Magazine article Public Finance

Seventeen and Counting

Magazine article Public Finance

Seventeen and Counting

Article excerpt

Seventeen is a funny number: odd, prime. Seventeen-year-olds are considered mature enough to drive, but not old enough to vote or buy an alcoholic drink. It's all a bit inbetween.

So 17 seems like an strange number for the UN to settle on when it drew up the Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted three years ago. There were eight Millennium Development Goals, which the SDGs replace. Eight is a nice round number and easily divisible; 17 not so much.

But then the world is a complicated place and things don't fit into neat, easily divisible boxes. The SDGs are trying to change the world: to eliminate hunger and poverty, to deliver gender equality, to support life on land and below water, to deliver affordable clean energy and action on climate change, and - for PF readers - to improve accountability and governance, fostering peace and justice through strong institutions. So maybe 17 is a good choice of number after all.

As usual in October, we're providing readers an internationally themed issue, offering insights into the global aspects of CIPFA's work (see page 40 for tales from Tajikistan, Somalia and Somaliland) as well as broader trends and issues, like gender budgeting and urban policy.

Our cover feature takes a close look at the progress towards delivering the hugely ambitious SDG agenda. In particular, we ask some questions about how much the goals will cost to deliver and the role auditors can play measuring and tracking progress. …

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