by Brett D. Schaefer, Terry Miller
The Heritage Foundation
July 24, 2014
The United Nation General Assembly is poised to adopt a new set of development criteria called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September. The SDGs will involve a number of objectives that will be used by the U.N. to guide and measure progress on its global development agenda. Such metrics can be useful tools to measure progress, but the U.N. has allowed political priorities and slogans to distort the SDGs in a manner that undermines their utility, articulates goals in imprecise language that makes them unmeasurable or subjective, and implicitly endorses a top-down, input-driven development strategy that has not been successful historically. The U.S. should reject the SDGs as flawed and urge the U.N. to focus on encouraging countries to adopt policies known to facilitate economic growth and development: economic freedom and the rule of law.