Taking Stock of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed at a press conference on the Financing for Sustainable Development Report at U.N. headquarters, in New York, April 4, 2019 (DPA photo by Luiz Rampelotto via AP Images).
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed at a press conference on the Financing for Sustainable Development Report at U.N. headquarters, in New York, April 4, 2019 (DPA photo by Luiz Rampelotto via AP Images).

Four years ago, to great fanfare, U.N. member states endorsed a sweeping blueprint for human progress known as the Sustainable Development Goals. Intended to guide global development efforts through 2030, the 17 SDGs, as they are known, are ambitious in the extreme. They range from eliminating extreme poverty—everywhere—to ensuring human health at all ages. Collectively, the goals are backed by a whopping 169 targets, each with various indicators. In September, world leaders will gather in New York for a quadrennial SDG summit to answer the question former mayor Ed Koch used to ask his constituents: “So, how am I doing?” […]

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