Dr Rakhyun E. Kim - The Nexus between International Law and the Sustainable Development Goals - 7 March

The set of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has emerged without a clear relationship between the individual goals and targets. The absence of a rule defining how the goals and targets are related to each other will raise a number of implementation challenges. In particular, the SDGs by themselves will provide little guidance for managing the competing global priorities. This paper explores the extent to and ways in which the use of international law could address the limitation. It maps the latent link between international law and the SDGs by identifying treaties and other formal institutions that directly contribute to the SDG targets. The study reveals the sustainable development model that is built into international law, and what is required for SDG governance to overcome the limits of that model. It argues that the concept of sustainable development in international law has an important role to play as the principle of reconciliation and an overarching goal for the SDGs. Findings have implications for strengthening a mutually supportive relationship between international law and the SDGs.