World leaders adopt Sustainable Development Goals

Sep 28, 2015

  Iranian President, Dr. Hassan Rouhani at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. Photo Credit: The Associated Press

At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September, more than 150 world leaders adopted the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will support governments around the world in tackling the new agenda and taking it forward over the next 15 years.  The 17 new SDGs, also known as the Global Goals, aim to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, build strong institutions and partnerships, and more.

Speaking at the summit, Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani said: “Environmental problems have taught us humans living on planet earth that we are all in the same boat.  What others do also impacts our destiny.  We cannot be assured of our own peace and security, whilst ignoring how others are living.  Without extensive cooperation at the national, regional and international levels, achieving the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ will be very difficult.  Such cooperation should be mindful of our common destiny and joint commitment towards important human responsibilities.”

Dr. Rouhani added: “A common destiny requires a common goal.  But this doesn’t mean that the responsibilities of all are the same.  It would be impossible to achieve the post-2015 sustainable development goals without considering the responsibilities of states and their share in creating the current environmental status quo and would result in fruitless argument.”

  The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in New York on 25 September 2015

Also speaking at the summit, Ms. Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator said: “Ours is the last generation which can head off the worst effects of climate change and the first generation with the wealth and knowledge to eradicate poverty.  For this, fearless leadership from us all is needed.”

She added: “If the global community collectively is prepared to step up to the challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, then there’s a chance of achieving sustainable development – and with it better prospects for people and our planet.”

With 50 years of experience supporting countries in their development, UNDP will be the first port of call for support for many governments as they implement the SDGs.

MDGs to SDGs

The SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. Since the MDGs were adopted in 2000, enormous progress has been made, but more needs to be done.

The SDGs have a more ambitious agenda, seeking to eliminate rather than reduce poverty, and include more demanding targets on health, education and gender equality. They are universal, applying to all countries and all people. The agenda also includes issues that were not in the MDGs such as climate change, sustainable consumption, innovation and the importance of peace and justice for all.

The Global Goals will now finish the job of the MDGs, and ensure that no one is left behind.

Click here to watch a related video produced by UNDP on Aparat.

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