A new sustainable development agenda

People around the world demanded for equal world by eradicating poverty, inequality etc. To turn these demands into actions, world leaders gathered on 25th September 2015, at the United Nations in New York to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 targets that all 191 UN Member States have agreed to achieve by the year 2030. The SDGs follow and expand on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were agreed and proposed by government in 2001. The new SDGs, go much beyond than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and universal need for development that helps for all the people around the world.

This new development agenda applies to all countries, which helps to promote peaceful societies, creates better job, provides equality and tackles the environmental challenges especially climate change.

What are the SDGs?

  • End poverty in all its forms everywhere around the world.
  • End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and also promoting sustainable agriculture all over the world.
  • Ensure healthy lives for people and promote well-being for all people at all ages.
  • Ensure equal and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  • To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  • To provide access towards affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  • To promote sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  • Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
  • To reduce inequality within and among countries.
  • Make cities, communities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  • Conserve life below water and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  • Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  • Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  • Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for all sustainable development.

These are 17 developmental goals set by world leaders. In response to the allegation that the MDGs were too narrow in focus, the SDGs set out to tackle a whole range of issues, from gender inequality to climate change. Also the SDGs are universal, which means they are equally applicable to all countries which includes targets from rich countries as well as poor countries without any discrimination or inequality.

Are the SDGs sufficiently ambitious and transformative?

One goal among these 17 goals was to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Since the term sustainable is given, this is considered as one of the top goal. According to the reports, the targets to this goal are noticeably weak. An important target on investing in low carbon solutions, which had appeared in early OWG drafts, was dropped, and there is now no concrete commitment to mitigate climate change itself. The SDGs also miss a crucial opportunity to effectively question and reform unjust global institutional arrangements. They have some serious disadvantages and all this goals are not fully transformative.

The main strength of the SDGs is that they provide official, global identification to an achievement, besides economic growth, that have come to be related with the term ‘development’, such as sustainability, gender equality, poverty eradication, and participatory decision-making. It is considered Agenda 2030 will seriously change the world for the better.

Even so, the SDGs sometimes disappoint as much as they impress.

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1 Response to A new sustainable development agenda

  1. Marcia Munoz Caceres says:

    Great and clear explanation of the Sustainable Development Goals!
    Thank you for that Sujitha!

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