A new 15-year global development strategy was recently launched by the United Nations with the aim of ending poverty, promoting prosperity and people’s wellbeing, while protecting the environment.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the 2030 Agenda or the Global Goals, have replaced the now expired Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and range from ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education to reducing inequality within and among countries.
Unlike their predecessor, which focused primarily on developing countries, the SDGs will apply to all countries. The goals are also broader in scope, including a focus on human rights and climate change.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the goals as a universal and transformative vision for a better world. “The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is an agenda for people to end poverty in all its forms,” he said at the opening of the UN Sustainable Development Summit where the goals were launched.
Ban also called on world leaders to come together in order to achieve the goals. “The 2030 Agenda compels us to look beyond national boundaries and short-term interests and act in solidarity for the long-term. We can no longer afford to think and work in silos,” he said, adding this would also require involving parliaments, local governments, and civil society, as well as businesses and entrepreneurs.
The SDGs aim to build on the work of the eight MDGs, which were initiated in the year 2000. According to a UN report released in July, while the MDGs had varying degrees of success, overall they were successful in helping lift 1 billion people out of extreme poverty.