Education Sustainable Development Essay
I start, however, with a brief note on the process through which the SDGs were created and the conceptual shift, from ‘human development’ to ‘sustainable development,’ that they represent.The Journey to Agenda 2030 – From ‘human development’ to ‘sustainable development’ The origins of the MDGs lie in a series of UN summits and conferences held during the 1990s, on topics such as nutrition, gender quality, and childhood health.Let us turn now to the five questions through which I provide an assessment of the SDGs.
The OWG completed its mandate in July 2014, after thirteen rounds of thematic consultations with national governments, civil society, and the private sector, by publishing a draft text with 17 goals and 169 targets, which was to serve as the basis for intergovernmental negotiations leading up to the 2015 summit of the UNGA.
Drawing on targets set at these conferences, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) articulated a set of ‘international development goals’ in 1996, which, in turn, formed the basis of the MDGs. Following the adoption of the UN Millennium Declaration, a group of high level experts was convened to formulate the MDGs, and the goals were presented as an annex to a report from the Secretary General to the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
With the acceptance of this report, it was argued that the UNGA had assented to the MDGs (see, in this connection, Wisor 2012; Hulme and Scott 2010). The new agenda was challenged almost immediately by international NGOs, with the complaint that the MDGs had been devised in a top-down manner by international civil servants based in New York rather than through a democratic process of consultation with civil society.
The inclusion of a dedicated goal on urban sustainability (SDG-11) is also laudable, given the considerable impact of the development of cities on poverty reduction and climate change, and the significant contribution that urban governments are likely to make in achieving the SDGs.
Another step forward is that the SDGs address key challenges, such as combatting climate change and achieving gender equality, not only through standalone goals, but in a crosscutting manner through the framework, thereby capturing the interconnectedness of sustainable development concerns.