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SDG update - 12 September

12 Sept 2016 – this week’s SDG Delivery Update – a compilation of news, opinion, reports, and events related to the Sustainable Development Goals - includes details of a new IIED briefing looking at urban issues and the ‘new urban agenda’ ahead of Habitat III and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report 2016.

A new report from UNESCO flags problems in achieving SDG4, photo: ODI via flickr.com, creative commons licence


  • David Satterthwaite and David Dodman (IIED): A new urban agenda? This brief looks at urban development challenges that have carried over since the first UN Conference on Human Settlements held 40 years ago, highlighting work still to be done on the ‘old’ agenda. The authors also point out issues of representing the many local actors, voices, perspectives, and generating necessary local buy-in, which may be difficult to achieve in a global negotiation process. The paper goes on to outline ingredients of a new urban agenda that would result in a transformative new vision that reinforces the SDGs, is measurable, and avoids ‘the wrong agendas’ that lead to inequitable and exclusive urban development.
  • UNESCO: Global Education Monitoring Report 2016: Education for People and Planet: Creating Sustainable Futures for All. This report aims to ‘set off alarm bells’ to trigger a historic scale-up of actions in order to achieve SDG 4. UNESCO emphasizes gaps between where education is and should be, attainment differences between rich and poor, within and between countries, and the implications if these disparities. The report offers a sobering picture of how many countries are on track to meet education targets by 2030, also noting that development aid for education is lower today than it was in 2009. The report offers suggestions for making and monitoring process, also demonstrating the feasibility of improved education outcomes. A release on the report by UN News Centre is available here, a brief IISD summary is here, and additional related coverage is featured in the News & Blogs section below.
  • UNIDO: Making It: Industry for Development: Implementing the SDGs (Issue 21). The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) dedicates issue 21 of this quarterly magazine solely to SDG implementation. While UNIDO’s mandate focuses primarily on SDG 9, the magazine also features articles on sustainable consumption, an interview with UN Secretary-General Special Adviser David Nabarro, a country feature on Nepal, and a piece by the CEO of Novozymes, sharing what his company has learned thus far.



  • G20 Leaders’ Summit 2016. This summit was held 4-5 September 2016 in Hangzhou, China. The resulting Communique is available here. Further information, including a compilation of press releases, is available here, on IISD’s website.
  • 4th Green Growth Knowledge Platform Annual Conference. The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) Annual Conference took place on the theme “Transforming Development through Inclusive Green Growth” from 6-7 September 2016 on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. The conference was hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and formed a major part of the Global Green Growth Week 2016 (#GGGWeek2016), held 5-9 September 2016.
  • IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016. The conference concluded 10 September 2016 in Hawaii. The Forum was held 2-5 September, while the Members’ Assembly ran from the 6th to 10th. Further information, including webstreams, the program and speakers list, is available at the above link. Daily coverage by IISD Reporting Services is also available, here.
  • Global Preparatory Seminar for the UN World Data Forum. This seminar, jointly organized by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), was held 7-9 September 2016 in Guilin, China. The seminar engaged with public and private measurements experts, statistical producers, information system specialists, and users as well as all other key stakeholders to discuss data for sustainable development in January 2017.



This Update is compiled by WRI, a member of IRF — a collaboration of 10 international research institutions providing critical thinking, integrated analysis and raising awareness around the 2030 Agenda. Submissions for this digest are welcome. Please e-mail Adam Fishman (afishman@wri.org) with any suggestions, questions or comments. To subscribe to this weekly digest, along with other WRI newsletters, please visit this sign-up page on WRI’s website.