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The Rio outcome document states that the SDGs should be limited in number, and at the same time
focus on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development.
1. Please list a limited number, preferably between five and ten, of the important priority
areas that must be addressed through the SDGs to contribute to the achievement of
The SDGs “should address and incorporate in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable
development and their interlinkages. They should be coherent with and integrated into the United
Nations development agenda beyond 2015, thus contributing to the achievement of sustainable
development and serving as a driver for implementation and mainstreaming of sustainable
development in the United Nations system as a whole. The development of these goals should not
divert focus or effort from the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals” (The Future We
Want, paragraph 246).
1. Addressing global problems such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, desertification,
hunger and poverty
2. Increasing international cooperation
3. Ensuring economic and political stability
4. Ensuring equal opportunity in accessing to basic needs such as energy, water and food,
and in accessing to services like education and health, as well as improving the quality of
5. Supporting the disadvantaged and vulnerable segments of the society, especially women
6. Fighting poverty by improving income distribution and creating employment
opportunities; strengthening employment structure with qualified labor force and decent
7. Sustainable use of natural resources
8. Minimizing environmental degradation
9. Sustainable production and consumption
10. Conservation of cultural heritage
2. How might the SDGs strive to balance the economic, social and environmental pillars of
a. Reflect social, economic and environmental dimensions within each SDG,
possibly through the associated targets
b. Integrate the MDGs, suitably modified/updated for post-2015, into a larger
sustainable development framework
c. Expand MDG7 (‘environmental sustainability’) into a number of goals with a
natural/environmental resource dimension (water, food, energy, etc.)
d. Other (please describe)
The SDGs must be “global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into
account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national
policies and priorities” (The Future We Want, paragraph 247).
The interconnections and synergies among economic, social and environmental priorities of
sustainable development must be analyzed thoroughly with an integrated approach. Those priorities
and SDG’s should be designed in a strategic and systematic way so that positive impacts are promoted
and negative effects on other dimensions of SD are eliminated. Specific importance should be given
to horizontal issues to increase the synergy among pillars of SD.
3. Based on your experience with MDGs or other existing goals, what would be the key use
of SDGs for your country (select at most two)?
a. Defining national policies
b. Helping to balance economic, social and environmental pillars in policy making
Please explain your choices if you would like:
Turkey’s national development priorities are determined in line with MDGs.
MDGs, by providing a useful guidance, significantly contributed to Turkey’s development policies.
Similarly, SDG’s can serve as a reference point to help shape policies for sustainable development.
Additionally, if SDG’s are constructed on the basis of concrete and measurable indicators, they can be
used as a means to monitor and evaluate country’s progress towards sustainable development.
4. How can “universally applicable” SDGs be made practically relevant for countries at
different levels of development? (Please refer to your country’s situation as
The principle level goals should be based on universally common values. They should be general and
applicable for each country reflecting the minimums for common understanding. For instance,
improvement of human life, environmental protection and economic progress are universally valid
objectives for all countries. It is apparent that an inclusive, human-centered and conscience-oriented
approach can lead to universally applicable SDGs. All countries should be able to contribute to SDG
identification process and they should approve the final outcome. Guaranteeing a multi-dimensional
approach and ensuring stakeholder participation in the development process are essential for the
effective implementation of SDG’s.
5. The SDGs are supposed to be “global in nature”. Should targets associated with those
a. common but differentiated depending on country characteristics and level of
development? If c., please explain how.
The SDGs must be based on Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, fully respect
all the Rio Principles, build upon commitments already made, and contribute to the implementation of
the outcomes of all major summits in the economic, social and environmental fields (The Future We
Want, paragraph 246).
Global sustainability can be achieved through contributions of all countries. Targets, related to the
general goals, should be more comprehensive and they should be identified in accordance with
countries’ own responsibilities, levels of socio-economic development, values and capabilities. The
link between global and national goals needs to be identified clearly. Diversification of countries as
“developed” and “developing” countries might be reviewed and a new, more equitable and dynamic
country classification system might be generated. Hence, these targets can be set accordingly.
6. Which existing goals and targets (e.g., MDGs, goals/targets in Agenda 21, JPOI) do you
think should be incorporated – perhaps in updated form – in a proposal for sustainable
The SDGs “should be coherent with and integrated into the United Nations development agenda
beyond 2015”. (The Future We Want, paragraph 246)
The existing goals/targets are the outcomes of global studies and long negotiations. If SDG’s are built
upon the lessons learned and the good practice models, the prospect of success would increase.
However, the set of SDGs should be more comprehensive and should cover other relevant aspects of
sustainable development which are not covered by the existing goals. Besides, SDG’s should be more
measurable, quantitative, action oriented and easy to communicate. The shortcomings and challenges
of existing goals/targets should be detected according to future needs for sustainable development.
7. What specific steps can be taken to ensure that the SDGs are coherent with and
integrated into the UN development agenda beyond 2015?
All studies regarding SDG development should be parallel to UN development agenda beyond 2015
in order to ensure interaction and to avoid weaknesses of having multiple and uncoordinated
processes. The outcome of both processes should be exchanged and evaluated, and there should be
joint consultations and meetings.
“We recognize that progress towards the achievement of the goals needs to be assessed and
accompanied by targets and indicators, while taking into account different national circumstances,
capacities and levels of development.” (The Future We Want, paragraph 250).
8. How should assessments of progress toward the achievement of the SDGs be carried out
at the global level?
It is essential to measure progress towards sustainable development in a comprehensive manner. It is
crucial to design and use proper measures of progress in order for countries and communities to
collect data accordingly. In this regard indicator sets for SDGs should be identified to measure the
progress efficiently. Countries should establish or assign institutional bodies which will be responsible
for monitoring and reporting.
“The Future We Want” states that at the outset the Open Working Group will decide on its
methods of work, “including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant
stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations
system … .” (para 248)
9. What measures should be taken to make the process of developing a proposal for SDGs
inclusive and participatory? How should civil society and other relevant stakeholders be
Each country can carry on a multi-stakeholder study with involvement of different segments of
society in order to gather contributions and views of different groups on SDGs. Platforms and
dialogues to exchange information and views can be established and information technologies can be
benefited. UN organizations and international NGOs could provide coordination on this process.
10. What principles should underpin the development of the SDGs? (the UN TT report, for
example, recommended adding (i) reducing inequalities and (ii) promoting human rights
(iii) ensuring sustainability);
- Equitable growth
- Environmental sustainability
- Global social justice
- Freedom, peace and security,
- Respect for all human rights, including the right to development and the right to an adequate
Standard of living, including the right to food and the rule of law,
- Gender equality, the empowerment of women
- Just and democratic societies
- Good governance
11. How should a new Global Partnership for Development be constructed within or around
Similar to MDGs, a set of goals on a new Global Partnership for Development could be established.
In this context, it is important to,
- Redefine the role of private sector, promote private sector initiatives and enhance publicprivate
partnerships for sustainable development,
- Mobilize partnerships and assistance at each level, particularly at regional level, and ensure
information and experience sharing for sustainable development,
- Provide equal opportunities and accessibility to international finance mechanisms,
Additionally, in order to address today’s challenges and to ensure a more sustainable and equitable
development, the importance of additional resources to fund innovative solutions should not be
12. Do you have any other observations, ideas or inputs you would like to offer to inform the
initial work of the open working group on sustainable development goals?