Afghanistan is in the process of developing its national goals and targets in relation to the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). There are 17 SDGs which have been broken down into a total of 169 targets.

But how are these globally agreed goals being addressed in Afghanistan? In what ways do they specifically address the particular political challenges that Afghanistan faces, and the geographical divisions of the country?

Drawing from long-term research on the drug economy and the more recent research of the Drugs & (dis)order project in three borderland provinces in Afghanistan – Badakhshan, Nangarhar and Nimroz – this briefing paper argues that the current Afghanistan-SDG 16 fails both to identify the challenges that these borderlands pose to the achievement of SDG 16, and to recognise the opportunities that they might offer for peace building.