Our Shared Future: the governance challenges posed by the sustainable development, climate and World Humanitarian Summit agendas

Briefing papers
December 2016

The Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the World Humanitarian Summit reflect a growing recognition that the magnitude and complexity of today’s crises far outstrip the capacity of the current global governance system to address them. The question now is whether these global summits – separately and together – have covered the governance issues that need to be addressed for genuine progress to be made towards the goals they have set.

This briefing paper, part of the Our Shared Future project, appraises the new governance landscape that these agreements have created – or have aspired to – and discusses the extent to which these new global instruments are likely to direct or constrain the decisions, behaviours, activities and relationships of key stakeholders, including state and non-state actors. It offers suggestions as to what needs to happen within the broader global governance environment to deliver on the promise of these three agendas in the decades ahead.