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SAIS Review Sustainable Development Web Series

Proposals for the Sustainable Development Goals from Johns Hopkins SAIS Students

In 2000, following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations, world leaders agreed to establish eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals included aims such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, with a target date of 2015 set for their completion.

As the target date for the MDGs approaches its expiration, world leaders have called for an ambitious, new agenda to improve global livelihoods and protect the planet for future generations. This post-2015 agenda likely will incorporate a new set of goals proposed by the UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). World leaders are expected to adopt the SDGs at the Special Summit on Sustainable Development being held in New York in September 2015, yet the goals and their supporting targets remain a work in progress.

What will these SDGs look like? How should they build off of their predecessors, the MDGs? This past semester, a group of energy and environmental policy students enrolled in the Master of Arts degree program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies  (SAIS) were tasked with crafting their own proposals for a specific, measurable, and attainable (but hypothetical) sustainable development goal and target(s). Through a joint partnership with the SAIS Review of International Affairs, several of these policy memos will now be publically available in the form of a Sustainable Development web series.  We hope you will find the series a source of education, inspiration, and conversation.

Note: In preliminary drafts of the goals, many of the proposed SDGs use the generic term “x%” as a placeholder until appropriate, quantifiable targets can be determined.  In a similar fashion, where information to determine precise targets is not yet available, the variable x has been employed in these policy memos.