The concept of development has witnessed successive developments since the 1950s. During the aftermath of the Second World War the economic perspective was dominant. The sixties and seventies witnessed an increasing interest in the social dimension and income distribution. Unfortunately, these considerations declined in the wake of the global debt crisis in the eighties. The social dimension has then returned since the launch of the Human Development Reports in the early nineties and the adoption by the United Nations of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September 2000. The last episode - so far - has included environmental issues in September 2015, when the United Nations launched its international agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where development was defined as meeting the needs of current generations without sacrificing the needs of future generations, and for the first time, the environmental dimension was integrated with the economic and social dimensions within a broader developmental concept.
As all Arab countries committed to SDGs Agenda, they had to integrate SDGs’ goals into their development plans and programmes, which required technical support and specialized training. Thus, API initiated several training programs such as “development strategies and policies”, “sustainable development and environmental impact assessment”, and “sustainable development goals and policies”. The API has also prepared many consulting studies to Arab governments, industry associations, chambers of commerce and other private sector organizations, in addition to several Arab NGOs, in areas directly or indirectly related to SDGs. API has also actively contributed to the preparation of the voluntary national reports that were presented by some Arab countries at the High-Level Political Forum, which has been held annually since 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York. And last - but not least - the API has oriented many of its research and publications to cover the different aspects of SDGs.