From MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
News from Sr. Margaret Mayce, OP (Amityville) – NGO Representative for the Dominican Leadership Conference/Dominican Sisters International
THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
Development post-MDGs, in the midst of changing global climate patterns, on a planet whose ecosystems are becoming increasingly compromised and fragile, will require the wisdom of Solomon and every ounce of ingenuity and creativity that we humans have to offer. At the 2010 UN Millennium Development Goals Summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki- Moon called on Member States to initiate the process of creating a post-MDG agenda. As a follow-up to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as RIO + 20, significant work has been done on what will be called the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs), which are meant to build upon the MDGs and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. The aim is to promote convergence towards one universal post-2015 agenda with sustainable development at its core.
In his report entitled “A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the UN development agenda beyond 2015,” the UN Secretary General called for a “new vision and a responsive framework.” “Sustainable development,” he says, “enabled by the integration of economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship, must become our global guiding principle . This is a universal agenda that requires profound economic transformations and a new global partnership.”
The Open Working Group on SDGs completed its work on July 18th. In their draft statement, the Members recognize that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable and promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are the essential requirements for sustainable development. At present, there are 17 proposed goals to be attained by 2030. These include poverty eradication; ending hunger and achieving food security; secure water and sanitation for all; attain gender equality, empower women and girls; provide equitable and inclusive education; promote actions at all levels to address climate change; protect and restore all ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss. Once the draft is finalized, the member States will continue to negotiate the final text, which will become operational in 2015.
Among the concerns expressed by civil society during the SDG process have been the question of human rights, and how they are woven into the final document; the importance of a stand-alone goal on water and sanitation; and the growing concern regarding the extent to which the corporate sector will influence the agenda.
Sr. Margaret Mayce, OP