Getting Started with SDGs

Getting Started with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

United Nations Sustainable Development Summit (UNSDS) 2015 was held at UN headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015. The ambitious agenda which aims to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality was signed off by 193 countries.  In his speech Pope Fransis demanded justice for the weak and affirmed the rights of the environment against “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity”. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon mentioned that the true test of commitment to the new global goals (SDGs) will be its implementation. “We need action from everyone, everywhere.”  notes The Guardian.

About one month prior to summit on 12th August, 2015 United Nations made final outcome document “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” which was officially adopted at the UNSDS on September 25-27, 2015 in New York. The Agenda set out the aims of the organization and all its members for the next 15 years in the fields of social development, curbing inequalities, economic progress and environmental sustainability.

United Nations Department of Economic & Social Affairs describes this agenda as a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. The 17 Goals and 169 targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet: The agenda will ensure all people enjoy prosperity, foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence & promote global partnership based on needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. 

It envisage the world having respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realization of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity. This agenda describes the situation of our world today and suggests means required to solve global problems. These include, mobilization of financial resources as well as capacity-building and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries. This agenda also indicates the need for review & take appropriate measures to achieve the sustainable development goals. (SDGs). Children, young women and men are critical agents of change.

Sustainable Development Goals:

At the end of a negotiation that spanned more than two years and has featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, countries agreed to an ambitious agenda that features 17 sustainable development goals which are as follows
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.

What you can do?

To accelerate progress towards SDGs and achieve these goals UNICEF suggests “3As” approach; raising awareness, taking action and holding decision makers accountable for progress.

  1. Awareness: 

With the right tools and information, children and young people can play a critical role in the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, sparking action in their communities and holding leaders to accountable  for progress.

To raise awareness of our rights & responsibilities,  educating and engaging young people on why the goals matter to their everyday lives.

2. Action: 

With millions of children and young people becoming aware of the goals, more and more action is expected by them as well as by governments and society across the globe on health, education, child care, etc guided by the SDGs. They need support in the form of data availability, technical knowledge & facilitating consultation.

3. Accountability:

As per UNICEF global leaders must be held to accountable on commitments made. This can be done in two ways: (1) by collecting, analyzing and sharing data on local, national and global progress on children to monitor progress, and bringing peoples perspectives perspectives on the SDGs to decision makers to promote accountability.


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