From The Conversation…
In September, the United Nations’ General Assembly is set to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a highly anticipated event in global development. The Open Working Group has been crafting a comprehensive package of goals and targets that can drive global efforts towards a sustainable and poverty-free world by 2030.
However, the soon-to-be-adopted SDGs are likely to fail unless far more attention is given to addressing governance challenges crucial to their implementation.
In the broadest sense, governance refers to how societies make decisions and take action. It is about the mechanisms we use to work together in society to solve shared problems. For the SDGs, this involves considering how government, business, non-governmental organizations, civil society and researchers will work together.
Governance fundamentally underpins our ability to get things done in society yet there numerous failures in governance everywhere: weak safeguards in the global financial system, coups against elected national governments, the multi-decadal struggle to take global action to manage greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
As scholars who study governance in the context of managing natural resources, we see these all fundamentally as failures of governance.
And unless we begin to think now about governance in the context of the SDGs, they too will fail in achieving their ambitious goals.