Back Issues


Considering the Potential of the Sustainable Development Goals

Noha Shawki, Mitu Sengupta, Nandini Ramanujam, Sarah Berger Richardson, Inga T. Winkler, Joel E. Oestreich, Daniel Chong, Alexandra Ivanovic, Hannah Cooper, Athena M. Nguyen, Philip Mendes, John Synott, Lesley McLean, Rose Hunter, Sharon Kernot, Amy Lin, Justine Poon, Andrew Leggett, Alys Jackson

37 [1]



There is now a growing consensus that there is a global moral responsibility to promote global basic rights and an increasing recognition that there are positive duties to distant others. There is also growing consensus that there are extraterritorial obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR). How best can this global moral responsibility be met? And how can positive duties to people across the world be fulfilled? As Henry Shue (1988) has argued, fulfilling these positive duties requires mediating institutions. If institutionalisation is the key to meeting global moral responsibilities, then to what extent has this responsibility been institutionalised in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? (see appendix for a list of the SDGs) These goals were adopted at a United Nations summit in September of 2015 as part of the Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an ambitious, universal, and comprehensive agenda that addresses the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainable development. To what extent do the SDGs, which will guide international development efforts until 2030, reflect a sense of a global moral responsibility to promote global basic rights? To what extent do they reflect an acknowledgement of and a commitment to meeting extraterritorial human rights obligations?


To be able to access this issue you must sign up and pay the subscription fee to the Social Alternative website.

If you already have an account, please log in here.