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Article for ANPED's magazine Post 2015: Success or Failure? It’s up to you….

Post 2015: Success or Failure? It’s up to you….

By Felix Dodds

From the first time that Colombia proposed the idea of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in July 2011, the development Ministries and many development NGOs have initially opposed or reluctantly come on board.  But now with the decision on the 25th of December for a one track approach that attitude will need to change.

The new goals developed over the next 2 years up to the Summit in 2015 will be universal unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agreed in 2000 which only dealt with developing countries. The challenges for the next period will have dual focus of addressing the eradication of poverty and sustainable development.

There will be in addition to the Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group sessions (SDG OWG) over the next year some additional meetings organized by the President of the General Assemblies Office to even more address some of the key thematic areas.
The last meeting of the SDG OWG will be in February 2014 shortly afterwards will be the 2014 Nexus Conference on Water, Food, Climate and Energy (March 3rd-7th  This will deal with  an attempt to ensure the adoption of an interlinked approach. I invite you to participate and join the process- http://nexusconference.web.unc.edu/.

In mid-2014 a zero text will be produced by the co-chairs of the SDG OWG for governments and stakeholders to consider. This will build on the MDGs as many of the targets still need to be delivered and new ones set. It is probably clear that some areas will have goals these would include: education, health, employment, water, food and energy. There are others that we don’t know if they will best and alone goals or integrated into the ones above these would be gender, governance and urban and human settlements. Others still are unclear if they will be part of the goals such as disaster relief, population, forests. The other issue is how to deal with convention areas such as climate change and biodiversity. In the area of biodiversity they are already set of targets and indicators agreed in Nagoya, Japan. In the area of climate clearly the meeting in Paris in December 2015 will be critical  and perhaps a goal and targets for climate can be added after the Summit in September 2015 as was the case with the addition of a sanitation in 2002 to the MDGs.


The challenge we all have is to develop a coherent new development agenda which can really move us on to a more sustainable path. Rio+20 may turn out to have been the turning point where it was decided to change the development paradigm and put sustainable development at the center. 

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