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
Next week, President Obama will head up to New York to deliver two speeches to the General Assembly. One will be the "standard" once-yearly address at the opening of the new Assembly Session. The second will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a fifteen year vision of development progress from ending extreme poverty to halting biodiversity loss that will be adopted by the largest ever gathering of world leaders.
In two weeks, a teaming mass of world leaders are going to descend on New York to sign up to the Sustainable Development Goals. Among the targets to be met by 2030 are global universal access to water, sanitation, reliable modern energy, and communications technologies. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that meeting these infrastructure targets would involve a trillion or more dollars in additional infrastructure investment in developing countries every year. That begs the question: where is the money going to come from?
What Will America Do Differently Once It Signs On to the SDGs? – Podcast with US Chief Negotiator Tony Pipa
If anyone understands the nuances and political realities of the American position on each of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, it is Tony Pipa. As the US Chief Negotiator for the Post-2015 Process, he helped hammer out the wording of the final document and, when he visited CGD last week to record a Podcast, he was keen to remind me that “this was a politically inclusive process.... All countries are committing to the norms and the aspirations the goals set out.”
With the outcome document for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now submitted, the development community turns to the final piece of the SDG agenda: the indicators. While the goals and targets have endured unending negotiations, from the Open Working Group to all UN member states, the underlying indicators have largely remained a big question. It’s now time to turn to that question.
While the numbers coming out of side events at Addis were hardly worth the single shake of a string-free pom-pom, and the launch of a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data raised a lot of questions, there were some bright spots in the US commitments to that partnership.
In 2002, negotiators from the world over met in Mexico to agree on the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development. As Simon Maxwell has pointed out, it is an international document on development cooperation that leads with the most vital financing issues and discusses what is needed to make them work better. And that should stand as a warning to those celebrating the Addis Ababa Action Agenda agreed last week.
The Third Conference on Financing for Development has come and gone; country delegates and their leaders, civil society actors, aid organizations, and policy wonks have all returned home. As we discussed prior to FFD , the United States government had a major opportunity to make commitments on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and data. So how did the US government fare in these areas?
Meeting the staggering but achievable needs of the SDG agenda requires everyone to make the best use of each dollar from every source. This means tracking with precision where, when and to whom has the money been disbursed and for what development end. It requires knowing precisely who the beneficiary was and being able to uniquely establish his/her identity.
The Financing for Development Conference, which drew to a close yesterday in Addis Ababa, was never going to solve all the world’s development problems. What it could do was establish a shared policy framework within which decisions for the rest of 2015 can be taken. The outcome document, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, actually does that pretty well. But the real test is still to come: what specifically will countries commit to which will make these ideas real?