sustainable development
Sustainable Development

From the start in 1945, one of the main priorities of the United Nations was to “achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” Improving people’s well-being continues to be one of the main focuses of the UN. The global understanding of development has changed over the years, and countries now have agreed that sustainable development – development that promotes prosperity and economic opportunity, greater social well-being, and protection of the environment – offers the best path forward for improving the lives of people everywhere.

Close to 40 per cent of the population of the developing world lived in extreme poverty only two decades ago. Since then, the world has halved extreme poverty, with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals greatly contributing to this progress. Recognizing the success of the MDGs, and the need to complete the job of eradicating poverty, the UN adopted an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the same time, as climate change poses a growing challenge to the world’s development objectives, the UN supported negotiations to adopt a meaningful and universal global climate agreement in 2015. The UN is also working to develop a financing for development framework to ensure that both the sustainable development agenda and climate action are properly resourced.

“Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, was formally adopted by the 193 UN Member States in in September 2015 at UN Headquarters. The 2030 Agenda includes 17 global goals and 169 targets for sustainable development and expands over the next 15 years. It will serve as the launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and wellbeing. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the achievements of the concluding Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 2000-2015). The ambitious 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 issues. Centered on areas of critical importance - People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership – the goals tackle issues like consumption, education, health, biodiversity, climate change, environmental protection, resilience as well as sustainable cities and communities.

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