Consensus reached on ambitious new Sustainable Development Agenda to end poverty by 2030 and universally promote shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection.
On Sunday, August 2nd, following more than two years of intense negotiations and hard work, the UN's 193 Member States reached consensus on the outcome document that will constitute the new sustainable development agenda to be considered and adopted by world leaders at the September UN Summit on the post-2015 development agenda in New York.
The emerging development agenda is universal, calling for action by low, middle and high-income countries alike. In the current draft document, Member States pledge that no one will be left behind. Indeed, the 2030 Agenda encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda heralding an historic global turning point.
As noted by the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, the focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs') on people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership provides a comprehensive and robust development path for the world to follow over the next fifteen years.
The World Bank Group is eager to work with governments, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and others to achieve the global goals and targets: We are committed to helping meet them by supporting their implementation, providing finance, and collecting and sharing data. Formal adoption of the Agenda 2030 by world leaders in New York this September will mark an historic step along the global development path. Building on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of 2000, the SDGs contain an all-encompassing and nuanced set of targets that generate momentum and accountability for sustainable development including ending poverty by 2030.
The new goals, along with the broader sustainability agenda, address the root causes of poverty, the inter-connected nature of both challenges and solutions, and the universal need for development that works for all people.
Poverty eradication is at the heart of the new development agenda and has at its core the integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
The SDGs identify and aim to tackle systemic barriers to sustainable development such as inequality, unsustainable consumption and production patterns, inadequate infrastructure and lack of decent jobs. Member States stressed that the desired transformations will require a departure from "business as usual" and that intensified international cooperation on many fronts will be required. This includes a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development encompassing multi-stakeholder partnerships. Agenda 2030 also calls for increased capacity-building and better data and evidence for measuring sustainable development.
The High Level Political Forum on sustainable development, set up after the Rio+20 Conference, will serve as the apex forum for follow up and review and will thus play a central role. The UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and specialized agencies will also be engaged in reviewing progress in specific areas.
The successful outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa last month was a key stepping stone on the global development path. It gave important positive momentum to help conclude a critical year for multilateral consensus on a development agenda for the world.
The consensus reached on the 2030 Agenda outcome document will provide momentum for negotiations on a new binding climate change treaty to culminate at the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) Climate Change conference from 30 November to 11 December 2015.
The World Bank Group's twin goals of ending poverty and promoting shared prosperity are fully aligned to the 2030 Agenda. Indeed, such alignment sets us out walking hand in hand with the rest of international community on an ambitious new path for sustainable development.
At the beginning of the process and in the initial engagement of our institution with the UN and the development community, we identified three areas of focus and work: Finance, data, and implementation.
Finance, data and implementation encapsulate huge challenges, but steps are under way already on all three fronts. We are in good shape with our work on data, with our Memorandum of Understanding with other multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the UN, our own Data Council, as well as ongoing work on the data revolution. On finance, we can build on the success of our Spring Meetings Development Committee paper on "Billions to Trillions" as well as on our highly acknowledged participation in Addis. On implementation, the WBG has a big task ahead to promote and support the global public goods agenda and to help clients achieve the SDGs in accordance with national priorities and via smart partnerships that pull in the wider development community, including the MDBs, CSOs, and the private sector.
As many have said already, the consensus around 2030 Agenda and the SDGs they enshrine are a great step forward, but the real work lies ahead.