Time to Process the New UN Global Goals

By Fraser Reilly-King

This week world leaders will meet in New York to adopt Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda includes a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire this year. Most people might think that this “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity” is the major outcome of the past few years. It is. But I would argue that the process is also a major outcome in and of itself. Why?

Good process matters. It can build ownership, garner input and lived experience, including from those most affected, and build on policy and practice. The United Nations (UN) is conscious of this. In 2012 it initiated a series of more than one hundred national and thematic consultations on the post-2015 agenda. These reached an estimated million people, creating space for interested stakeholders to contribute ideas and proposals. The My World Survey solicited responses from 7.7 million people on a range of topics. Expert groups were convened on the broad agenda, on financing, and on data, among other things. And the inter-governmental negotiations on both the goals and final agenda opened up new space to a broader range of civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders.

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Introducing Sustainable Development Goals and Canada Unpacked

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?

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