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Governing through GoalsSustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation$
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Norichika Kanie and Frank Biermann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035620

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035620.001.0001

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The United Nations and the Governance of Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations and the Governance of Sustainable Development Goals

(p.213) 9 The United Nations and the Governance of Sustainable Development Goals
Governing through Goals

Steven Bernstein

The MIT Press

The United Nations – with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development playing a leadership role – is a central and necessary governance node to make progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. However, their scope and nature as goals and the normative character of sustainable development that demands integrative and coherent governance create significant challenges not easily met by traditional tools of multilateralism. Governance arrangements must therefore balance political authority at the global level with recognition that action and resources must also be mobilized at regional, national, and local levels and by a wide range of public and private actors. The High-level Political Forum must, therefore, be an orchestrator of orchestrators that promotes coordination within a fragmented governance space. This chapter assesses the prospects of UN-led governance under these circumstances and identifies key institutional mechanisms and conditions under which they have the best likelihood of mobilizing action on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Keywords:   United Nations, High-level Political Forum, Orchestration, Coherence, Means of Implementation, Follow-up and Review, Sustainable Development Goals

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