"It is the absence of broad-based business activity, not its presence, which condemns much of humanity to suffering. Indeed, what is utopian is the notion that poverty can be overcome without the active engagement of business."
- Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, 14 June 2005
The 2030 Process
The Road to the SDG Summit (September 25-27, 2015) and key issues
Unlike the drafting of the MDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been a product of extensive Member State deliberation and stakeholder engagement over two years. To better understand how we got to where we are on the road to the SDG Summit this September, please see a brief overview below.
“We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet....We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.” (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)
Where did the SDGs come from?
In 2012, the Rio+20 Conference (the 20th anniversary to the 1992 Rio "Earth Summit") established a 30-member Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to gather wide stakeholder input into possible successors to the MDGs. The OWG met over 13 sessions between March 2013 and July 2014 and drafted 17 Goals and 169 Targets.
The global business community has participated throughout this process as one of the Major Stakeholder Groups in the form of the Global Business Alliance (chaired by the International Chamber of Commerce). In September 2014, the Group submitted its report to the UN General Assembly, which resolved that the report would be the main basis for their negotiations, which have lasted from early 2015 until now.
What do the SDGs cover?
The proposed agenda will redouble global and national efforts on the core concerns of the MDGs, but will also go well beyond the core priorities of the MDGs to combat inequalities within and between countries; foster inclusive economic growth, shared prosperity and sustainable lifestyles for all; promote safe and inclusive cities and human settlements. One of the most important new elements included in the proposed SDGs is the focus on strengthening governance and institutions in Goal 16.