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Why the Economist is Wrong on the SDGs

Sometimes i do wonder about the press. They got it wrong on Rio+20 - except a few notable exceptions such as Richard Black at the BBC and afterwards John Vidal at the Guardian but most thought it was a failure - well clearly that has turned out to be a wrong assessment.

That brings me to the yesterdays Economist article on the SDGs.

Who ever wrote the article clearly did not research what has been happening on the SDGs, why we have got to the position we have nor what the real implications

A few things that might have helped them - if they had researched it and they might have liked to consider when writing the article or future articles

The author doesn't seem to know that this is NOT a development agenda it is a sustainable development agenda It is not for developing countries it is for ALL countries
  1. It is not about developing countries it is about EVERY country
  2. Unlike the MDGs which were dropped in at the last moment this process has gone through a 4 year global consultations starting in July 2011 which has included Rio+20, 120 National Consultations, 11 thematic consultations, a SG Panel chaired by three sitting PMs or President including the UK and 13 SDG Open Working Group Meetings
  3. The reason it is covering so many issues is in part due to the lack of implementation of previous agreements over the last twenty years
  4. The agreement has a delicate balance in it for key issues on governance and SRHRs which would be lost if it was reopened
  5. The push for wanting less was rejected by the UK parliament Environment Audit Committee in December after taking evidence from a wide range of stakeholders and government Ministries – who ever wrote the article should read that report.
  6. The very few countries that are pushing for less goals are ones that do not want the sustainable buit of the SDGs because they don’t want to be held accountable for sustainable consumption and production issues and inequality issues and I could go on – this is the UK Canada, Australia and USA – so be careful what you are asking for.

Happy to be an adviser to the ECONOMIST so they don't make such basic mistakes and have an informed article.


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