“The ‘Universal Framework’ for Sustainable Development:
A new global paradigm or business as usual?”

With a new ‘universal’ agenda set to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, this lecture will discuss the debates, politics and processes surrounding the post-2015 Sustainable Development agenda. Will it be a new and transformative agenda framework for achieving ambitious goals, a shift in development paradigm, or will it be business as usual?

Cautious criticisms of the MDGs highlighted shortcomings in the process of their conception and implementation, which are in turn shaping the formulation of a new set of goals. There are major challenges involved in shifting from a development agenda towards a universal framework, and from social goals disconnected from their broader economic and political contexts towards an integrated and sustainable approach.

What will it take for this global agenda-setting process to provide the building blocks of a new international consensus?

How can the framework, lead to shared responsibility for global public goods, investments for the long term, and a fair sharing of costs and benefits?

About the speaker


Sarah Cook is Director of United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). She was previously a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, and has also worked for the Ford Foundation in China. Her research has focused in particular on China’s social and economic transformations, including work on labour markets and employment, gender, poverty and inequality and social welfare reforms. Most recently, Sarah has been instrumental in the post-2015 consultations, leading on a number of high profile discussions.

This lecture is delivered in a personal capacity, and the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the UN.

Event Details

This event is co-hosted with The Exchange, a working committee within the University of Sheffield Student’s Union.

The event is open to everyone, and registration is free, but places are limited. Register here

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