Author: Ana Zeballos

Technology and SDGs

One of the concrete commitments from the Addis Ababa Action Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 ASD) is the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM). Spearheaded by Brazil and France, the development of the TFM has been described by Sérgio Rodrigues dos Santos of Brazil, as a “testimony to the strength of multilateralism through collective action.” Read more…

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2016

The United Nations has offered its annual assessment of prospects for 2016 in its World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report. It opened with: “The world economy stumbled in 2015, amid weak aggregate demand, falling commodity prices and increasing financial market volatility in major economies.” In addressing the impact of the downward pressure on economies, UN ASG Lenni Montiel, explained that many countries, “specifically LDCs which rely on commodity exports, will be unable to sustain public spending on health, education, and climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.” With LDCs reliant on the commodity export – most averaging 16% of GDP from the commodity industry – LDCs will not reach sustainable development goal 8, target 8.1, of 7% economic growth per year in GDP. (See WESP 2016, Box I.1 for more detailed outline of economic prospects for LDCs.) Read more…

Is business action on climate change believable?

By John Probert

One of a series of Guardian Members’ events, hosted by Guardian Sustainable Business in partnership with Nordea Responsible Investments, the focus of this discussion, facilitated by a Guardian environmental journalist Karl Mathieson, was nominally on the “plethora of pledges from major businesses… in the lead-up to the UN talks”. Read more…

SDG Indicators and Data: Who collects? Who reports? Who benefits?

By Barbara Adams

As part of its mandate to develop an indicator framework by which to monitor the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG-SDGs) held its second meeting in Bangkok, 26-28 October 2015. The objective was to seek agreement on the proposed indicators for each target—keeping in mind that indicators alone can never be sufficient to fully measure progress on the goals. More specifically, it was to move provisional indicators marked yellow—needing further agreement—to either green—agreed by all parties—or grey—no agreement possible. As a result, there are now 159 green indicators (including 52 moved from yellow and 9 new ones), and 62 greys (including 28 moved from yellow plus 5 new ones). Read more…

SDG indicators: Counting the trees, hiding the forest

By Roberto Bissio

The Inter-Agency Experts Group agrees on 159 indicators for most of the SDG targets, but in too many cases what they suggest to measure is not what the governments agree to so. To acknowledge the difficulties in monitoring the Agenda 2030 because of the complexities of the issues, the lack of statistical capacity in many countries or even the ambiguities in the wording that made the agreement possible is sensible. To propose indicators that substantially rewrite key aspects of the consensus is simply unacceptable.

Can development goals help development finance? If so, how?

By Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven.
Last month, the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) were launched at the UN in New York. This is the outcome of two years of consultations, lobbying, and debate about what the “post-2015” agenda should look like. This agenda is likely to have far-reaching implications both for development finance and for the promotion of social and economic rights. However, why adopt goals at all? Any systematic effort to answer this seemingly elementary conceptual question has been disturbingly absent. What’s more, not only has this basic question not been answered, what is most striking is that it has hardly been asked. Read more…

The world agrees on a better future… just not yet on how to get there

By Roberto Bissio
Last August 2 in New York, the United Nations agreed on the new sustainable development agenda as the guide for their global, regional and national policies over the coming fifteen years.

At the core of this new global consensus, seventeen “sustainable development goals” (SDGs) spell out a vision for a better future where poverty everywhere will be eradicated, inequalities within and between countries will be substantially reduced, and current unsustainable consumption and production patterns will be transformed. Read more…

Public SDGs or Private GGs?

By Barbara Adams

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) negotiated painstakingly over two years by all UN Member States  with thousands of public interest organizations providing their commitment and expertise have been copyrighted. And by whom? The UN you would think? But no. They have been re-branded as Global Goals (GGs) and the copyrighted by Project Everyone, a private company incorporated and registered in London. Read more…

Truth and reconciliation in sustainable development

“The UN must champion a process of truth and reconciliation” in development, said Barbara Adams, on behalf of Global Policy Forum and Social Watch during a round table at the United Nations in New York. Adams emphasised that “those who have benefitted the most from the past and current model are those that need to change the most”. Read more…

U.N. Targets Trillions of Dollars to Implement Sustainable Development Agenda

After more than two years of intense negotiations, the U.N.’s 193 member states have unanimously agreed on a new Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) with 17 goals — including the elimination of extreme poverty and hunger — to be reached by 2030. The new goals, which will be part of the U.N.’s post-2015 development agenda and to be approved at a summit meeting of world leaders Sep. 25-27, cover a wide range of political and socio-economic issues, including inequality, poverty, hunger, gender equality, industrialisation, sustainable development, full employment, human rights, quality education, climate change and sustainable energy for all. However, the Agenda is far less ambitious when it comes to the means of implementation, warns GPF’s Jens Martens: “The implementation of the SDGs will require fundamental changes in fiscal policy, regulation and global governance. But what we find in the new Agenda is vague and by far not sufficient to trigger the proclaimed transformational change. But goals without sufficient means are meaningless.” Read more…