The Global Goals (SDGs) for more Fair Policies!

Last week the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 17 Sustainable Development Goals have been adopted. These new goals replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  But what impact will this agenda have on the developing countries? How will the global goals be implemented?

All 193 member states of the United Nations have given their input in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda is universal:  the goals apply to all the countries in the world and not just developing countries are expected to achieve them. ‘No one is left behind’ is the slogan most often heard in reference to the SDGs. All the countries in the world have to strive for the same goals, such as gender equality, decent work for all and combating climate change. The question which now arises is how this new agenda will be implemented. The seventeenth goal is important in this regard, as it strives for a global partnership for the goals: 'strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.' The targets of this goal include ‘systemic issues’, namely policy and institutional coherence. Target 17.13 aims to ‘enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence’ and Target 17.14 specifically aims to ‘enhance policy coherence for sustainable development.’

The new Sustainable Development Goals can only be reached if serious work is done to enhance policy coherence for development. The West cannot give with one hand in the form of development aid and take with the other hand, for example through unfair trade policies and tax evasion. On a global level policies need to be coherent with the goal of eradicating (extreme) poverty. Implementing Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) should be made a real priority.

The OECD, in a note on the targets about policy coherence for sustainable development, advises to develop a target that is SMART: meaning the target on PCD will be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound, as much as possible. It proposes a list of relevant indicators that could contribute to the monitoring of the extent of coherence in each priority area of PCD, such as food security and illicit financial flows and promoting green growth. These are three focus areas of the OECD. Click here to view the complete text.

01 tgg primary colorCONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, wants for the EU to set the example, given its experience in policy coherence for development. The EU should strengthen its institutional mechanism and to demonstrate the value of policy coherence for sustainable development, recommends CONCORD. Policy coherence for development should be the centerpiece of our collective effort, writes Neven Mimicia, Commissioner of international cooperation and development.

Of the 8 Millennium Development Goals, only three have been achieved. With the SDG’s the world has a new set of goals to achieve by 2030. Fair Politics hopes both the EU, its member States and the OECD will strive to make known to the world the importance of PCD. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can only be truly inclusive if the interests of the developing countries are taken seriously and unfair policies are corrected. This way, developing countries are given a fair chance at development!

Click here to read more about the Global Goals.

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Marije Raedts

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