15 thoughts on the SDGs as Heads of State and others start to arrive this week in New York

As we are getting closer to the Heads of State session on the Sustainable Development Goals now embedded in the Transforming Our World: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda  hat do you need to know about the Sustainable Development Goals?


1. The SDGs were proposed by the Governments of Colombia and Guatemala at a meeting in Solo Indonesia in July 2011 - The Chairs Summary said:

. "Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): There was a significant interest on the discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals. In the context of goals related, in particular, to the sustainable energy goals advanced by the SG’s Advisory Group, there was a feeling that negotiating specific goals would bog down the negotiations. However, there may be a good chance for an agreement in principle on the development of Sustainable Development Goals. "

2. The first time stakeholders put forward a suggested set of goals and targets was in September 2011 at the UN DPI Conference Sustainable Societies: Responsive Citizens : These were:

  • Sustainable Livelihoods, Youth and Education (SDG 4)
  • Climate Sustainability (SDG 13)
  • Clean Energy (SDG 7)
  • Biodiversity  (SDG 15)
  • Water (SDG 6)
  • Healthy Seas and Oceans (SDG 14)
  • Healthy Forests (part of SDG 15)
  • Sustainable Agriculture (SDG 2)
  • Green Cities (SDG 11)
  • Subsidies and Investment (part of SDG 8)
  • New Indicators of Progress (not reflected effectively)
  • Access to Information (part of SDG 16)
  • Public Participation (part of SDG 16)
  • Access to Redress and Remedy (part of SDG 16)
  • Environmental Justice for the Poor and Marginalized (part of SDG 1)
  • Basic Health (SDG 3)

3. Rio+20 agreed to set up a process for the SDGs to be negotiated
4. There were over 120 national consultations organized to engage input from the country level
5. There were 11 thematic consultations
6. A high level panel chaired by two Presidents and one Prime Minister
7. Over 7 million participate in surveys on the goals
8.There will be around 157 Heads of State and the Pope endorsing the Goals and the remainder countries represented at Deputy Head of State or Foreign Secretary.
9. Unlike the MDGs that dealt with the symptoms the SDGs deal with the causes.
10.Unlike the MDGS which were for developing countries the SDGs are for ALL countries
11.You will be hard pressed to find a stakeholder group that isnt supportive of the process and most of the outcome.
12. . The International Council for Science’s independent assessment of the goals gave them a cautious thumbs up. with criticism focused on not enough interlinkages. This can be dealt with through the indicators.
13. There is still a lot of work to be completed on the mechanisms for national and international follow up
14. The local aspect of the SDGs will be expand in the enxt year through the Habitat III process
15 The indicators for the SDGs will be agreed at the UN Statistical Commission next year. The Inter agency Expert Committee will meet the second time in Bangkok on 26-28th of October











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