The United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda will be an ambitious, internationally endorsed and holistic framework for achieving global prosperity. At the core of this new UN-wide program, the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) aim to address sustainable development, lifestyle and equity issues through international commitments, finance and partnerships.
Last week, the UN concluded the final session of its SDG Open Working Group process, delivering an outcome document that proposes 17 goals and no less than 170 targets. Member states were generally pleased with the targets but remained concerned about certain items. Louise Kantrow, the International Chamber of Commerce’s permanent representative to the United Nations, coordinated business input during the process through the Global Business Alliance for Post 2015.
Broadly, the UN SDGs are designed to complete the unfinished business of the UN’s earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as to respond to new challenges and catalyze the action of non-state actors such as business.
Unlike the MDGs, the new goals are being negotiated with a broad consultation, and they apply to all countries, not just developing ones. The goals are defined as inspired global targets, with each government setting its own national targets, taking into account particular capabilities and circumstances.
The Post-2015 Development Agenda process will culminate in September 2015, during a summit where heads of state will adopt the agenda, including the SDGs.
“USCIB maintains that in order for the SDGs to succeed, governments must build in a strong business role in the UN deliberations on sustainable development,” said USCIB’s Norine Kennedy, vice president of strategic international engagement, energy and environment. “Effective partnership and substantive dialogue with the private sector are indispensable.”
USCIB in partnership with the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and others, will convene a business UN “Door-knock” meeting in New York on September 26 with participants from government, business and NGOs. This unique business-organized event will demonstrate private sector experience and knowhow in addressing sustainability and development challenges. It will underscore the need for the right enabling frameworks to catalyze business contributions to advancing sustainability through good governance, innovation, infrastructure investment and economic growth and empowerment.
The proposed UN Sustainable Development Goals:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full of productive employment and decent work for all
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development