Countries agree on new set of Sustainable Development Goals
August 5, 2015  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Featured  //  No Comment

imagesOn August 1st, the 193 Member States of the United Nations reached an agreement on what will constitute the new sustainable development agenda that will be approved in the upcoming Sustainable Development Summit this September in New York.

After two years of intense negotiations, countries with the input of international organizations and civil society, agreed to a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim is to end poverty, promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment by 2030.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the agreement calling this “the People’s agenda”, recognizing its importance for peace and prosperity, and highlighting the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that demonstrate the scale, universality and ambition of the new agenda. The Secretary-General explained that the September Summit “will chart a new era of Sustainable Development in which poverty will be eradicated, prosperity shared and the core drivers of climate change tackled.”

In parallel, the UN System has been preparing different instruments to support the implementation of the new agenda. Just recently, the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) defined the financing framework and concrete policy commitments for quality investment that supports sustainable development and assistance to least developed countries. Furthermore, these new instruments will also contribute to achieve a meaningful agreement at the upcoming Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 21 that will be held in Paris (France) later this year.

The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000 to address different issues including poverty eradication, hunger, health, gender inequality and access to water and sanitation. The SDGs, as drafter, address broader issues such as the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development for all.

In the outcome document “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” countries state their objective of bringing a transformation “to shift the works onto a sustainable and resilient path.” It also highlights poverty eradication as an overarching goal founded on the integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

The 17 goals and 169 targets address different obstacles to sustainable development such as inequality, unsustainable consumption and production, inadequate infrastructure and unemployment. Environmental issues include oceans, marine resources, ecosystems, climate and biodiversity. The outcome document also outlines important definitions regarding means of implementation, focusing on finance, technology and capacity development. Specific means are defined for each SDG. The UN High Level Political Forum on sustainable development will serve as the center for monitoring and review regarding the implementation of the goals. The General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and specialized agencies will also engage in the progress review of specific policy areas.

Press Conference SDGs

Negotiations for the SDGs were co-facilitated by the UN Permanent Representative of Ireland, Ambassador David Donohue, and the UN Permanent Representative of Kenya, Ambassador Macharia Kamau, who worked in permanent consultation with governments, civil society and other stakeholders.

More than 150 world leaders are expect to attend the Sustainable Development Summit this September to formally adopt the outcome document for the new agenda.

For more information on the draft agreement click here

About the Author :

Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy joined the GEG team in September 2011as a research assistant for the UMass Center of Governance and Sustainability. Natalia graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2005 and its currently a PhD Student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at UMass Boston

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