The Global Development Architecture Could Use an Update

The Global Development Architecture Could Use an Update
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at the conference on the status of the Sustainable Development Goals at U.N. Headquarters, in New York, Sept. 18, 2023 (DPA photo by Michael Kappeler via AP Images).

This is the time of the year when global policymakers’ attention is focused on financing: first, in Washington at last week’s World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, then in New York at this week’s United Nations Financing for Development Forum. But make no mistake. The agenda for global development, including its governance and architecture, clearly needs change, and that goes beyond finance.

Yet, making sense of our development architecture in today’s context is a complicated matter.

The challenges to development are truly alarming. The climate crisis is wreaking havoc. Biodiversity loss is decimating our planet. We live in an increasingly violent and fragile world, with dire and unprecedented humanitarian needs and protracted and proliferating conflicts at record levels. Economic downturns and a worsening global debt crisis are making it difficult for countries to recover. And we are clearly off track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, a collection of 17 goals adopted by U.N. member states in 2015 to provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

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