The Challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals
Arthur Lyon Dahl
International Environment Forum
Rio+20 called for the preparation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), building on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which focussed on reducing poverty, but including a wider set of sustainability issues relevant to all countries. An intergovernmental Open Working Group built on an inclusive process to issue a set of proposed SDGs in July 2014 (OWG 2014), and these are now under intergovernmental negotiation for approval by a UN summit of Heads of State on 25-27 September 2015. The Open Working Group proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals with a number of targets under each goal, 169 targets in all (OWG 2014). The UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary-General have accepted that the proposals of the Group be the main basis for the post-2015 intergovernmental process (UN 2014). Indicators still need to be developed for these targets.