Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The sustainable development code is a commitment for action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. UN and all its members recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty,is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. States declared they are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet.
There is the determination to take the bold and trans formative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which UN announced in September 2015 demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.
The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.
The process: from MDG to SDG
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a new,universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15years
The SDGs follow and expand on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2001 and are due to expire at the end of 2015.
The eight MDGs – reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty and overlooked gender inequality as well as the holistic nature of development.
The goals made no mention of human rights and did not specifically address economic development. While the MDGs, in theory, applied to all countries, in reality they were considered targets for poor countries to achieve, with finance from wealthy states. Conversely, every country will be expected to work towards achieving the SDGs.
Unlike the MDGs, which were drawn up by a group of men in the basement of UN headquarters (or so the legend goes), the UN has conducted the largest consultation programme in its history to gauge opinion on what the SDGs should include.
Establishing post-2015 goals was an outcome of the Rio 20 summit in 2012, which mandated the creation of an open working group to come up with a draft agenda.
The open working group, with representatives from 70 countries,had its first meeting in March 2013 and published its final draft, with its 17 suggestions, in July 2014.
The draft was presented to the UN general assembly in September last year. Member state negotiations followed, and the final wording of the goals and targets, and the preamble and declaration that comes with them, were agreed in August 2015.
Alongside the open working group discussions, the UN conducted a series of “global conversations”. These included 11 thematic and 83 national consultations, and door-to-door surveys. The UN also launched an online My World survey asking people to prioritize the areas they’d like to see addressed in the goals. The results of the consultations were fed into the the working group’s discussions.
While all UN states have signed the partnership in September 2015, the majority of their government seem to be happy with the agenda but there are criticism from some countries that feel that an agenda consisting of 17 goals and 169 targets is too unwieldy to implement or sell to the public,and would prefer a narrower brief.
How will the goals be measured?
The indicators are still being thrashed out by an expert group.Each indicator is being assessed for its feasibility, suitability and relevance, and roughly two for each target are expected. The indicators are due to be finalized in March 2016.
How will the goals be funded?
That’s the trillion-dollar question: In its report last year,the committee said public finance and aid would be central to support the implementation of the SDGs. But it insisted that money generated from the private sector, through tax reforms, and through a crackdown on illicit financial flows and corruption, was also vital.
A major conference on financing for the SDGs, held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in July, failed to ease concerns that there will not be enough cash to meet the aspirational nature of the goals. The UN said the Addis Ababa action agenda(AAAA for short)contained “bold measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investment” for tackling the challenges of sustainable development. It included a re commitment to the UN target on aid spending – 0.7% of GNI – set more than 40 years ago and pledges to collect more taxes and fight tax evasion. But civil society groups were less impressed, saying the summit had failed to produce new money to fund the goals, or offer ways to transform the international finance system. Calls for a new international tax body fell on deaf ears.
When will the new goals come into force?
The SDGs has been officially adopted at a UN summit on the 25th September 2015 in New York, and are applicable from January 2016. The deadline for the SDGS is 2030.