Opinion - Who Wants Some More Old Wine in New Bottles?

23 April 2020

Why the Sustainable Development Goals Will Not Save the World

Jan Orbie and Sarah Delputte (Gent University) are of the opinion that the SDGs do not tackle – and may even strengthen – global injustice. Delays and failures in achieving the SDGs may easily be blamed on the global disruptions following the covid-19 pandemic. However, there have always been fundamental problems with the SDG approach. SDGs do not contain any structural reforms and further legitimise the existing world order, as evidenced by the role attributed to (free) trade.   

If you want to change the world, you do not have to look far. Since 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have constituted the new framework for international cooperation. The 17 general objectives and 169 specific targets that have been agreed upon in the context of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations (UN) have trickled down into the mission of numerous governments, companies and non-governmental organisations in Flanders. The coloured squares and icons pop up in all kinds of posters and PowerPoints and offer a handy to-do list for the next 10 years. Local governments, universities, (multinational) companies, non-governmental and other organisations are increasingly assigning SDG labels to their activities. 

Full article: Centre for Global Studies