Monday marked the start of a seven daylong discussion on sustainable development at the United Nations. This forum focuses on finding an integrated approach to developing in a way that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. This may seem like an impossible task, but as Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.” Most of the panelists and delegates who spoke today about the post 2015 development agenda were positive in regards to the outcome of this forum. Many noted that this is a pivotal moment in which we can help to create the future that we want to see.
Trying to address all of these problems is not going to be an easy task. There were a few major characteristics of the development agenda that were echoed throughout the day. The first of these characteristics is the need for an integrated approach. We must integrate social, economic, and environmental issues into one cohesive solution. We must also integrate international, regional, national, and local players into the solution. Another necessary characteristic is the need for a universal approach. Universality must apply to all people and all countries. The final major characteristic is that the sustainable development agenda must be transformative. In order to create a transformative change, we must address the reasons of each issue not just the issue itself. A solution must take an integrated, universal, and transformative approach. Identifying the requirements that must be met by the form is just the beginning. In the next few days the forum will address creating the best sustainable development agenda for the future.