The United Nations met in New York this week, and one portion on its agenda was approving 17 new Sustainable Development Goals that primarily targeted the world’s developing countries. As The Guardian reports:
To cheers, applause and probably a tinge of relief, the 17 global goals that will provide the blueprint for the world’s development over the next 15 years were ratified by UN member states in New York on Friday.
After speeches from Pope Francis and the Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, and songs from Shakira and Angelique Kidjo, the ambitious agenda — which aims to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality for all people in all countries — was signed off by 193 countries at the start of a three-day UN summit on sustainable development …
Those goals were:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Make cities 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 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 revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
It’s Amina Mohamed’s job to figure out how to actually implement those goals. She’s a special adviser to the U.N.’s secretary general on post-2015 development planning, and while those goals may sound like a fairy tale, Mohamed disagrees.
“It’s a very real response from a three and a half year discussion — not just from member states, but with civil society, parliamentarians and with business that feel like this is sort of agenda that we need to respond to the very big troubles that we have in the world,” she said. “They’re very complex. It’s a very universal agenda, so it’s about us in New York as much as it’s about a village in Nigeria or in India. And some of these goals that you see there are unfinished business from the Millennium Goals.”
The Millennium Development Goals were similar to the Sustainable Development Goals, and were outlined and agreed upon in 2000. It’s track record was mixed, as the Guardian also notes:
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