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Sustainable Global Development: First draft of sustainable development goals exposes gaps, warn NGOs

The new set of development goals that will address global poverty, inequality and climate change over the next 15 years are strong on vision, but weak on the methods to make them a reality, NGOs warned this week.

After months of negotiations among UN member states, the first official – “zero” – draft of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) was published on Tuesday June 9.

As widely expected, the number of goals (17) and number of targets (169) have not changed since they were first proposed by a UN open working group last year. Some of the targets have been recommended for revisions.

The SDGs will replace the current millennium development goals, which expire at the end of the year. However, concerns have been raised about how the new goals will be measured.

WaterAid is concerned that while there is a target to reach everyone everywhere with sanitation and hygiene, there are presently no indicators to measure whether, for instance, homes or healthcare facilities have soap and water for handwashing,” said Margaret Batty, the NGO’s director of global policy and campaigns.

“Without these indicators, the sustainable development goals will not succeed in the goal of leaving no one behind.”

Helen Dennis, Christian Aid’s senior adviser on poverty and inequality, added: “We have yet to see strong enough plans for how the ambitious vision will be achieved. It is clear that the sections of the document on financing and implementation, and on follow-up and review, need to be beefed up before September. Achieving the vision will also depend on an ambitious, legally binding climate deal later this year.”

Read more: First draft of sustainable development goals exposes gaps, warn NGOs | Global development | The Guardian

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