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The public sector, business, and other stakeholders commit to good governance, including transparency, accountability, access to information, participation, an end to tax and secrecy havens, and efforts to stamp out corruption. The international rules governing international finance, trade, corporate reporting, technology, and intellectual property are made consistent with achieving the SDGs. The financing of poverty reduction and global public goods including efforts to head off climate change are strengthened and based on a graduated set of global rights and responsibilities.

Targets and Indicators

10a. Governments (national and local) and major companies support the SDGs, provide integrated reporting by 2020, and reform international rules to achieve the goals.*

89. Country implements and reports on System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) accounts

90. [Share of companies valued at more than [$1 billion] that publish integrated reporting] – Indicator to be developed

91. Perception of public sector corruption

92. Annual report by Bank for International Settlements (BIS), International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and World Trade Organization (WTO) [other organizations to be added] on the relationship between international rules and the SDGs

93. Assets and liabilities of BIS reporting banks in international tax havens (as per OECD definition), by country (US$)

10b. Adequate domestic and international finance for the Sustainable Development Goals, including 0.7 percent of GNI in ODA for all high-income countries and an additional $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020 from developed-country Parties to the UNFCCC.

94. Domestic revenues allocated to sustainable development as percent of GNI

95. Official development assistance (ODA) and net private grants as percent of high-income country’s GNI

96. Official climate financing from developed countries that is incremental to ODA (in US$)

97. Percent of official development assistance (ODA), net private grants, and official climate finance channeled through priority pooled multilateral financing mechanisms

98. Private net flows for sustainable development at market rates as share of high-income country GNI

10c. Accelerate adoption new technologies for the SDGs.*

99. [Index on ICT infrastructure performance]—indicator to be developed

100. Researchers and technicians in R&D (per million people)

Evidence

Sustainable development requires good governance in every country – rich or poor – at local, national, and global levels, and by all sectors of society including governments, businesses, and civil society organizations. Good governance is an important means to achieving the three other dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social, and environmental – but it is also an end in itself. Since sustainable development is the result of the sum of the actions of all people it is important that stakeholders can participate in decision making at all levels and that policies are integrated across the ten goals. All stakeholders must commit to supporting the SDGs with transparency, accountability, participation, responsiveness to public needs, and without corruption. Where necessary, rules for international trade, finance, taxation, business accounting, and intellectual property need to be reformed to become consistent with achieving the SDGs.

Governments must commit to good governance by respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms; upholding the rule of law; ensuring effective participation, especially by women; and by promoting transparent, accountable, and effective institutions. They must mobilize the necessary resources to reduce inequalities and equitably provide the public goods needed for sustainable development. This includes sound economic policies that promote employment and ensure financial stability. Public policy decisions must be made on the basis of reliable evidence and sound scientific analysis; guided by understanding and learning from the various social policy models that are available globally; and driven by values that foster responsibility, solidarity, and tolerance. To this end governments may launch discussions on long-term development pathways involving all key stakeholders.

Large and small businesses must be an integral part of any strategy to address the sustainable development challenges. Many companies are embracing reporting on sustainability performance and leading development of more sustainable products and services. Good corporate governance calls for all companies, especially the major multinational companies, to adopt the SDGs and to hold themselves accountable for those goals vis-à-vis their investors, customers, suppliers, employees, and society at large.

Where needed, companies need to work responsibly and constructively with governments to address market failures, support reasonable taxation, and ensure that private incentives become more fully aligned with public objectives. They must be accountable for adverse environmental and social consequences of their actions, along the lines of the “polluter pays” and “payment for ecosystem services” principles. In particular, this will require better ways of measuring the value and true performance of companies by internalizing externalities in companies’ reporting and ensuring transparent independent evaluation for all major corporations.[1] Where sustainable development requires structural transformations in business models, for example to decarbonize the energy system, governments must lead, working with business to enable the needed transformations. Transitional support may be required to deal with “stranded assets,” such as polluting power plants and high-carbon fossil fuel reserves, in a responsible manner.

Civil society, including universities and research institutions, can play an important role in adapting SDG targets to national and sub-national contexts, developing long-term strategies for meeting each target, designing indicators, and monitoring progress. They can help ensure transparency, disseminate findings, and hold governments at all levels as well as business accountable for their commitments to achieve the SDGs. To be able to fulfill this role, governments and business need to ensure access to information.

As part of a governance transformation for sustainable development, the world also needs a fair and viable financing strategy for ending poverty and providing global public goods. The bulk of investment in sustainable development can be financed through private finance and national public resource mobilization. It seems reasonable that developing countries should aim for domestic resource mobilization of at least 20 percent of gross national income (GNI). Business and public-private partnerships (PPP) must play an important role in financing sustainable development, particularly for infrastructure and urban development. The role of private finance will grow as a country becomes richer. Yet low-income countries and global public goods will require substantial ODA, adequate climate finance, and other public financing from rich countries and emerging economies. Donors must enhance aid effectiveness, strengthen accountability, and promote coherence among partners.

Given that under the sustainable development trajectory per capita incomes will converge across countries, clear criteria are required for resource mobilization and graduation from official development assistance. Every high-income country should aim to provide 0.7 percent of its GNI as ODA until such time as that ODA is no longer needed. If the world pursues the sustainable development trajectory, ODA can likely begin to decline as a share of GNI after 2025 as more of today’s low-income countries enter the ranks of middle-income countries. During the 2030s, it might be possible to phase out traditional ODA entirely. Of course global public goods will still require substantial financing beyond 2030, but this burden can be shared across a larger number of wealthy countries.

We recognize that the fiscal crises in many developed countries make the ODA target difficult to achieve, particularly when domestic concerns take precedence. But the 0.7 percent of GNI strikes us as a modest investment in the benefits of a sustainable development trajectory relative to business as usual. To support more effective domestic resource mobilization in all countries, rich countries should take the lead in curtailing abusive transfer pricing and work to close havens that encourage tax evasion and capital flight. Moreover, these havens should stop providing a home for opaque ownership structures that foster corrupt behaviors in developing countries. Innovative financing mechanisms, including levies on air travel, international maritime transport, and financial transactions, should also be adopted or expanded as a means to complement the financing of ODA.

Global problems require global institutions that are representative of the world they seek to govern. The voting rights and shares in many international institutions reflect the world as it was after the Second World War and not as it is today. This imbalance ought to be addressed so that global institutions can speak and act with greater legitimacy. At the same time, today’s emerging economies will need to take greater responsibility in the financing of these institutions and of global public goods more generally.

Today’s multilateral and bilateral development cooperation agencies are mainly geared towards providing technical and financial support for fighting poverty in all its forms. The focus on finishing the job started by the MDGs needs to be retained, but the organizations will need to broaden their services and skills to address the full spectrum of sustainable development challenges and to become agents of global change. In order to win the legitimacy for these expanded roles, multilateral organizations will need to change their governance structures by empowering developing countries within the governing boards.

Many international negotiations proceed on the basis that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” which becomes a recipe for gridlock. Such gridlock can be exacerbated by rules under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and multilateral institutions (e.g. bilateral investment treaties) that make it hard for individual countries to enact stronger environmental standards without either violating rules or increasing competition from non-compliers. For example, a growing number of researchers and policy-makers advocate border carbon taxes as a necessary means to allow individual countries to enact tighter curbs on their own greenhouse gas emissions without threatening their industrial base. Trade and other international rules should therefore be revised to meet the test of whether they are consistent with the objectives of sustainable development. Where this is not the case, reasonable safeguards need to be put in place to allow individual countries to move forward with stronger environmental standards.

The difficulties of reaching and implementing multilateral agreements on complex issues such as trade, finance, and climate change are real. Yet we have no doubt that managing these global public goods requires binding international agreements. Countries should be encouraged to take the initiative on their own to achieve the SDGs, but this must not deflect attention from the need to strengthen and improve the multilateral governance framework.


[1]Examples are the environmental profit and loss statements developed by Puma, Integrated Reporting (IIRC), the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Business, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) pricing of externalities.

 

Key SDSN reports
  • Bakker, P. and Leisinger, K. (2013, January 16). The key challenges to 2030/2050: Mapping out long-term pathways to sustainability and highlighting solutions that should be scaled up. Background Paper for the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Paris, France and New York, USA: Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Available at http://unsdsn.org/resources
  • Sachs, J. and Schmidt-Traub, G. (2013, March 16). Financing for development and climate change post-2015. Background Paper for the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Paris and New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Available at http://unsdsn.org/resources
  • Sustainable Development Solutions Network. (2013, March 5). The Structural Transformations towards Sustainable Development. Background Paper for the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Paris, France and New York, USA: Sustainable Development Solutions
Additional Resources

FAQs

What is transformative about goal 10 “Transform Governance and Technologies for Sustainable Development”?
This goal focuses on governance and technologies for sustainable development. As underscored in the Action Agenda, good governance by the public and private sectors at local, national, regional and global levels is critical for achieving the SDGs. The proposed Goal 10 is transformative because it; (i) calls for sound governance and transparent reporting on the SDGs by all stakeholders including businesses; (ii) ensures that international rules for trade, investment, technology transfer, etc. are checked for consistency with achieving the SDGs; (iii) includes an explicit target on public and private resource mobilization for the SDGs, thus filling a major gap in the MDGs.

The goal also emphasizes the central importance of mobilizing technologies and technology transfer as a critical means of implementation that complements sound governance, international rules that are consistent with achieving the SDGs, and adequate domestic and international resource mobilization.

Why do some goals focus on outcomes whereas others focus on outputs or means?
Where possible, the SDGs should focus on outcomes, such as ending extreme poverty. Yet, the distinction between outcomes, outputs, and inputs needs to be handled pragmatically, and the design of goals and targets should be – we believe – guided by approaches that are best suited to mobilize action and ensure accountability. For example, ensuring universal access to healthcare or high-quality early childhood development (ECD) are important commitments for every government. Goals and targets that focus on these outputs will ensure operational focus and accountability. In some instances it also makes sense to target inputs. For example, official development assistance (ODA) is critical for ensuring many SDGs and needs to be mobilized in every high-income country. Mobilizing resources for sustainable development is difficult, so subsuming ODA as an implicit input into every SDG would make it harder for government leaders, citizens, and civil society organizations to argue for increased ODA. It would also weaken accountability for rich countries. Similar considerations apply, for example, to the proposed target on integrated reporting by governments and businesses on their contributions to the SDGs.

Why are some targets not quantified and marked with an asterisk? Why do some targets have numbers in square brackets?
It is important that every target can be measured at the national or local level, but not every target can be defined globally in a meaningful way, for three distinct reasons:

i. The starting points may differ too much across countries for a single meaningful quantitative standard at the global level;
ii. Some targets need to be adapted and quantified locally or may be relevant only in subsets of countries (e.g. those that refer to specific ecosystems);
iii. For some targets no global consensus exists today, and these still need to be negotiated, as is the case with greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. In the meantime, countries should establish their own plans and targets.

In some cases proposed numerical targets are presented in square brackets since these numbers are preliminary and may need to be reviewed by the corresponding technical communities.