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[SDGs] Why SDGS needs a vision? Explained by the comparison with MDGs.

We have started an online course on SDGs at Clarke Memorial High School, which we have been running since last year, with some improvements. I used MDGs to explain why SDGs need to have a spirit of vision to achieve the future we want to create, rather than predicting it. From 2000 to 2015, MDGs were used as goals for developing countries.

Since MDGs were development goals for developing countries, the initiative targeted were goals that advanced countries had already achieved, such as reducing child mortality and eradicating extreme poverty. Therefore, developing countries can aim for MDGs by targeting the level developed countries have succeeded. Just as sick people need to be cured of their illnesses, there is a clear goal and no need for a future vision.

On the other hand, SDGs are for the whole world, and no country has achieved the goals so far. Therefore, there is no one to imitate in what way we can achieve these SDGs. Furthermore, many SDG activities are in the future, which means that we have to set the rules for the future in an unpredictable world.

In other words, from the perspective of developed countries, the differences between MDGs and SDGs in terms of time horizon and level of achievement are as follows.

Time horizon

  • MDGs are the standards of the past.

  • SDGs are rules for the future.

Level of achievement

  • MDGs are the minimum level of problems to be achieved.

  • SDGs are the problems that we have to find out for ourselves in an uncertain world.

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