Articles on UN Sustainable Development Goals

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Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is guided through Mbalmayo, Cameroon, a town where residents are engaged in projects to further the MDGs. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

How Africa can perform better in the new round of UN development goals

The Millennium Development Goals failed in aspects like poverty. Lessons must be learnt to ensure that these mistakes will not be repeated by the Sustainable Development Goals.
Just another day in Nairobi’s Kibera slums. Slums are characterised by densely packed settlements with inadequate provision of services. Reuters/Noor Khamis

Slum health is not urban health: why we must distinguish between the two

Despite increased global awareness about poor conditions in slums, the health of their inhabitants is a little studied phenomenon.
People use the Wawa River in the Philippines for many purposes. Phoebelyn Gulunan, 2016

Sanitation projects will go down the toilet unless we ask people what they really want

Community participation is vital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. But at the moment it often comes too little, too late.
Quito lights up for Habitat III. Alexei Trundle

Habitat III is over, but will its New Urban Agenda transform the world’s cities?

Nation states, UN bodies and civil society gathered in Quito for Habitat III to adopt the New Urban Agenda. So how will the UN's new global urban roadmap transform our cities over the next 20 years?
Frontline workers need to be engaged in the process of building responsive, interconnected health systems. Reuters

Only a bottom-up approach will deliver global health development targets

The millennium development goals were laudable but the approach to achieving them was flawed. An integrated, bottom-up approach is needed if the sustainable development goals are to be met by 2030.
The new secretary general of the United Nations should drive substantive reforms, particularly accountability of the international body. Shutterstock

What Africa should demand from the next United Nations secretary general

Africa should focus on the feasible reforms of the UN and de-emphasise its demand for improved representation on the Security Council voting reforms, given the complex politics around these issues.
Matatu or minibuses in a downtown Nairobi park. Good information about transport is critical for citizens in any place. Reuters

Using data from cellphones to help Nairobi crack commuter stress

Involving the public in data collection - through crowd sourcing - to produce critical public services such as maps and transit apps helps build new conversations on how the system can be improved.
A child holds a pen as children play at a primary school in Burundi: access to education has improved but other challenges remain. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Access to quality education in Africa: how to plug the gaps

It is more important than ever that the locus of control of education development is driven by African public intellectuals who can speak truth to power
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.
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.

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