Articles on UN Sustainable Development Goals

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Climate action by Australia affects all of Sustainable Development Goals, including those on water. Pushpendra Maheshwari

Climate action is the key to Australia achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

When Australia joins the 71st UN General Assembly, it will reflect on its progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. But where do we start to achieve these complex and interlinked ambitions?
Joan Clos (right) shows visiting dignitaries around the UN complex in Nairobi, Kenya, which as host of UN-Habitat headquarters was pushing one of two competing proposals for implementation responsibilities. Noor Khamis/Reuters

Phew! New Urban Agenda clears last hurdle before Habitat III

Two years of marathon negotiations have finally yielded agreement in last-minute meetings in New York on the New Urban Agenda to be adopted at the Habitat III summit in Quito in October.
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.

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