In the past 15 years 2000-2015, the prevailing development strategy was based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), established by the UN. The focus has been on: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability and forming a global partnership for development.
Nowadays, the UN are working on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which, as J. Sachs puts it, “will continue the fight against extreme poverty, but also add the challenges of ensuring more equitable economic growth and environmental sustainability, especially the key goal of curbing the dangers of human-induced climate change”.
The main focus for the 15 years will be on: population increase (reaching 8 billion by 2020); inequality in the income distribution; threats to the environment by the world economy growth.
The interactions that will be explored will be among
– world economy – global society – physical environment –
and “SDGs call for socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth”.
The novel thing of the SDGs is that the abovementioned triptych is combined with “good governance”, which in turn includes functioning of governments and large enterprises (social actors). Therefore, business takes an important position in the lives of the people on the planet, equivalent to that of the governments.
The important thing is that the adoption of SDGs will take place at UN HQ in New York, September 2015. The rest remains to be seen.