The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The SDGs came into effect in January 2016, and they will continue to guide UNDP policy and funding until 2030.
Background of SDGs
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
On 8 September 2000, following a three-day Millennium Summit of world leaders gathered in New York at the headquarters of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly adopted some 60 goals regarding peace; development; environment; human rights; the vulnerable, hunger and poverty; which was referred to as Millennium Declaration (Resolution 55/2). This Millennium Declaration along with other ideas, became the basis forMillennium Development Goals (MDGs).
MDGs were 8 goals with 21 targets, and a series of measurable health indicators and economic indicators for each target. For 15 years, the MDGs drove progress in several important areas: reducing income poverty, providing much needed access to water and sanitation, driving down child mortality and drastically improving maternal health. They also kick-started a global movement for free primary education, inspiring countries to invest in their future generations. Most significantly, the MDGs made huge strides in combatting HIV/AIDS and other treatable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
In 1992, the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) or Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, where the first agenda for Environment and Development, also known as Agenda 21, was developed and adopted. In 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio+20, was held as a 20-year follow up to UNCED. Colombia proposed the idea of the SDGs at a preparation event for Rio+20 held in Indonesia in July 2011.
It was realised that a successor agenda was required to reignite hope for a better future, and to address these new set of challenges. The Post-2015 Development Agenda was a process from 2012 to 2015 led by the United Nations to define the future global development framework that would succeed the MDGs. The SDGs were developed to succeed the MDGs which ended in 2015.
What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
In September 2015, UN Member States adopted a new ambitious agenda, Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (also known as Agenda 2030). The SDGs 2030 Agenda is a plan of action focusing on 5Ps namely People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly, the 2030 Agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals that are required to be achieved by all countries and stakeholders by 2030. The 17 SDGs comprise of 169 associated targets, which are interconnected in nature. Each target has defined monitorable indicators to measure progress towards reaching the target. In total, there are 244 indicators listed in the SDGs global indicator framework for monitoring the progress.
The Goals are:
- Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
- Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
- Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
- Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
- Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat
desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and
build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development