Transforming our World – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Some views of the SDGs:
The UN’s detailed account of the SDGs:
SDGs in StoryMaps:
Here is the list of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development (“Agenda 2030”):
  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere   
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable  
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls  
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all  
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all  
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation  
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries  
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable  
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
  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 
  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 
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development 
Want to see how the SDGs are measuring up ? Look at the SDG tracker of "Our World in Data" ...

These goals are formulated for national governments and organizations that work with them in particular sectors. But they are also relevant for all sectors of society in all countries. Individuals, organizations, local governments and businesses need to review these goals carefully and consider how their own lives and activities can contribute to – or be an obstacle to – achieving these goals for everyone on the planet and for the planet itself.

The goals were adopted unanimously at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 after several years of work and discussion involving governments, UN agencies, other international organizations, non-governmental organizations” (NGOs), other ‘civil society’ groups, and business leaders.  They are enshrined in a document “Agenda 2030: Transforming our World – the sustainable development agenda for 2030”.

The 17 goals, and the associated 169 targets, are intended to stimulate action during the period 2015-2030 in “areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet”. In adopting these goals, governments declared commitments to people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.

Commitments underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • People: We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.
  • Planet: We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing it<s natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.
  • Prosperity: We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.
  • Peace: We are determined to foster peaceful and just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
  • Partnership: We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.

[Extract from preambule to “Transforming our World” UN, 2015]

The interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals were recognized as being of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized.

Although not stated as such in the UN document, SDGs 1-16 are real “goals” for humanity and the planet. SDG 17 is intended to ensure the means by which the first 16 can be achieved. It should be considered as a means to an end, not an end in itself.