Washington International Law Journal


The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is scheduled to adopt its 2015-2030 development agenda in September 2015: the Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations Open Working Group (OWG) on the SDGs set a draft of this agenda before the UNGA in September 2014. Despite clear positives, this draft fails to take advantage of the SDGs’ non-binding and aspirational nature to encourage global leaders to set aside short-term gain in order to invest in a sustainable future. Specifically, the draft ought to identify actors responsible for specific achievements, to envision structural reforms in the global institutional order, to provide for objective and precise progress measurement, and to include stronger human rights language. In addition, particular goals and their means of implementation should be redrafted or strengthened to ensure that they project their full moral force and appeal. A better pact is possible; the UNGA must adopt goals reflecting a genuine commitment to a livable future for all.

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