Development Goals · United Nations

Sustainable Development Goals

The 193 member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015 at the UN Sustainable Development Summit which was held during the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The new framework titled Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development comprises of 17 goals and 169 targets to alleviate poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change among others over the next 15 years.

It is the responsibility of everyone from government, the private sector to civil society to ensure these goals which are universal and integrated in nature are met by 2030. These seventeen goals aim to build on the work of the historic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which in September 2000 rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle the indignity of poverty. This too is a 15 year agenda and will focus on the following 17 global goals;

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

This goal aims to eradicate extreme poverty which is measured by people living on less than $1.25 a day as well as halve the number of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty. The first goal will try to ensure that by 2030 all will have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance. It will also attempt to reduce the exposure and vulnerability of extremely poor populations to climate-related economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters. Finally the goals seek the formulation of sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Ending hunger and ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food year round by 2030 is the aim of this goal. It also seeks to eradicate malnutrition by 2025, and seeks to address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons by doubling the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment.

The goal further attempts to ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production by strengthening the capacity to adapt to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality to achieve the security of food. It also seeks to enhance the diversity of genetics in food products.

To help attain food security, the goal also plans to increase investment, invest in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, particularly in the least developed countries. The goal plans to further the implementation of non-restrictive trade barriers to encourage and support the trade of agricultural products.

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal three attempts to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030 and end preventable deaths of newborns and children under the age of 5 years. Within this time frame the goal also aims to tackle communicable diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases etc within this.

It will also address the use of substance such as narcotic drugs and seeks to strengthen its prevention and treatment mechanisms. It also seeks to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents. By 2030 the goal seeks to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs.

It also plans to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. It will also address the control of tobacco usage by strengthening the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Further research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases will be supported via this new sustainable development goal. This will be in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health to its maximum usage. It will further seek to encourage states to increase spending on healthcare within their individual countries.

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Ensuring the completing of free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education for both boys and girls alike will be addressed via this goal. By 2030, it seeks to ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.

The goal address the access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university, thereby increasing the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

While eliminating gender disparities in education and ensuring equal access to all levels of education and vocational training will be a top priority of this goal, it will at the same time try to ensure that all youth acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation.

It further seeks to address issues such as disability by building and upgrading education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive. This goal also encourages the expansion of the number of scholarships available to discerning students for tertiary education and research. Not ceasing there, it also plans to substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small-island developing States.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal five is solely dedicated to focusing on issues pertaining to women and girls. Thus, by 2030 it seeks to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation. It focuses on eliminating harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

It seeks to achieve effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life for women, while ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and related documents. The goal also concentrates on equal rights to economic resources, including access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources. This enables women to be politically and economically independent.

Adopting and strengthening sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels is also a key focus of this goal. It will also seek to provide access to information technology for all women and girls.

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Focusing on the management of water, the goal seeks to achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030. It also focuses on access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene. Goal six also attempts to improve the quality of water by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

This goal also focuses on water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation by 2030, and attempts to protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes by 2020. Expanding international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies too is at the heart of this goal.

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services along with the increased sharing of renewable energy in the global energy mix is the objective of this goal. Goal seven also focuses on doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Encouraging international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promoting investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology too will be addressed via this goal.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

This goal promotes economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and seeks to attain a minimum 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries by 2030. It plans to achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, by focusing on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors. It will also strive to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers by 2030 and to end child labour in all its forms by 2025.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal nine seeks to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all by 2030. To this end it will try to Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises especially in developing countries. Enhancing scientific research, upgrading the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries and encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per one million people will be at the heart of this Sustainable Development Goal. It will also attempt to significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Achieving and sustaining economic growth especially for the lower end of the country’s citizenry will be a priority via this goal. It will thus attempt to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or etc by 2030. To this end it will seek to promote the adoption of policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality.

Improving regulations of global financial markets and institutions and ensuring enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions will also be a chief focus of this goal. It will also look into the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. It will also seek the implementation of special and differential treatment for developing countries in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements. Goal ten further seeks to adopt other policies that will be beneficial for migrant workers.

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Keeping up with recent occurrences, the Sustainable Development Goals will try to improve road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women and children, persons with disabilities and older persons. It will also try to ensure safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums. By 2020, the goal plans to substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Achieving sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources and halving the per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030 will be the focus of this goal. It will also try to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. The goal will try to create awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature. Whilst increasing jobs in sustainable tourism, the goal will try to restrict harmful subsidies and where possible minimize adverse impacts on development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Whilst acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change this goal will attempt to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries. It will also educate and create awareness on climate change mitigation. Promote mechanisms to raise capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small-island developing States too will be a priority.

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

The goal plans to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution by 2025. This goal will try to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts by 2020. The goal also addresses overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks.

This goal will take into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries. It will also seek the implementing of international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources.

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

The goal will seek to ensure the conservation of forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements by 2020 and increase afforestation and reforestation globally.  The fifteenth goal will seek to take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products. The goal will seek to create awareness on biodiversity and on incorporating it into national development plans to safeguard it.

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

Significantly reducing all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere by ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children will be the core of this goal. By 2030 the goal will seek to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime. It will also strive to achieve global-wide accountability and transparency by reducing bribery and corruption. This goal will also seek to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

This goal focuses on a number of issues in the areas of finance, technology, capacity building, trade and other systematic issues. In the finance sector the goal will assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress. The key objective of this goal will be to enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism. Conclusion of negotiations of the World Trade Organization under its Doha Development Agenda will sought to be achieved under the trade sector of this goal. Increasing exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020 and timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access will also be a key objective.

These goals were derived after incorporating previously signed declarations, conventions and the Millennium Development Goals that seek to safeguard human rights and other requirements that are essential in achieving sustainable development. If successfully implemented and achieved by 2030, these goals will witness the eradication of extreme forms of poverty, gender equality and economic well-being and enable a quality life for those at the lower strata of the economic scale as they will have access to various means of economic strengthening. Further, the goals seek to provide all at this level a legitimate place of living in safe environs, thus limiting the exposure to natural disasters.

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