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Managing the Trade-Offs of Transformation Through Foreign Policy

Every change, no matter how small, can cause larger changes elsewhere. The radical transformation envisioned under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires anticipating and managing trade-offs, and the diplomatic cadre will have a significant role to play in maximizing synergies, mitigating adverse knock-on consequences and developing strategies for mutual benefit.  

This essay originally appeared as part of adelphi’s volume Driving Transformative Change: Foreign Affairs and the 2030 Agenda (April 2019). The volume, comprised of six provocative essays, explores what contributions foreign policy can make to achieving sustainable ways of life and provides guidance by pointing out entry points, priorities and trade-offs. The essays aim to inspire actors around the world to work together to initiate, manage and monitor the necessary changes needed for a sustainable world.