During the past two years, we have been focused on the very concrete Millennium Development Goals. As we approach 2015, momentum is already building around the question of how to continue the focus on continuance with those goals which are most in need of attention. At the same time, growing concern over a related issue, that of sustainability, is prompting discussion of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many principles related to sustaining the earth are being adopted from the work that the NGOs did last fall in Bonn, Germany. It is felt that a key outcome of Rio+20 would be that of “securing political commitment to Sustainable Development”. Currently a number of countries, led by Columbia and Guatemala, are in the process of defining SDGs, based on Agenda 21 (Rio 1992) which expressed principles that reflect the following:

  • End extreme poverty
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Inclusion
  • Good Governance

While the MDGs applied only to developing countries, the SDGs would have universal application. Other improvements in the approach would be emphasis on implementation of the goals, with special attention to existing gaps, designating appropriate levels of jurisdiction: local and national, or global. Providing for capacity building for governments, institutions, and organizations, using new technologies, would be coupled with North-South and South-South cooperation.


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