What have the Sustainable Development Goals achieved?

SDG workshop ISS 9 May 2019 - Presentation Karin Arts on KidsRights Index
SDG workshop at ISS on 9 May 2019 - Des Gasper

Over 50 people participated in this symposium at the International Institute of Social Studies in which researchers presented their work looking at the nature and potentials/limitations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the processes and politics behind the setting and use of the goals, targets, and indicators.

Chaired by Professor Wil Hout, the symposium traced the emergence, potential and character of the SDGs.

'From Aspirations to Achievements? The Global Sustainable Development Goals'

The symposium featured presentations by a variety of ISS researchers: Professor Des Gasper, Professor Rolph van der Hoeven, Dr Sunil Tankha, Professor Karin Arts and Dr Joop de Wit.

They addressed a range of topics, such as building global alliances, income inequality and the politics of setting and measuring SDGs, and presented case studies on sustainable consumption and production, and on children's rights.


The presentations spurred discussions about a range of issues raised by the audience included:

  • the relationship between the SDGs and their underlying indicators
  • the potential of the SDGs to break through existing global, regional and national divides and provide a true development perspective for groups that are left behind
  • the South-centredness of the SDGs
  • the extent to which the SDGs take issues of democracy seriously
Professor Rolph van der Hoeven
Dr Joop de Wit

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