Topic 3 The 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

From 8 Millennium Development Goals to 17 Sustainable Development Goals

In 2000, the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations was drafted and approved for the Millennium Summit, reflecting the concern of 147 heads of state that signed the treaty in the largest gathering of world leaders of all times. 

The fight between the inequalities verified between the north and south, and the existents social imbalances are the foundation of the eight main targets identified and named as the development goals of the millennium, which were supposed to be achieved by the year 2015.

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
  • At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.
  • They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
  • The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.
  • The 17 SDGs are integrated—that is, they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.
  • Through the pledge to Leave No One Behind, countries have committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind first. That is why the SDGs are designed to bring the world to several life-changing ‘zeros’, including zero poverty, hunger, AIDS and discrimination against women and girls.

SDG 1 calls for the eradication of poverty in all its manifestations. It envisions shared prosperity, a basic standard of living and social protection benefits for people everywhere, including the poorest and most vulnerable. The goal seeks to ensure equal rights and access to economic and natural resources.

SDG 2 seeks to end hunger and malnutrition and ensure access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. Realising this goal will largely depend on promoting sustainable production systems and increasing investment in rural infrastructure and agricultural research and development.

SDG 3 aims to ensure health and promote well-being for all at all ages by improving reproductive, maternal and child health; ending epidemics of major communicable diseases; and reducing non-communicable and mental diseases. It also calls for reducing behavioural and environmental health-risk factors.  

SDG 4 seeks to ensure access to equitable and quality education through all stages of life, as well as to increase the number of young people and adults having relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship. The goal also envisages the elimination of gender and income disparities in access to education.

SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality by ending all forms of discrimination, violence and any harmful practices against women and girls in the public and private spheres. It also calls for the full participation of women and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of political and economic decision-making.

SDG 6 calls for ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and ending open defecation. It also aims to improve water quality and water-use efficiency and to encourage sustainable abstractions and supply of freshwater.

SDG 7 calls for ensuring universal access to modern energy services, improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy. To accelerate the transition to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system that fulfils these demands, countries need to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology and to promote investment in resource- and energy-efficient solutions and low-carbon energy infrastructure.

SDG 8 recognises the importance of sustained economic growth and high levels of economic productivity for the creation of well-paid quality jobs, as well as resource efficiency in consumption and production. It calls for opportunities for full employment and decent work for all alongside the eradication of forced labour, human trafficking and child labour, and the promotion of labour rights and safe and secure working environments.

SDG 9 calls for building resilient and sustainable infrastructure and promotes inclusive and sustainable industrialisation. It also recognises the importance of research and innovation for finding lasting solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges.

SDG 10 addresses inequalities within and among countries. It calls for nations to reduce inequalities in income as well as those based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status within a country. The goal also addresses inequalities among countries, including those related to representation, and calls for the facilitation of orderly and safe migration and mobility of people.

SDG 11 aims to renew and plan cities and other human settlements in a way that offers opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and green public spaces, while reducing resource use and environmental impact.

SDG 12 calls for a comprehensive set of actions from businesses, policy-makers, researchers and consumers to adapt to sustainable practices. It envisions sustainable production and consumption based on advanced technological capacity, resource efficiency and reduced global waste.

SDG 13 seeks to implement the commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and deliver on the Green Climate Fund. It aims to strengthen countries’ resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related natural hazards and the resulting disasters with a special focus on supporting least-developed countries.

SDG 14 aims to protect and ensure the sustainable use of oceans. This includes the reduction of marine pollution and the impacts of ocean acidification, the ending of overfishing and the conservation of marine and coastal areas and ecosystems. SDG 14 has strong interdependencies with a broad range of other SDGs, as oceans sustain coastal economies and livelihoods and contribute to food production, while at the same time function as a sink for land-and sea-based pollution.

SDG 15 seeks to protect, restore and promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial, inland-water and mountain ecosystems. This includes efforts to sustainably manage forests and halt deforestation, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, halt biodiversity loss and protect threatened species.

SDG 16 calls for peaceful and inclusive societies based on respect for human rights, protection of the most vulnerable, the rule of law and good governance at all levels. It also envisions transparent, effective and accountable institutions.

SDG 17 calls for a global partnership for sustainable development. The goal highlights the importance of global macroeconomic stability and the need to mobilise financial resources for developing countries from international sources, as well as through strengthened domestic capacities for revenue collection. It also highlights the importance of trade for developing countries and equitable rules for governing international trade.

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