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?
CGD Policy Blogs
In July 2014, the UN’s Open Working Group published its list of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 accompanying targets with the aim of outlining the post-2015 priority areas for international development. While the goals had already been published, the post-2015 development agenda is still very much a work in progress. Last Monday (Jan 19), I watched CGD President Nancy Birdsall speak to the UN about her vision of the sustainable development goals.
Last week I gave a speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA). I was the keynote speaker for a session on the global economy and the Millennium Development Goals. I came away with mixed feelings. On one hand, the inefficiency of the UN can be maddening—the place is badly overdue for a good skewering on The Daily Show.
The United States could help developing countries by opening its trade with poorest countries.
WASHINGTON — With a complex and difficult situation grinding on in Libya, the uprising in Syria, war in Afghanistan and fresh uncertainty about U.S. assistance to Pakistan, many Americans feel beleaguered about international involvement.
At the same time, they recognize that the U.S. cannot disengage from a globalized world. If only there were a simple, low-cost way for the United States to intervene for good in the world.
Reuters reported last week that rich countries have missed a UN deadline for providing details on their pledges of some $30 billion in so-called Fast Track Finance to help developing nations deal with climate change. The failure to meet the deadline is raising doubts about whether the money will really be provided, to which countries, and how it will be used.
Our motto at CGD is “Independent research & practical ideas for global prosperity.” Translating ideas to action requires world-class policy research, effective outreach, and teamwork with colleagues in many global institutions, When everything goes right, my colleagues at CGD produce some real gems that command global recognition.
This just happened to CGD senior fellow David Wheeler, whose work with colleagues at the World Bank and United Nations Development Program has received the first annual prize for excellence awarded by the journal Climate Policy.
I’ve been mulling over this problem ever since I finished this paper with Arvind Subramanian. We conclude that to deal with the climate change threat to human well-being and livelhoods as we know them today requires an extraordinary technological revolution – not just reducing carbon content but completely eliminating it, i.e. completely severing the link between burning fossil fuel and generating energy.
Here is what I liked about President Obama’s UN speech on development last week, what I liked less, and what to watch for next. I conclude with an epilogue on this week’s historic gathering of secretaries Clinton, Gates, and Geithner, USAID Administrator Shah, and Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Daniel Yohannes for the U.S.