The UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals completed its outcome document a few weeks ago, putting forth 17 goals and 169 targets. The optimistic take: that’s only just over twice the number of goals in the Brazil-Germany World Cup match. But for all the space devoted to targeting almost every conceivable area of global progress, there was one topic on which the OWG was notably silent: what’s the purpose of all of this?
Since talks began seriously in 2012, the post-2015 agenda has become an all-things-to-all people process, thereby doing nothing really well. Nowhere was this more evident than in the lengthy OWG outcome document.
So what could be the purpose of post-2015 sustainable development goals?