day or less.

 

While the SDGs are meant to continue to bring people out of poverty, they are also meant to inspire and guide more developed countries in creating equality, justice, health and happiness. Each of the 17 goals has a number of sub-targets, which in the end total 169 separate targets to reach. Indicators of success are still being developed for each target. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the SDGs are based on the elements of “dignity, people, prosperity, our planet, justice and partnership.”

 

Some governments, including the UK and Japan, have complained that the sheer number of targets makes the goals difficult to work with and to sell to the public. Others worry that slowing global economic growth will make meeting targets much more difficult than during the MDG period. The International Council for Science has said the goals “suffer from a lack of integration, some repetition and rely too much on vague, qualitative language rather than hard, measurable, time-bound, quantitative targets.” The Council is also concerned about the isolation of each goal from the others, creating “silos.”

 

Will this new approach to global goals inspire people and governments around the world, or will it cause confusion and loss of focus? Although the goals have a 15-year lifespan, we should soon see whether the approach brings global gains or losses, and whether they galvanize or frustrate the world.

 

The 17 goals are:

SDG2

 

For more information, see:

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/19/sustainable-development-goals-united-nations

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/28/opinion/an-ambitious-development-agenda-from-the-un.html?_r=0

http://www.cfr.org/global-governance/sustainable-development-goals/p37051

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

http://www.icsu.org/publications/reports-and-reviews/review-of-targets-for-the-sustainable-development-goals-the-science-perspective-2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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