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Global Goals as National Goals: Lost in Translation?

Date: 18 Mar 2015





The MDGs were important as shared global goals. However, Charles Gore argues that the misunderstood translation of those global goals into national goals shifted responsibilities and national priorities. As a result, the poorest and least powerful countries in the world made the most national effort to achieve the goals. This outcome has been damaging for them. Is there a danger that the SDGs will be misunderstood in the same way?

This seminar will consider what it means to agree global goals and to act together to achieve them. In doing so, it will shed new light on ongoing SDG policy discussions, including issues such as:

  • universality;
  • the strengths and weaknesses of a partnership approach;
  • the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities; and
  • accountability mechanisms.

Charles Gore is currently Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Glasgow and an UNRISD Visiting Research Fellow. He has directed UNCTAD’s research on Africa and on least developed countries, and been team leader and principal author of its Least Developed Countries Report. In 2003-2006, he was a member of the UN Millennium Project’s UN Experts Group. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK) in 2014.

Remote access to the seminar

We will be tweeting key messages live from the seminar and welcome your comments and questions, which, time permitting, we may be able to put directly to the speaker. Follow us on @UNRISD and use the hashtag #UNRISDseminar. 

This event will be video and audio recorded. If you would like to be notified when the video and the podcast are online, please send an email with “Audio/video notification” in the subject line to sandoval@unrisd.org