Sustainable development goals revealed

By Jenny Lei Ravelo 04 June 2014

Macharia Kamau (right), co-chair of the open working group on sustainable development, shakes hands with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (center) as Vuk Jeremić (left), president of the sixty-seventh session of the U.N. General Assembly looks on. The working group has released the draft sustainable development goals on June 3. Photo by: Eskinder Debebe / U.N.

A long-awaited set of sustainable development goals were released on Tuesday. They are meant to inform high-level negotiations for a post-2015 global development framework which will kick into high gear this September during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The draft by a U.N.-appointed open working group contains 17 goals, more than those suggested by a separate high-level panel last year at the behest of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

There is significant overlap, however, in areas such as ending extreme poverty, ensuring inclusive growth, boosting gender equality and improving education.

But there are also noteworthy differences. The OWG acknowledged the importance of good governance but did not propose a standalone goal, unlike the high-level panel. And while the panel did not include universal health coverage in its proposal, the OWG made it a target.

EU and Africa position

Other major players have also weighed in on the plan that is meant to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which expire next year.

On Monday, the European Union released its priority themes and potential topics in a proposed communication which also touches on the panel's and OWG's proposed goals. Both the commission and the OWG prioritize communicable and noncommunicable diseases, although the commission only suggested to reduce the burden of these diseases whereas the OWG proposed to eliminate HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical disease by 2030.

The communication will still have to be discussed — and may be changed — by the European Council and the European Parliament, a European Commission source told Devex.

The African Union officially launched the Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda on Tuesday. It highlights African leaders’ priority areas, including infrastructure development, trade, regional integration and job creation.

What goals would you like to see included in the post-2015 global development framework? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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About the author

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Jenny Lei Ravelo@JennyLeiRavelo

Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.

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