The UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development goals are a United Nations initiative designed to transform the world over the next 10 years.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals

Last update: 26 June, 2020

In July of 2015, UN member states reached a final agreement about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They committed to doing the work to guarantee that people all over the world would live better lives without harming the planet.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed 17 different objectives with 169 total goals designed to change the world. The participating nation-states will work to achieve the SDGs until the year 2030.

Hands in the middle of a circle.

The 17 SDGs are:

  1. No poverty. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. Zero hunger. End hunger, achieve food security, and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Good health and well-being. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  4. Quality education. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. Gender equality. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Clean water and sanitation. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Affordable and clean energy. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
  8. Decent work and economic growth. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
  9. Industry, innovation, and infrastructure. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
  10. Reducing inequality. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Sustainable cities and communities. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
  12. Responsible consumption and production. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Climate action. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum).
  14. Life below water. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Life on land. Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.
  16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Partnerships for the goals. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

What’s sustainable development?

Sustainable development is that which improves living conditions in the present without compromising the resources of future generations. Unsustainable development is when we use all our resources now, and leave future generations with nothing.

To guarantee sustainable development, we all have to work together to make these large-scale changes happen. Without cooperation, we’ll never become a fairer and equitable society. We also have to take positive action that contributes to sustainable development, such as respect others and the planet.

UNESCO and the Sustainable Development Goals

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. It contributes to the implementation of the SDGs through its work in education, natural science, social science, culture, communication, and information.

One sector of UNESCO is dedicated to educational issues. After all, education is an essential human right and the foundation for promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world.

UNESCO provides global and regional leadership, strengthens national educational systems, and responds to the global challenges of our times with education.

What’s the United Nations?

The United Nations is the largest political, economic, and social organization in history. It was created in 1945, and nearly every nation in the world is a member. Today, there are 193 UN member states.

The UN is charged with maintaining peace and safety in the world. It tries to help solve problems that affect everyone, promote human rights, and provide support to countries in order to work towards those goals together.

The United Nations's Sustainable Development Goals.

What are human rights?

Human rights are the inherent rights of all people, no matter their nationality, country of residence, sex, country of origin, ethnicity, color, religion, language, or any other condition.

We all have the same human rights, with no exceptions. These rights are interrelated, interdependent, and indivisible.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was an important milestone in the history of the fight for human rights. Representatives from all regions of the world, from different cultural and legal backgrounds, helped draft the declaration. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly and established the fundamental human rights that should be protected all over the world. It has been translated into more than 500 languages.

What’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)?

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) seeks to maximize people’s potential for knowledge, critical thinking, and a global perspective. It’s based on everyday reality and fights against the situations of inequality by promoting positive, sustainable social change. Think globally, act locally!

This education brings together different elements that make up its theoretical foundation: social transformation, interculturality, Sustainable Development Goals, gender, equity, social justice, solidarity, women’s rights, etc. The point of all of this is to try and move towards a global citizenry, global justice, equity, and the achievement of human rights for all.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.