Setting SDG Bar Too High Might ‘Kill The Spirit To Negotiate’

Al Jazeera America: U.N’s ambitious new development goals could fall flat
James Reinl, multimedia journalist

“…A failure to negotiate meaningful [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] will mark another failure of nations to come together on the most important global issues. Not only would that kill a useful deal, but it could also kill the spirit to negotiate. … Countries with poor records on government corruption, accountability and political freedom are already raising objections to committing themselves to targets for cleaning up the political class. That leads to the root problem of the SDGs: They come in an era when multilateral talks tend to flounder. Whether it’s the World Trade Organization’s Doha trade negotiations or a new U.N. climate change treaty, when discussions get too big, complicated and expensive, they tend to collapse. … [S]etting another lofty target when world powers disagree on so much else — from Syria to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and next year’s climate treaty in Paris — could overload the diplomatic wagon” (5/28).