Nov 20, 2015
12:30pm - 2:00pm    |    Wilf 5th Floor Conference Room, 139 MacDougal Street, New York, NY

Valid ID and RSVP required. RSVP here or email Lunch will be provided.

After several years of consultation and negotiation, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were finally adopted in September 2015, and implementation will begin next year. The SDGs follow on from the Millennium Development Goals, which despite some successes were criticized for leaving inequalities untouched and for being disconnected from human rights. During the MDG period, although by some measures extreme poverty fell globally, inequality was on the rise in almost all regions.

Certainly, the SDGs are more holistic and human rights-aligned than the MDGs, and include important and far-reaching commitments to tackle inequalities of all kinds, including income inequality. In two further important paradigm shifts, issues of accountable governance and access to justice are also included, and environmental commitments are integrated into the agenda. However, the sheer scope of the SDGs has lead many to dismiss them as unattainable, while the goals and targets undoubtedly contain contradictions, such as a continued reliance on economic growth as the solution to the world’s ills while also pledging to shift to more sustainable consumption patterns.

This talk will explore the potential and the pitfalls of the SDGs, from the point of view of a human rights advocate who has been deeply involved in analysis and advocacy around the negotiations. She  will particularly explore how the SDGs might be leveraged as a vehicle of human rights accountability, and how far they could prove ‘transformative’ in terms of tackling inequality and driving change with regard to the policy determinants of inequality, including fiscal policy – in low-, middle- and high-income countries.

About the Speaker

Kate Donald is the Director of the Human Rights in Development program at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), where she has been focusing closely on research and advocacy on the interlinkages between human rights and the recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She is also the co-founder of the Women for Tax Justice network. Before joining CESR in 2014, Kate worked as Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (Magdalena Sepúlveda), examining the impact of public policies and development on the rights of people living in poverty. Kate has also held positions at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Council on Human Rights Policy, and has been a consultant for the United Nations and the Gender & Development Network.



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