New UN Sustainable Development Agenda to Change the World

Aiming to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda, more than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from 25-27 September at the UN Headquarters in New York. This momentous agenda will promote shared prosperity and well-being for all over the next 15 years.

“[The agreement] encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds a historic turning point for our world,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in a Summit outcome document on August 2. “This is the People’s Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions; irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind,” he continued.

Agreed by the 193 Member States of the UN, the proposed Agenda “Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” consists of a Declaration, 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, a section on means of implementation and renewed global partnership, and a framework for review and follow-up.

The Agenda calls for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income. And for sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected and all are crucial for the well–being of individuals and societies.

This document builds on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were adopted in 2000 and produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history. It is constructed on the successful outcome of the Conference on Financing for Development that recently concluded in Ethiopia. It is expected that it will also positively affect the negotiations on a new meaningful and universal climate agreement in Paris this December.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets are global in nature and universally applicable, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. They are not independent from each other—they need to be implemented in an integrated manner. The SDGs are focused on the areas of critical importance: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.

Implementation and success of the Goals will rely on countries’ own sustainable development policies, plans and programmes. The SDGs will be a compass for aligning countries’ plans with their global commitments.

Baia Dzagnize

24 September 2015 21:14