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Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2016

Adapting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the National Level

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The Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2016 explores ways to adapt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to the unique circumstances, capacities and levels of development of the Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), collectively referred to as Countries with Special Needs (CSN). For that purpose, it proposes a unique analytical framework, based on cutting-edge methods from complexity science coupled with economic analyses, to guide countries on the prioritization and sequencing of the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the most effective manner. The framework allows for the identification of synergies, trade-offs and bottlenecks in attaining different Goals. The report also takes stock of the progress of CSN towards their respective global programmes of action, analyses the relationship between the programmes of action and the 2030 Agenda, and examines current perceptions of experts and practitioners from 25 CSN on how their countries should prioritize and sequence the achievement of the Goals.

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Pathways to enhance capacities for sustainable development

The 2030 Agenda is an ambitious and holistic agenda for development that encompasses a broad spectrum of economic, social and environmental issues. Building upon the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda includes a more diverse and comprehensive set of aspirational Goals applicable to all countries, be they developing or developed (United Nations, 2015). However, unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the specific targets for the Goals rarely include measurable outcomes, making their implementation more amenable to adaptation to country-specific circumstances, capacities and aspirations. While this flexibility is highly desirable, it also demands a deeper level of stakeholder engagement and country ownership in deciding which areas of the 2030 Agenda can be most productively prioritized and effectively implemented, taking into account the unique level of development, capacities and comparative strengths of each country.

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