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Keeping the 2030 Agenda Alive

The world already looks very different to the place it was when UN member states adopted the SDGs in September 2015. How can we ensure that the international community remains committed to the pledges it made?

27.03.2017 |



Ankara University, Turkey. Police detain a demonstrator protesting against the dismissal of academics following a post-coup emergency decree. © Umit Bektas/Reuters
Ankara University, Turkey. Police detain a demonstrator protesting against the dismissal of academics following a post-coup emergency decree. © Umit Bektas/Reuters

By our Trustee Gabriele Köhler (Honorary Associate, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Philip Mader Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex), Richard Jolly (Honorary Professor and Research Associate, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex), Robin Luckham (Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex)

The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its companion, the Paris Agreement on climate change, aspire to nothing less than ‘transforming our world’.

The 2030 Agenda – adopted by all 193 UN member countries less than two years ago – commits to good governance and peace, overcoming hunger and poverty, and “leaving no one behind”. The Paris Agreement, pledging to take action to limit global warming to 2ºC maximum, has been ratified by more than 130 countries. These are two of the most-referenced global policy promises for economic, social and climate justice and a sustainable future for people in all parts of the world.

But these promises are increasingly at odds with the politics and economics we currently witness around the planet. Is the Sustainable Development Agenda becoming but a distant dream? Will the agenda survive? The time is now to speak out clearly against the threats, renew the commitment, and open up new avenues for progress. [...]

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