The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to transform our world. They are a call to action to end poverty and inequality, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy health, justice and prosperity. It is critical that no one is left behind.
THE IMPORTANCE AND RELEVANCE OF THE TOPIC
The 2030 Agenda and its Goals offer a comprehensive vision for sustainable development that:
- is global, rather than limited to “developing” countries as was the case with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
- is based on values such as equity and respect for human rights
- relies on approaches such as sustainable financing, scientific research and innovation, and monitoring and evaluation
- requires a new way of working, involving intersectoral action by multiple stakeholders
- aims to strengthen health systems towards universal health coverage (UHC).
What makes the SDGs unique?
- HISTORIC: Never has there been so much global consensus on such a comprehensive and collective pathway for humanity.
- UNIVERSAL: In many ways, the SDGs have turned every country into a developing country.
- DETAILED: The real power of the SDGs lies in the detail that sits beneath the 17 headline goals.
- TRANSFORMATIVE: The Goals were designed to be ambitious and transformative.
EU POLICY FRAMEWORK RELATING TO THE TOPIC
At the historic United Nations Summit in New York in September 2015, world leaders pledged to end poverty and tackle climate change and inequities. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a better future for billions of people around the world and our planet as a whole.
At the same time, 193 countries unanimously adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have become the new universal standard for development. The basic purpose of these goals is to ensure that we leave no one behind. The indicators behind the goals provide clear benchmarks for measuring performance.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is universal and indivisible. At the same time, it calls on all countries, both developed and developing, and people to take action to end poverty and prevent climate change and injustice by 2030.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS – SDG
- NO POVERTY – Nearly half the global population still lives in poverty. SDG 1 aims to end poverty in all its forms everywhere through collaboration, stronger social protection measures and significant mobilization of global resources.
- ZERO HUNGER – Global resources are sufficient to support current population numbers; however, unequal access means that hunger is still the leading cause of death worldwide. SDG 2 aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
- GOOD HEALTH AND WELL BEING – Major steps have already been taken to improve the health of millions of people, increasing global life expectancies and fighting communicable diseases. SDG 3 aims to further ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages by reducing maternal and infant mortality, ending disease epidemics and achieving universal health coverage.
- QUALITY EDUCATION – is the key to global prosperity. SDG 4 aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by ensuring access to equal and quality education for all boys and girls up until secondary school age, as well as increasing access to technical and vocational training for youth and adults.
- GENDER EQUALITY – Gender bias is not just a human rights issue; it is a tremendous waste of potential as well. SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life, so we can ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
- CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION – Lack of access to clean water and sanitation continues to impact billions of people worldwide. SDG 6 aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all with universal access to safe, affordable drinking water – crucial to reducing unnecessary disease and death.
- AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY – SDG 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Greater efforts must be made to implement new energy solutions that will help to tackle climate change and ensure sustainable energy for all.
- DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH – SDG 8 works to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. By encouraging decent job creation, reducing the number of unemployed youths, increasing training or education and protecting labour rights for all, we can ensure that economic growth benefits society as a whole.
- INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE – Communities can only grow and innovate with a strong foundation of resilient infrastructure. SDG 9 aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
10.REDUCED INEQUALITIES – Although global wealth continues to grow, this doesn’t mean it is being equally distributed. SDG 10 aims to reduce inequalities within and among countries. Greater efforts are needed to achieve and sustain income growth for the bottom 40% of the population, and to promote social, economic and political inclusion for everyone regardless of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic status.
- SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES – As populations continue to increase, and more people move into urban settings, SDG 11 aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This means amplifying efforts to provide safe, affordable housing and sustainable transport systems while still protecting the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
- RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION – We are currently consuming the world’s natural resources at a rate faster than they can be replenished. SDG 12 aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns by reducing food waste and improving the management and use of resources to safeguard the environment for generations to come.
- CLIMATE ACTION – We are facing a climate emergency that threatens the world as we know it. SDG 13 ensures we take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through increased education and innovation and adhering to climate commitments.
- LIFE BELOW WATER – Oceans cover 70% of our planet and are crucial to our survival. SDG 14 aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development by eliminating marine pollution and overfishing to safeguard the marine environment and the communities relying on it.
- LIFE ON LAND – Healthy terrestrial ecosystems are essential to our lives. SDG 15 aims to protect, restore and promote sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and prevent biodiversity loss.
- PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS – SDG 16 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Violence must end and corruption, bribery and other illegal activities must be addressed to build stronger societies that will work together for people and the planet.
- PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS – SDG 17 aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Businesses must work alongside governments, academics, the civil society and industry peers to develop solutions and mobilize resources and technology to deliver on the Goals.