The year 2015 will be seminal for the development agenda at the United Nations. Financing sustainable development will be the main subject of an anticipated agreement in Addis Ababa in July 2015. Later, in September of the same year, a global summit will adopt an outcome document containing the post-2015 development agenda, and expectations are high that in December 2015 an ambitious and far-reaching agreement will be achieved on climate change in Paris at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This array of agreements will frame transformative actions, directions and approaches for people and for our fragile planet.
Most significant is the conceptual evolution of these sustainable development agreements, which are more strongly focused on an integrated framework and on implementation based on robust engagement. The Secretary-General has said that 2015 will provide "a much needed opportunity to integrate the broader United Nations agenda, with its inextricably linked and mutually interdependent peace and security, development and human rights objectives". Equally important is the willingness to look at the universality of efforts, embracing actions in both rich and poor countries. The prosperity, security and sustainability of our world can no longer be preserved by the application of concessional flows from the rich to the poor, but rather need to be based on multiple actions undertaken by all, across the globe. Domestic policies of richer countries become an integral part of their support for the realization of the development agenda. The ongoing quality engagement of Governments, United Nations institutions, the private sector, civil society and academia will determine the success or failure of the new agenda. This is the basis of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development.
Sustainable development goals (SDGs), which form the foundation for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, comprise a far-reaching set of 17 goals and 169 targets proposed by the General Assembly Open Working Group. While the SDGs will carry forward to 2030 the development torch lit by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and use the existing goal-target-indicator structure, they are broader in scope than the MDGs and engage peoples and nations across geographic and economic boundaries.
Taken together, the 17 SDGs and the 169 targets are...