There is a lot of debates about the successes of the MDG’s. Supporters argue that the earlier development agenda did create an international movement against poverty, it played a role in lifting more than one billion people from extreme poverty, reducing the number of people suffering chronic hunger, preventable death and illness, and enabling more girls and boys to attend school than ever before. However, critics argue that the specific targets have been both regionally and thematically unbalanced.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an inter-governmental commitment and ‘a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.’ It is a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. It consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s ), which focus on three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.
Unlike the MDG’s, The SDG’s are a result of what is arguably the most inclusive process in the history of the UN. First of all, they are universal- they apply to all nations in the world, sectors, publics and everyone in the community, thus removing various distinctions. They are inclusive in nature and are meant to include all marginalized groups. such as older generations, people living in conflict, various minorities, as will as, persons with disabilities. For example, in the MDG’s, persons with disabilities were not included and consequently excluded from many development initiatives and funding streams. However, now they are addressed specially in the SDG’s target goals.
However, while the SDG’s seem promising and encouraging there are definite challenges: first of all, there is the challenge of successfully implementing the SDG’s as nations governments can choose to focus on one goal over the other (the implementation of goals is fully up to the government and will depend on the resources and government goals). Then, there are obvious challenges with data and monitoring, as access to data can be limited by the government and in result will impact the recommendation policies.
The HLPF is the main UN platform on sustainable development and its main role is to follow-up and review the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDG’s at the global level. It meets every year for eight days under the ECOSOC committee. It facilitates the sharing of experiences: failures, successes and lessons. It is the ‘most inclusive and participatory’ forum at the United Nations. One of the main features of the HLPF are the voluntary national reviews, which provide a platform for partnerships including major groups and other relevant stakeholders.