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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The 2015 agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was an ambitious and inclusive agenda that went beyond the poverty agenda of the Millennium Development Goals to incorporate climate change, infrastucture, and governance issues, and redefined development as a universal challenge. The SDGs are also the latest in a series of UN goal-setting processes. This chapter examines the strengths and pitfalls of such global goal-setting and the limitations of capturing development priorities in a single number. It begins with an overview of the SDGs as an agenda, purpose, and political process, and then evaluates global goal-setting as a specific policy tool for elaborating and promoting global development priorities.

Keywords: sustainable development, SDGs, MDGs, global goals, target setting, poverty, indicators, inequality

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