• World
  • Sep 19

Explainer - Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

• World leaders adopted a landmark political declaration to accelerate action on implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the opening of a high-level forum at UN headquarters.

• The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly began on September 18 with the 2023 SDG Summit that reviewed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs.

• UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that now is the time for a global plan to rescue the SDGs which are woefully off-track halfway towards their 2030 deadline. 

• Each of the 17 goals contains targets, with 169 overall, but the Secretary-General warned that currently only 15 per cent are on track, while many are going in reverse.

• UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis noted that despite commitments, 1.2 billion people were still living in poverty as of 2022, and roughly eight per cent of the global population, or 680 million people, will still be facing hunger by the end of the decade. 

What are SDGs?

• The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all UN member states in 2015 as a universal call of action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

• Also known as the Global Goals, the SDGs are a call to action to create a world where no one is left behind.

• It consists of 17 goals and 169 targets. 

• The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face.

• The SDGs are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. 

• They recognise that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

The 17 SDGs are:

1) No poverty: End poverty in all its forms, everywhere.

2) Zero hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

3) Good health and well-being: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.

4) Quality education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

5) Gender equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

6) Clean water and sanitation: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

7) Affordable and clean energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

8) Decent work and economic growth: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

9) Industry, innovation and infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

10) Reduced inequalities: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

11) Sustainable cities and communities: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

12) Responsible consumption and production: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

13) Climate action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

14) Life below water: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

15) Life on land: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

16) Peace, justice and strong institutions: 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) Partnerships for the goals: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.

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