Input to Questionnaire related to the development of Sustainable Development Goals
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 sustainable
Croatia firmly believes in transformative power of global goals that should coherently incorporate
economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The vision of global
development as given in the Millennium Declaration was intended to unify pursuance of economic,
social and environmental objectives along with ensuring peace, security and respect for democratic
values. There are three principles that constitute common elements, necessary to address the global
trends and challenges, thus leading to transformative change: human rights, equality and sustainability.
In the coming years the progress will be needed in social development, environmental sustainability,
inclusive economic growth and peace and security.
Meeting the imperatives of peace and security is most urgent for highly vulnerable populations,
including women and girls, children as well as other socially excluded groups. We consider important
prevention of conflicts and ensuring security based on solidarity but also on effective systems of
justice. Strengthening cultures of peace and tolerance and building state capacities to ensure peace and
security is essential in all countries and particularly pressing in fragile states. Governance must be
based on the rule of law, including compliance with the international laws and principles of inclusion
and participation as reinforcing elements of sustainable development.
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
b. Integrate the MDGs, suitably modified/updated for post-2015, into a larger sustainable
c. Expand MDG 7 (‘environmental sustainability’) into a number of goals with a
natural/environmental resource dimension (water, food, energy, etc.)
d. Other (please describe)
Continuing the current patterns of economic growth will exacerbate inequalities, social trends and
pressures on the world’s resources and natural environment, therefore the SDGs reflecting the
economic, social and environmental dimension would make a way for a new development path that
encourages creativity and innovation in pursuit of inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth and
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. Influencing national budget allocations
c. Reviewing the impact of national policies
d. Addressing key pressure leading to unsustainability
e. Helping to balance economic, social and environmental pillars in policy making
f. Guiding development cooperation
g. Other (please describe)
Please explain your choices if you would like:
Policy implementation is the best way to achieve the strategic goals therefore the key use of SDGs
could be reviewing the impact of national policies and helping to balance economic, social and
environmental pillars in policy making. During the preparatory and implementation phases there are
opportunities to align the strategic goals and concrete policy measures. Reviewing the impact of
national policies is a necessary condition for monitoring progress in meeting the goals.
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 appropriate.)
Having in mind that development processes are context specific, depending on circumstances and
characteristics of each respective country, global goals need to have their country-specific implications
and targets, with the necessary flexibility to consider diversity within the countries. Economic, social
and environmental pillars could serve as a foundation for prospective and extensive country
development. Following the transition experiences of Croatia, special attention should be given to
particular circumstances of fragile states and states in transition.
5. The SDGs are supposed to be “global in nature”. Should targets associated with those goals
a. common to all countries?
b. defined by each country? or
c. common but differentiated depending on country characteristics and level of
development? If c., please explain how.
It is by thinking globally and acting locally that we can translate global goals into local
implementation patterns based on country-specific circumstances.
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 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?
Defining common methods and assessment tools for evaluation of results, outcomes, indicators and
impact assessment of the goals/targets is a way towards SDGs coherent with and integrated into Post-
2015 development agenda, through broad and inclusive consultation processes.
8. How should assessments of progress toward the achievement of the SDGs be carried out at the
Performance can be measured by targets that should be set in a way to measure the prevailing
inequalities and sustainability aspects, which together with qualitative indicators and more available
data would be critical to monitor both the degree to which development progress is inclusive and
sustainable. Such indicators and data will facilitate better assessment of policy effectiveness and
contribute to strengthening accountability by regular self-assessment and reporting.
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
Participation of civil society in decision making processes should be the basic guiding principle for
policy-making and policy implementation. It is only the open and inclusive policy making that can
lead to irreversible reforms in environmental, economic and social areas of sustainable development at
global, national and local levels. The enabling environment for civil society and citizen engagement
can be defined as a set of interrelated conditions (legal, fiscal, institutional, informational, political,
cultural, etc.) that cultivates the growth of civil society and strengthens its capacity to participate in
public policy shaping and implementation. Ensuring conditions for strengthening and capacitybuilding
of civil society together with their continuous and active participation in decision making
processes should be the path towards achieving sustainable development goals.
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)
Three fundamental principles that should underpin the development of the SDGs are: reduction of
inequalities in all societies as a part of the vision of inclusive development; human rights embedded in
the UN Charter and the range of human rights conventions and treaties that are based on fundamental
values, peace and security; and sustainability as a fundamental principle for all aspects of development
for all societies.
11. How should a new Global Partnership for Development be constructed within or around the
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?
We consider the OWG SDGs timely report for the 68th session of UN General Assembly a prerequisite
for a constructive MDGs review within 68th GA Special Event in 2013.