Report on policy coherence for development

This year's report to the Storting on policy coherence for development is about how Norwegian policies could affect efforts to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs, as they were discussed in the UN Open Working Group around mid-2014.

The report focuses on five of the goals: education (Goal 4 in the OWG report), good governance and human rights (Goal 16), gender equality (Goal 5), energy (Goal 7) and health (Goal 3). These are the five goals that the Government promoted initially with a view to ensuring their inclusion in the final set of SDGs. Climate change, the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and food security were added as priority areas at a later stage.

Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the new SDGs do not focus exclusively on poverty or poor countries. They are intended to be global and universal, and all countries will need to take action at national level to further their achievement. The universality of the new goals can thus be seen as promoting policy coherence for development.

The purpose of the report is not to recommend changes to policy. Policy development in the areas covered by the report takes place in various arenas and involves interaction between the business sector, civil society and the political sphere. However, indirectly the report indicates how policies in the various areas could be adjusted to ensure that they are in line with the ‘do no harm’ principle. To ensure wider adherence to this principle, the report ends with a policy development checklist recommended for use by other Norwegian ministries.