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Strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), formally adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, define the development agenda for UN member states to follow up to 2030. Following the Millennium Development Goals set in 2000, the SDGs are meant to bring climate, development, and sustainability goals together under one universal and ambitious package. CGD experts contributed to the post-2015 development agenda over many years.
Last week USAID, the world’s largest aid agency, released its Vision for Ending Extreme Poverty. That’s right, USAID (an agency not usually known for its foresight and strategic acumen) has already put forth its plan on how it intends to reorient the Agency to meet the call to end extreme poverty.
There were a lot of speeches made around the SDGs by prime ministers and presidents this weekend that had a broadly similar format. The result was much stirring rhetoric, and almost nothing in the way of progress.
The need and will to produce and use better data is clear in low-income countries: SDG-related data quality, completeness, availability, and use are woefully inadequate for policy and accountability purposes. But the global response has yet to address these needs.
Are the Sustainable Development Goals achievable? That’s a question I hear a lot from colleagues, journalists and friends. And, with the UN Summit to adopt the Goals looming, how will history look back on the drawn-out, consultative and fractious process that has brought us to this set of 17 Goals and 169 Targets?