The (UN)Sustainable Development Goals: Now Open for Business: Page 2 of 3
Posted on 7 October 2015
Indeed, in its zeal to make the SDGs “famous” the UN Secretariat has hired a private firm to market the 2030 Agenda to the public. This firm, Project Everyone, has re-branded the 17 SDGs as “Global Goals (GGs)”and now claims ownership of the 17 icons that it is popularizing, with active help from celebrities and the UN Secretariat itself.
Barbara Adams of Global Policy Watch writes, “A political declaration by all UN Member States should be a global public good, available for everyone to use. But the small print of the Project Everyone website says that ‘all Content included on Our Site and the copyright and other intellectual property rights subsisting in that Content, unless specifically labeled otherwise, belongs to or has been licensed by Us’. That copyright protection clearly includes both the icons and the summary titles given to each of the goals.” This seems a galling portent of things to come as Agenda 2030 is rolled out for implementation – more privatization and enclosures of the commons.
Openly critical voices were the proud few at the Summit. Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, said that the world needed to ask why the Millennium Development Goals had not been achieved. He pointed to the policies of the capitalist system as the root causes of poverty as they served to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few individuals or countries, plundered natural resources and destroyed the environment. He reported that Bolivia has reduced extreme poverty from more than 40% to 17% and has attained most of the MDGs, which would not have been possible if resources remained in private hands.
At the interactive dialogue on “Fostering sustainable economic growth and transformation and promoting sustainable consumption and production”, Paul Quintos of the Campaign for Peoples Goals reacted to the refrain of Member States emphasizing the need for private-sector led growth. Quintos remarked that, “if poor countries manage to grow their GDP to catch up to the current average levels of consumption and production of high-income countries, we would need at least 3.4 Earths to provide the resources and absorb the waste -- and that is assuming zero growth rates in the high-income countries of today. Clearly we need to place redistribution at the heart of the agenda for sustainable development.”
At the High-level Civil Society Event"Implementing the post-2015 agenda - building political leadership for transformative change", Eni Lestari of the International Migrants Alliance noted that the SDGs include target 8.6 that promises to protect rights and secure working environments for migrant workers. She said “the proposed indicator will simply measure how many dead and injured workers there are. We want more than reduced deaths. We want living wages. We want to measure how many workers are able to join unions and collectively bargain. We want full employment and decent work both in our own countries and countries where we work. We want an end to criminalization and discrimination against migrants. We want to replace economies designed to accrue more wealth to the obscenely rich