Clark: SDGs “will guide development for a generation”

2 Sep 15

The United Nations Development Programme’s chief has said that the new “strong and visionary” sustainable development goals (SDGs) will help lift a generation out of poverty once they are adopted later this month.

Addressing the UNDP Executive Board, Helen Clark said: “After the new agenda is formally adopted by Heads of States and Government at the end of this month, it will guide global development for a generation.”

The new development agenda will be formally adopted by 150 world leaders at a UN Sustainable Development summit held in New York from 25 – 27 September and will come into effect on 1 January 2016.

It comprises 17 goals, containing 169 targets, and will replace the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which end later this year. Among the goals are commitments to achieve sustainable management of water sanitation, build resilient infrastructure, take action to combat climate change and strengthen global partnership for development.

“Whether it be the response after the earthquake in Nepal, the ongoing conflict in Syria, the flooding in Myanmar, the critical electoral process underway in Haiti, or the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the need for development to be resilience-based and sustainable is constant and paramount,” Clark said.

Financing for the new SDGs was discussed at a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this summer.

As part of the finalised deal, wealthy countries will provide funds for the 2015-2030 development goals and donor nations agreed to set aside 0.7% of their gross national income for development aid.

“The agenda from Addis Ababa highlights the critical need for continued Official Development Assistance, and for its more strategic use to build national capacities for domestic resource mobilisation,” she said.

“From inclusive and sustainable growth will flow tax revenue for development spending. Investments in capacities of governments will support tax collection, budget allocation to development priorities, and implementation of policies and plans. Effective governance also builds investor confidence and helps stem illicit financial flows.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was finalised on 2 August after a two-year negotiating process.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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