Post-2015 Development Agenda Officially Launched
October 15th, 2015
The United Nation’s 70th session convened in New York in September 2015 with the formal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by its 193 member states. The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the prevailing development agenda since 2000, which ended in 2015. Like its forerunner, the SDGs will have a 15-year timeframe and remain in effect until 2030. It is the result of an international consultative process that originated at the Rio +20 meeting in 2012.
Some see the SDGs as the UN’s boldest anti-poverty agenda yet, as expressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon who called them “17 bold yet achievable goals that aim to end poverty.”
The 17 goals cover a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues: poverty and hunger, improving health and education, reducing inequality, and combating climate change. They have been hailed as a step up from the MDGs because they tackle more present-day issues and incorporate all countries rich and poor.
In addition to governments, civil society groups have actively participated in the processes leading up to the final adoption of the global agreement. In the last year and a half, Fr Daniel LeBlanc OMI, JPIC’s Representative to the United Nations collaborated with several Working Groups including the Mining Working Group, International Trade Union Confederation and the Indigenous Peoples Major Group. These groups worked for the inclusion of a human rights perspective in the final agreement. Some of these rights include the right to water and sanitation, the right to decent work, the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the eradication of extreme poverty.
An area of particular concern for civil society and other stakeholders is the question of how the goals will be financed by individual countries. A separate negotiation process took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia earlier this year at the 3rd Financing for Development Conference. In Addis Ababa Fr Daniel LeBlanc OMI joined other civil society groups in pushing for a new and expanded follow-up process that will allow civil society to better monitor whether countries meet their commitment and provide support for struggling countries. Without the necessary financing, many countries will fall short of meeting their goals and targets within the 2015-2030 timeframe.
Additional resources on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be found at these websites:
1. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Background On Sustainable Development Goals
2. Caritas Internationalis Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS): Frequently Asked Questions
3. Download an Open Letter to Pope Francis from the UN Mining Working Group:
Thanks to Fr Daniel LeBlanc, OMI, Oblate representative at the UN, for this information