The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – also known as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development – are a brand new set of goals and targets agreed on by UN member states to guide global action to end poverty over the next 15 years.
The 17 goals apply to all countries, both rich and poor, and include actions to tackle poverty, climate change, hunger and inequality for all people around the world.
The SDGs follow and expand on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2000 and end in 2015.
A pledge for all
Unlike the MDGs before them, these SDGs aren’t just development goals for developing countries. They are for everyone. All countries have made a pledge to end poverty and hunger; to fight gender and economic inequality; to ensure sustainable economic development and protect our planet.
The SDGs make a pledge to leave no one behind. This means recognising the many barriers people face, from economic and gender inequality, to how the most vulnerable communities in our world are the most affected by climate change.
Holding to account
By getting governments to agree on the goals, it is now possible to hold them to account.
The goals give governments an important tool to tackle global problems in a comprehensive way, as well as a framework to track progress. But they also provide citizens with an equally important tool to ensure action toward these goals happens.
If the SDGs are to have any chance of delivering what they promise, we must abandon the current highly polluting, highly unequal path to economic development.
Zero hunger and gender equality are possible by 2030, but we can’t get there without tackling inequality and we can’t stay there without tackling climate change.
Let’s make it happen
These goals are our best chance to realise a shared and lasting vision of prosperity for all. Let’s make sure it’s more than just words. Let’s make it happen.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages.
4. Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
6. Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
11. Make cities 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.
15. Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.
16. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
17. Revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.