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Universality, Integration, and Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development: Early SDG Implementation in Selected OECD Countries

Nine months ago, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted at a United Nations Summit in New York. On January 1, 2016, the countdown began to achieving the truly transformative sustainable development goals (SDGs) that form the heart of that agenda. The 17 SDGs are global goals that chart a path to shared prosperity and human dignity for all people, while respecting nature, safeguarding the planet, and using our resources wisely for the wellbeing of both present and future generations. 

Universality and integration pose new challenges for all countries. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on which the SDGs build were intended to address the urgent problems facing developing countries, and their develop- 2 | ment partners committed to provide development assistance. The SDGs apply to all countries, and go well beyond development cooperation. All countries are enjoined to address domestic as well as global poverty and inequality; to end gender and other forms of discrimination; to create decent employment; and to examine how their consumption and production patterns affect global resource use, the environment, climate, and the development prospects of the rest of the world, especially the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

This case studies on early experience with implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It focuses on OECD countries and how they are applying the principles of universality – an agenda for all countries and all stakeholders – and integration – the sustainable development goals and targets are interdependent and implementation strategies must be holistic and policies coherent across the agenda. The countries reviewed – still at an early stage of implementation – all recognize the importance of these principles, though they reflect them differently at national level.

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