Currently, development is being made in several parts of the world. However, action to meet the goals is not yet advancing at the scale or speed required. The years from 2020 onwards need to initiate a decade of effort and ambitious action to achieve the goals by 2030.
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During the Earth Summit in Brazil, in June 1992, over 178 nations adopted Agenda 21, a detailed approach of action to develop a global partnership for sustainable development. Further, the Member States all agreed to adopt the Millennium Declaration at the Millennium Summit in September 2000, which led to elaborating the eight Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty by 2015.
At the World Summit on Sustainable Development that took place in South Africa in 2002, Member States adopted the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation. This reaffirmed the international community’s commitments to remove poverty and protect the environment.
The Member States agreed to adopt the outcome document ‘The Future We Want’ at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). By adopting the document, they decided to initiate a process to develop a set of SDGs to build the MDGs and to set up the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
The General Assembly established a 30-member Open Working Group in 2013 to develop a proposal on the SDGs. Further, in January 2015, it began the negotiation process on the post-2015 development agenda. The process resulted in the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The year 2015 was a turning point for multilateralism and global policy-shaping. Currently, the annual High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development serves as the central United Nations platform for reviewing and examining the SDGs.
The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) currently provides support and capacity-building for the SDGs and their issues such as water, oceans, transport, and climate, etc. The DSDG is important as it examines the 2030 Agenda and various advocacy and outreach activities related to the SDGs.
Eliminate Poverty Everywhere: Eliminate extreme poverty, reduce half the population living in poverty, implement social protection systems, ensure that vulnerable people have equal rights to economic and social resources, and reduce the exposure of vulnerable populations to climate change by 2030.
Zero Hunger, Food Security, and Sustainable Agriculture: End hunger and all forms of malnutrition, double agricultural productivity, ensure sustainable production systems, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds and plants, and ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets by 2030.
Good Health and Well-being for All at All Ages: Reduce global maternity mortality, end preventable deaths of newborns, end epidemics, strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, ensure access to reproductive health care services, achieve universal health coverage, support the development of medicine and vaccines, increase health financing, etc., by 2030.
Quality Education and Lifelong Opportunities for All: Ensure all children free and quality education, ensure access to quality childhood development, ensure equal access to all adults to affordable quality education, increase the number of people having relevant skills, end gender disparities, ensure the achievement of literacy and numeracy, upgrade and build educational facilities by 2030.
Gender Equality and Empowerment to Women and Girls: Eliminate all forms of discrimination, end forms of violence against women, end harmful practices like child marriage, recognize and value domestic work, ensure equal leadership opportunities, undertake reforms to give women equal rights, and strengthen policies.
Water Sanitation and Sustainable Water Management: Ensure universal access to safe water, achieve access to adequate sanitation, improve water quality, increase water-use efficiency, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, and support the participation of local communities in improving water.
Clean, Affordable, and Modern Energy for All: Ensure universal access to energy, increase the share of renewable energy, double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and expand infrastructure and technology for supplying energy services.
Economic Growth and Decent Work for All: Achieve higher productivity levels of economies, achieve full and productive employment, reduce the rate of unemployed youth, effective measures to prohibit forms of child labor, protect labor rights, etc.
Resilient Industry, Infrastructure, and Innovation: Develop quality infrastructure, promote inclusive industrialization, increase access to small-scale industries, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries, enhance scientific research, and increase access to ICT.
Reduce Inequality Within Nations: Empower and promote inclusion of all, ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, improve regulation and monitoring of financial markets, facilitate safe and responsible migration and mobility of people, etc.
Sustainable Human Settlements and Cities: Ensure access for all to safe and affordable housing, provide access to sustainable transport systems, enhance inclusive urbanization, reduce the environmental impacts on cities, provide access to green and public spaces and support the least developed countries by 2030.
Sustainable Production and Consumption: Achieve sustainable management of natural resources, halve global food waste, encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices, and implement tools to monitor sustainable development by 2030.
Action to Tackle Climate Change: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity, integrate climate change measures, improve awareness and education, etc.
Conserve and Protect the Life Below Water: Reduce marine pollution of all kinds, protect marine and coastal ecosystems, end overfishing, conserve coastal and marine areas, prohibit forms of fisheries subsidies, and provide access to small-scale fishers by 2030.
Restore, Conserve, Preserve and Protect the Life on Land: Ensure the conservation of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems, combat desertification, preserve mountain ecosystems, end poaching, reduce the impact of invasive species, etc.
Promote Peace, Provide Justice, and Inclusive Institutions: Reduce all forms of violence, end abuse, and trafficking, reduce corruption, develop transparent institutions, ensure responsive decision-making, and promote non-discriminatory laws.
Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals: Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, developed countries to implement their ODA commitments, mobilize financial resources for developing nations, and implement investment promotion regimes.
Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.