I was asked recently what the relationship is between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is a complicated question, particularly because the negotiation processes for the two are complex and not well aligned.
In my view, the SDGs should not replace the MDGs. The MDGS are yet to be completed and we need to remain focused on their achievement. To date, they have been the greatest focus of UN progress in development but there is more to be done. The SDGs can help complement the MDGs by looking at other dimensions but should not create competition for attention or resources. In addition, ‘success’ in the SDG areas is more complicated to define in a single, global way, and may depend more on national circumstances and outcomes. The Post 2015 process should take precedence and the SDGS complement any gaps as they are integrated, potentially into new Global Development Goals.