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New Sustainable Development Agenda, Leaving No One Behind

More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from 25-27 September at UN Headquarters in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. This momentous agenda will serve as the launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for all over the next 15 years.

In a statement issued following consensus reached by Member States on the Summit outcome document on 2 August, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “[the agreement] encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world.” “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 said.

Agreed by the 193 Member States of the UN, the proposed Agenda, entitled “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 is unique in that it calls for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income. It recognizes that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with a plan that builds economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while addressing climate change and environmental protection. It also covers issues such as inequality, infrastructure, energy, consumption, biodiversity, oceans and industrialization.

The new sustainable development agenda builds on the successful outcome of the Conference on Financing for Development that recently concluded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is expected that it will also positively affect the negotiations on a new meaningful and universal climate agreement in Paris this December.

Intergovernmental Process towards Global Action for People and Planet

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history, serve as a springboard for the new sustainable development agenda to be adopted by world leaders next month.

Since the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development – the Earth Summit – in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the world has identified a new pathway to human well-being, that of sustainable development. The concept of sustainable development, presented in Agenda 21, recognized that economic development must be balanced with growth that meets people’s needs and protects the environment.

The new sustainable development agenda builds on the outcome of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, the 2010 Summit on the MDGs, the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (Rio+20) and the views of people around the world.

Recognizing the successes of the MDGs, countries agreed in “The future we want,” the outcome document of Rio+20, to establish an open working group to develop a set of sustainable development goals for consideration and appropriate action.

Following more than a year of inclusive and intensive consultative deliberations, the Open Working Group proposed 17 specific goals with 169 associated targets.

The intergovernmental negotiations on the composition of the goals spanned more than two years and included numerous inputs from civil society and other stakeholders. The inclusive and transparent consultations led to consensus being reached on 2 August on the outcome document for the new sustainable development agenda.

The new agenda will officially be adopted by world leaders at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.

Sustainable Development Goals

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

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

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