Sustainable Development Goals

Five years after the international community devised a blueprint for a fairer, safer and more equal planet, is the world any closer to achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030? The question is being asked because, despite the ambition, some observers are saying that there’s little evidence of significant progress towards the target to make the world a better place for all by the beginning of the next decade. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 universal objectives set down by the United Nations in 2015, which are designed to achieve “a better, more equitable and sustainable future for all“. The goals include achieving an end to poverty, hunger and poor health. They also cover education, equality, the provision of clean water, clean energy, responsible growth and decent work, and action to tackle environmental and climate-related issues. The UN is already reporting difficulties in raising the necessary funds – the first phase (ending poverty for 700m people) will require at least $11trillion. And in a recent survey of the world’s 250 largest companies by KPMG, only 101 mentioned SDGs in their corporate reports, and of these just eight made the business case for the goals. Laura Ortiz Monetmayor, founder of SVX Mexico, describes herself as a social entrepreneur committed to ensure capital serves humanity. She was recently critical of the SDG framework, claiming they were treating the symptoms rather than the causes. She believes the goals are the wrong way round; rather than aiming to end extreme poverty, we should focus on ending extreme wealth, she says. Instead of aiming for zero hunger, perhaps the world should consider trying to end market speculation and manipulation, for instance. This is not the only criticism of the SDG initiative. Many analysts say the UN has talked a good talk on SDGs but is yet to demonstrate decisive progress.

Paul Horrocks, OECD: Risk, Return, Impact – SDG Aims Need a Shift of Focus

Russia’s war on Ukraine and interruption of global food supplies has put greater pressure on the

OECD: Only Scale and Development Impact Will Help Us Reach the SDG Mountain Summit

The development community is used to responding to crises but current events, not least COVID-19, have
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OECD: Plugging the SDG Financing Gap

Ensuring Blended Finance can mobilise private finance, particularly in the Least Developed Countries and towards Social

António Guterres: SDG Champion

“The global coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused unimaginable devastation and hardship, has brought our way
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ISID, McGill University: Updating the DFIs’ Operating Models to Achieve the UN 2030 SDG Agenda

The UN General Assembly set the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) five years ago. The estimated annual

SDG Lab at UN Geneva: Delivering the 2030 Agenda in Decade of Action Will Call for Co-operation and Courage

In 2020, to mark its 75th anniversary, the United Nations have initiated UN75, the largest and
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2020 UNCTAD World Investment Forum: More Important Than Ever in an Age of Worrying Trends

In December this year, Abu Dhabi will welcome government leaders, CEOs and investment stakeholders for the

Harvard Business School on Impact-Weighted Accounts: the Missing Piece in Economy Puzzle

Capitalism is in need of a renaissance. Despite headlines of strong global economic growth, there are
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OECD: Private Finance for Sustainable Development

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría opened the third edition of the annual PF4SD Conference, highlighting the urgent

UNOG on Perception Change Project (PCP): What Does the PCP Do for SDGs?

Negative news dominating the headlines leads people to believe that the state of the World is
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