Report Highlights Role of Governance for the Sustainable Development Goals


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  • 2014•05•02     Tokyo

    A new report from the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) examines the role of governance in developing and achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The report, led by UNU-IAS Senior Research Fellow Norichika Kanie, presents ideas generated at the International Workshop on Governance “of” and “for” Sustainable Development Goals held in New York on 1 February 2014, which brought together over 40 experts involved in the SDG process.

    A key part of the international process to formulate a post-2015 development agenda is the creation of a limited number of sustainable development goals, with negotiations ongoing within the United Nations to develop these SDGs and to provide the necessary financing. While issues of governance have been emphasized at prominent points in the discussions, they have not been fully explored.

    The report highlights the need to make governance a central issue in the SDG agenda. It suggests that even the best designed and funded goals and targets are likely to have significant limitations, unless attention is paid to national implementation and international governance for support and monitoring.

    The report highlights five key messages from the workshop:

    1. The SDG process has the opportunity to go beyond the millennium development goals (MDGs) in adopting a systemic approach which bridges efforts to eradicate poverty with social progress and environmental sustainability.
    2. Although governance is an important idea, the term itself is not understood by all countries in the same way.
    3. The best option may be for governance to be integrated into discussions on each individual issue, or to link different issues together.
    4. The SDGs should be made as inclusive as possible, with incentives created for actors in both developed and developing countries to become involved in the process and maintain their involvement.
    5. Because of diverse understandings and experiences of governance, the SDGs may need to take a differentiated approach in integrating governance issues.

    For more information and background on the workshop and report, see the UNU-IAS website.


  • Ideas on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals

    Ideas on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals (1.2 MB PDF)