Dealing with the “wicked” problem of technology in the sustainable development goals

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By Ashwani Vasishth, Director of the Center for Sustainability, Ramapo College of New Jersey

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Technology can be both an obstacle in the path to a sustainable future and the bearer of the promise for a new world. For instance, the report by the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development, points to technology as one of the roots of current forms of unsustainable development, but at the same time holds technology up as having the strong potential to show us the way forward.

Initial stocktaking analysis of the SDGs e-Inventory: Visions for global goals

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By Jack Cornforth and Amy Cutter, Stakeholder Forum

It has been a busy month for governments, UN agencies and stakeholders working towards a new sustainable development framework for post-2015. The UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the UN Global Compact have all published reports with their recommendations for new global goals to replace the MDGs when they expire at the end of 2015, and the intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) tasked with proposing a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has just met for the last time before its summer break, to discuss how thematic areas such as health, employment and education could be addressed by the new goals framework.

Building on Rio+20 To Spur Action for Sustainable Development

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By Derek Osborn, President, Stakeholder Forum

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For 40 years the world has been struggling to come to terms with the growing need to protect our environment and the natural systems that support all life. During that time, the focus has gradually shifted from specific and local environmental problems and challenges to a holistic appreciation of the need to attend to the operation of planetary processes and geosystems on a global basis and the way in which the totality of human activities affects them. This requires attention to the whole global economy and the way in which it could operate more sustainably.

Financing our future: The Expert Committee on Sustainable Development Financing Strategy

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By Amy Cutter, Project Officer, Stakeholder Forum

As discussions to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) build momentum, attention is starting to shift towards not only what the world should try to achieve, but also how to go about it. This in large part means starting to think about where the money for the proposed transformative action is going to come from.

Open Working Group on SDGs is ‘getting down to business’

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By Bernadette Fischler, Policy Analyst, CAFOD

The Kenyan Co-chair, Mr. Kamau, opened the recent session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on SDGs taking place in New York from 17-19 April urging delegates to ‘get serious and get on with the business’. This is great news since the OWG has been a long time coming. Initially expected in September 2012, it only came into being at the beginning of this year. The delay was caused by tough negotiations on modalities that resulted in 70 countries sitting in 30 seats.