On 25 September, 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a new and ambitious collective global plan of action for transforming our world by 2030 through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, which are part and parcel of the 2030 Agenda, replace and build upon the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ran their course in 2015. The advancement of the SDGs over the MDGs is not only in its scope – there are now 17 Goals as against the previous 8 – but also in some of the known structural shortcomings in the design of targets and indicators of the MDGs.

The global agenda for development, including development aid, financing, and international cooperation, for the next 15 years will likely gravitate around the SDGs. Indeed, the 2030 Agenda calls for a convergence around the SDGs of responses to several contemporary issues of global concern, whether related to climate change, human rights, peace and security, gender equality, migration, safe cities, rule of law, good governance, education, health, multilateral trade, investment, amongst others. However, a successful implementation of the SDGs can only result from learning the lessons from the MDG story where despite admirable progress in some goals, some others unfortunately remained off-track.