What is Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In September 2015 Heads of State and Government agreed to set the world on a path towards sustainable development through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and 217 indicators, which set out quantitative objectives across the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, all to be achieved by 2030.

The SDGs benefited from the valuable lessons learned from the MDGs (2000-2015). These also carry forward the unfinished agenda of the MDGs for continuity and sustain the momentum generated while addressing the additional challenges of inclusiveness, equity, and urbanization and further strengthening global partnership by including CSOs and private sector. They reflect continuity and consolidation of MDGs while making these more sustainable by strengthening environmental goals.
The SDGs needs to draw learning from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and address the multiple interlinked global challenges of: eradicating poverty, ensuring environmental sustainability, achieving economic equity, ensuring gender equality, tackling climate change, building resilience, managing equitable distribution of natural resources, realizing human rights, and reducing inequality between and within populations.

The SDGs build on the Rio+20 outcomes and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDGs are universal, meaning they apply to every country in the world. Local and regional governments played an important role in influencing the definition of the SDGs, successfully campaigning for a stand-alone goal on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements (SDG 11), and for international recognition of the pivotal role of local and regional government in sustainable development.

The goals were defined and developed through an unprecedented dialogue among UN Member States, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders. They provide a framework for shared action “for people, planet and prosperity,” to be implemented by “all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership.” As articulated in the 2030 Agenda, “never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavor across such a broad and universal policy agenda

All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.

The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.