Setting SDGs Important For Progress

Project Syndicate: Why the Sustainable Development Goals Matter
Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on the Millennium Development Goals

“Following the progress made under the Millennium Development Goals, which guided global development efforts in the years 2000-2015, the world’s governments are currently negotiating a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2016-2030. … Setting goals is important for many reasons. First, they are essential for social mobilization. … A second function of goals is to create peer pressure. With the adoption of the MDGs, political leaders were publicly and privately questioned on the steps they were taking to end extreme poverty. A third way that goals matter is to spur epistemic communities — networks of expertise, knowledge, and practice — into action around sustainable-development challenges. … Finally, goals mobilize stakeholder networks. … Just as the world has made tremendous progress with the MDGs, we can find our way to achieving the SDGs…” (3/30).