By Shannon Kindornay
The adoption of Transforming our world, the outcome document for the UN High-Level Summit this week represents a momentous occasion. In addition to expanding the agenda from the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have also been billed as representing a paradigm shift in at least one important way (though there are others as this series will show). These global goals will be universal in nature, applying to all countries, not just developing ones.
But how likely are we to see a true paradigm shift – one that recognizes the shared sustainable development challenges all countries and people face? What does this look like in practice? And what does it really mean for Canada?
Universal means everywhere for everyone. As I argue in a recent paper, the global goals articulate an agenda for all people, regardless of their place of origin. As a universal agenda, the global goals should spur action at the national level across countries on domestic policy issues as well as how countries engage internationally. In Canada, the universal agenda has at least three key implications.
First, it means we need action on realising sustainable development here at home – addressing the challenges we face including the ongoing marginalization and inequalities faced by indigenous peoples, women, and other groups in Canadian society and improving our environmental track record – for starters.
By Shannon Kindornay and Fraser Reilly-King
We finally made it. After three years of inter-governmental negotiations, consultations with millions of people worldwide, and thousands of inputs from experts, United Nations’ (UN) member states will adopt Transforming our Lives at this weekend’s UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 development agenda.
In doing so, states will agree to a new agenda for global sustainable development, replacing the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of this year. Over the next 15 years, the international community will be guided by 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), integrating the three broad pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental well-being.
So what are these global goals all about? And why should Canada and Canadians pay attention to them?