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From MDGs to SDGs: learning the right lessons for a transformative development agenda: Page 2 of 2

Posted on 19 June 2012
approach as the lynchpin of the current international development consensus involves the ditching of the notion of development as a comprehensive process that entails evolution and structural transformation, in favor of development conceived as a collection of quantifiable performance standards.[i]
 
And while many of these achievements are important, it is hard to think how these quick wins might be sustained over the long term without structural transformation of these economies.
 
Coming out with SDGs would pose even greater challenges with in the midst of  the economic, climate, and food crises which suggests that without comprehensively addressing the power imbalances and wrongheaded policy choices at the root of poverty and underdevelopment, quick successes with meeting particular MDGs or SDGs are bound to be eroded no sooner than they are won.
 
So to conclude, for many of us in civil society, the debate about SDGs should not be merely about whether they should be established through an inter-governmental process under the UN GA or drafted by a commission created by the Secretary General; or whether it should be parallel to the MDGs or if they will build on the MDGs.  For us the SDGs should be about coming out with alternative visions of development, of well-being; and of course the strategies necessary to attain this vision.  So the process of coming out with the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda is as crucial as the goals themselves.
 
 This process should therefore be grounded in national processes, rather than remaining at the global level.  It should also ensure the meaningful participation of all stakeholder and development actors, not just be “open” to them as the current text states.  The post-2015 development agenda should not be merely an extension of the unfinished agenda of MDGs but truly transformative, equitable, just, grounded in human rights and guided by a new consciousness that respects the integrity of nature.
 
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