Four years after the global leaders came together to commit to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequalities, tackle climate change, and ensure that no one is left behind, an important question remains: How can the world finance such an ambitious agenda?
My 10-year-old daughter is a very conscientious environmentalist. Very. She turns off water while brushing her teeth, picks up plastic from beaches, and—as many of my stubbed toes can attest to—faithfully turns off lights throughout our house. You can then imagine my surprise when stopping at a fast food joint the other day for a quick bite to eat, she eagerly demanded a burger. Humouring her request, I nevertheless thought it was prudent to remind her of beef’s environmental impact, so I asked her:
Less than a dollar per person per day. That is all it will cost developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to realize their ambitions for an inclusive and sustainable future, according to a study by ESCAP.
Economics is supposedly a hard-nosed academic profession, focused on understanding the mechanisms by which material wealth is created and enlarged to meet ever-growing demand. For a long time, the belief has been that maximization of individual consumption is equivalent to the maximization of social well-being.
The Midterm Review of the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries (VPoA) for the Euro-Asian region held in Bangkok recently provided an opportunity to reflect on progress made and, more importantly, what remains to be done to address the unique challenges facing landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) to achieve the 2030 Agenda
March 1st came and went without further escalation of already tense US-China trade and investment relationships. It is, however, too soon to fill in champagne glasses. Protectionist policies implemented so far by the world’s largest economy and corresponding retaliatory tariffs by other countries have already caused immense uncertainty regarding the future structure of global trade and the global trade system. In the meantime, what are potential ripple effects on sustainable economic development in the Asia-Pacific region?
When 164 United Nations member States adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (the Marrakech Compact on Migration) on 10 December last year, I read on social media that they had decided to give up control over migration to the UN.
So did that mean, as someone who works on migration in the UN, I could pick and choose who gets to go where?
Tackling Development Challenges through Structural Transformation and Trade
Structural economic transformation and the expansion of international trade are among the most pressing issues to be addressed, if Asia’s landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) are to overcome the development challenges related to their geographical locations.
Providing essential public infrastructure and services to support sustainable development is not a task for central governments alone. The responsibility of delivering essential public services and infrastructure also falls upon the shoulders of local governments. Local governments can account for up to half of the total public expenditure nationwide in many developing countries. In large developing countries, like China, local governments’ share in public expenditure can be as high as 85 per cent.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set an ambitious agenda of 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 global targets and 232 global indicators. But wait, there is more. The indicators are to be disaggregated not by one or two but at least eight different characteristics: income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographic location, or “other”. And all “in accordance with the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics” which recognize appropriate and reliable data needs to adhere to certain professional and scientific standards.