By George Russell
Published October 03, 2013
EXCLUSIVE: The United Nations is planning to create a sweeping new set of “sustainable development goals” for the planet that will likely require trillions of dollars of spending on poverty and the environment, a drastic reorganization of economic production and consumption — especially in rich countries — and even greater effort in the expensive war on climate change.
It’s an agenda that its prominent boosters have declared will make the next 15 years “some of the most transformative in human history,” although the exact nature of the goals themselves, and how they are to be achieved, is unclear.
In typical U.N. fashion, panels of high-profile international figures have offered up their views, task forces have been commissioned to come up with suggestions, hundreds of non-governmental organizations have been polled, and a 30-nation working group is holding sessions that will extend early into next year before offering more concrete suggestions to the U.N. General Assembly, where they will be further chewed over.
The goals themselves are slated to become a program of the U.N. — and all the nations that endorse them — in 2015, as part of what U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called “a universal sustainable development agenda” for the planet — an equally undefined set of far-reaching aspirations for global environmental management and new and expanded roles in the future for the U.N.’s sprawling array of funds, programs and institutions.
“[A] confused mashup of every development fad of the last 20 years.”
– William Easterly
They are supposed to be endorsed at an as-yet-unplanned global U.N. summit — the successor to the Rio + 20 summit on sustainable development which boosted the current elaborate process — in 2015.