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'A Critical Analysis of the UN SDGs'

Past Event

December 15, 2020
Queen's University Belfast
09:00 - 17:00

The 17 United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a ‘shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future’. They include ‘Ending Poverty’ (SDG 1) to ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’ (SDG 16). This workshop, organised by the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action, aims to critically analyse the SDGs and the SDG agenda, exploring and unpacking some of the goals in more detail. What are the connections between ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ (SDG 3) and ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’ (SDG 11). The workshop will also examine potential contractions between them. For example, can ‘Decent Works and Economic Growth’ (SDG 4) be made compatible with tackling ‘Climate Change’ (SDG 13)? And should ‘decent work’ be combined with ‘economic growth’ in the first place? And should we not be talking about ‘climate breakdown’ not ‘climate change’? And why does SDG 5 aim for ‘Gender Equality;’ while SDG 10 only aims to ‘Reduce Inequalities’ within and between societies? How significant is this and what are the politics and reasons behind the SDGs. Given how quickly the SDGs are and will continue to drive organisational change, including here at Queen’s University Belfast, it is important that we discuss, critically assess and publicly share and air agreed or contested understandings of individual SDGs, how they interact and how we as citizens, employees, parents, activists etc. interpret and implement them.

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