Education Sustainable Development Essay

Education Sustainable Development Essay-46
Do the SDGs indeed represent a “supremely ambitious and transformational vision”?In this essay, I provide an assessment of the SDGs by posing and answering five questions relating to their scope, depth, and ambition.This dramatic jump in goals and targets from the MDGs to SDGs has provoked criticism, even ridicule. “On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centered set of universal and transformative goals and targets,” their resolution states.

Do the SDGs indeed represent a “supremely ambitious and transformational vision”?In this essay, I provide an assessment of the SDGs by posing and answering five questions relating to their scope, depth, and ambition.This dramatic jump in goals and targets from the MDGs to SDGs has provoked criticism, even ridicule. “On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centered set of universal and transformative goals and targets,” their resolution states.

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In an international system where states jealously guard their sovereignty and policy autonomy, is it possible for world leaders to agree upon common objectives and plans for action, especially when it comes to contested issues such as that of “global development”?

United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015 – also known as “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (hereon: Agenda 2030) – will lead you to believe that this remarkable feat is indeed possible.

Rio 20 did not spell out the sustainable development goals, and nor, at the time of the event, were they being viewed as MDG successors.

At the end of 2013, however, the UN announced that the SDGs, under preparation by the OWG, would be used to replace the MDGs.

“Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavour across such a broad and universal policy agenda,” the resolution states, with certainty.

Agenda 2030 is an intergovernmental agreement that is designed to guide global development efforts over the next fifteen years, between 20.A less stealthy approach might have led to stiff, even debilitating resistance from the international financial institutions and powerful developed country governments.Even so, the MDGs’ undemocratic beginnings were always a target of criticism, and when it came to replacing the goals, the UN was careful to adopt a more open and inclusive process.The high-level panel released its final report in May 2013, with the claim that it had consulted a massive swathe of people, including “over 5000 civil society organizations to global alliances – working in about 120 countries across every major region of the world.” The results of an extensive online global survey (My World 2015) were also fed into the deliberations of the high-level panel.The high-level panel suggested twelve “illustrative goals and targets” as possible replacements for the MDGs, and recommended putting “sustainable development at the core” of the post-2015 agenda.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.It was expected that some of the goals or targets proposed by the OWG would be dropped or dramatically modified during intergovernmental negotiations, such as the controversial inequality reduction goal (on which more below).Remarkably, all goals and targets survived the process, and were adopted as part of the Agenda 2030 in September 2015.While poverty-reduction is central to both human development and sustainable development, and while both view economic growth as a means rather than an end of development – thereby providing an alternative to mainstream, economistic perspectives that tend to treat economic growth synonymously with development – sustainable development places emphasis on meeting the needs of future generations by preserving the earth’s natural systems.More generally, it calls into question the anthropocentric bias of all development paradigms, including that of human development.

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