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Policy Talks: Margaret Biggs - Canada and the Sustainable Development Goals: Obligation or Opportunity?

Thursday, January 24, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Robert Sutherland Hall
Room: 202
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In 2015, Canada joined all other 192 UN member states, in adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as universal objectives for 2030.  Some have argued that the SDGs are just an excessive list of topics and commandments decreed by the United Nations - a new international obligation with little utility for Canada. Or are the SDGs in fact highly relevant and useful for Canada in tackling profound societal challenges, most critically the need to advance prosperity that is both socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable?

Margaret Biggs is Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy, School of Policy Studies.

She was President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) from 2008-2013. In this role, she was accountable for policy advice, partnerships, programming and performance management related to Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance, including Canadian initiatives on maternal and child health, sustainable economic growth, and fragile and conflict-affected states. In this capacity, she also contributed to the horizontal management of major foreign policy priorities such as the whole-of-government mission in Afghanistan. Previously, Ms. Biggs served as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Plans) and Assistant Secretary, Priorities and Planning, in the Privy Council Office. As an Assistant Deputy Minister she held positions responsible for social and labour market policy and for skills, learning and social development programs.

Celia Russell
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