UN adopts agreement on Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations unanimously adopted an ambitious agreement – New Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 15 years i.e. till 2030 to tackle the world’s biggest problems, from eradicating poverty to preserving the planet to reducing inequality.

On this occasion Pope Francis backed the new development agenda while addressing the UN General Assembly before the summit to adopt the 17-point plan, calling it “an important sign of hope” at a very troubled time in the Middle East and Africa. Accordingly president of the 70th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Mogens Lykketoft approved the development road map.

UN General Assembly


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were launched in 2000 set 2015 as the target year. Recognizing the success of the goals and the fact that a new development agenda was needed beyond 2015, countries agreed in 2012 at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, to establish an open working group to develop a set of sustainable development goals.

After more than a year of negotiations, the Open Working Group presented its recommendation for the 17 sustainable development goals. Earlier August 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations reached consensus on the outcome document of the new agenda “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Key Facts about the New Agenda:

  • The document, titled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” not only outlines 17 broad goals but sets 169 specific targets.
  • The new goals include ensuring healthy lives and quality education for all, clean water, sanitation and reliable modern energy, as well as making cities safe, reducing inequality within and among countries, and promoting economic growth and good governance.
  • The implementation cost will be USD 3.5 trillion to USD 5 trillion every year until 2030.

What are sustainable development goals?

193 world leaders commit to 17 goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years – End extreme povertyFight inequality & injustice and Fix climate change. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done in all countries for all people.

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

Key points to Remember:

  • UN Secretary General – Ban Ki Moon
  • UN General Assembly President – Mogens Lykketoft
  • UN member Countries – 193

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