Sandakerveien 130 (map)
1st and 2nd floor
Has the 2030 Agenda really changed the way politics work? And, how do concepts change practices?
Whenever the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are discussed, we usually hear the same refrain: this is a new way of thinking about development! The language of donors and recipients is passé; we are all developing countries now; we are all in the same boat; this is a universal approach to development, and so on. Although rhetorically effective, these expressions beg the question of whether the change is primarily an ideational revision, or whether it is actually changing politics. To put it more bluntly: Is the 2030 Agenda mainly changing semantics, or is it changing practice?
A persistent complaint among many developing country leaders is the poor state of their roads and how the international community appears reluctant to invest in infrastructure development. China has the solution, or so it claims. Launched in 2013, the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, estimated to cost over $5 trillion, aims at global investments in transportation, infrastructure, telecommunications, logistics, energy, and oil and gas. But will it help promote the SDGs? And is it all win-win?
Is the concept of Sustainable Development a useful tool for global development?