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25 Sep 2015

Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)

UN adopts Agenda 2030, but will governments follow through?

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While the culmination of the SDG process gives human rights advocates much to celebrate , it has failed to deliver on our most fundamental expectation: that of a paradigm change in development. For all the talk of “transformative shifts”, the vision of development underpinning the SDGs remains premised on old models of industrial production and consumption, and export-oriented growth. While there are important commitments in the SDG targets around debt, progressive taxation, illicit financial flows and reforming global economic governance, the agenda does little to alter the structural inequities of the dominant neoliberal economic system...As Salil  Shetty of Amnesty International reminded world leaders in a  powerful keynote speech  today,  “You cannot adopt the Sustainable Development Goals and at the same time attack and arrest  peaceful protesters and dissenters”.  As crucial as  civil society’s  role was in securing human rights commitments on the agenda, it will be even more indispensable in translating these into  action.