Articles on UN Sustainable Development Goals

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A distinctive feature of the New Urban Agenda is that it redefines informal settlements, such as Dharavi in Mumbai, India, as an asset based on their potential to promote economic growth. YGLvoices/flickr

Habitat III: the biggest conference you’ve probably never heard of

More than 25,000 delegates will meet in Quito in October to set out a New Urban Agenda for the UN, to be implemented over the next 20 years. But Australia is yet to play a major role in the process.
Clean water and access to food are two of the most priceless ecosystem services.

Without action, Asia-Pacific ecosystems could lose a third of their value by 2050

Current land-use patterns could see the value of 'ecosystem services' – the natural processes that sustain life – plummet by mid-century. But with the right policies we can turn this trend around.
Clean water can help to break the link between poor hygiene and eye diseases such as trachoma. Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA)

It’s a fallacy that all Australians have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene

As Australia joins a New York summit to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it still faces questions over whether it is meeting water standards at home.
Mothers and their babies at a clinic in Johannesburg. South Africa leads the Global South with its expansive social protection programme. Reuters

Lessons from South Africa on why gender matters in social welfare policies

The gendered nature of social welfare is invisible and taken for granted – particularly in development contexts.It's time to debate a more gender-sensitive and equitable welfare agenda in the South.
The United Nations is asking countries to work towards policies that progressively achieve greater equality. Martial Trezzini/EPA/AAP

What if tax reform was a fundamental human right?

Discussion about tax reform has been dominated by self-interest, with the real purpose of tax lost.
Australia has isolated sustainable development projects, like Adelaide’s Bowden precinct that got Princes Charles’ attention in 2015, but lacks an overarching commitment to sustainability. AAP

Times demand a Sustainable Development Commission to replace the Productivity Commission

The challenges we face demand profound changes in our thinking and priorities. Replacing the Productivity Commission with a National Sustainability Commission would help us make this paradigm shift.
Newly built toilets at Harper transit site in Liberia. Oxfam International/Flickr

Gender equality comes one toilet at a time

While everyone needs access to proper sanitation to stay healthy, for girls and women it is also an issue of safety and equal participation in society.
Poor sanitation leads to diseases like malnutrition and stunted growth in children. It also makes them sick and unable to attend school. Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

African cities aren’t keeping up with the demand for basic toilets

We know that Africa's cities need better sanitation. But is the global focus on private rather than shared toilets really the best approach?
These Vietnamese tea farmers are set to benefit from the deal. Others might not be so lucky. Nguyen Huy Kham/Reuters

The Trans-Pacific Partnership poses a grave threat to sustainable development

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been described by its backers as a boon for development. But with no concrete commitments, nor any mention of climate, it is really at odds with the UN development agenda.

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