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Global Goals for sustainable development

The UN’s 17 global goals

The UN’s 17 global goals

The UN Global Goals for sustainable development were adopted at the UN summit in New York on 25 September 2015. The goals were adopted by the world’s heads of state and came into force on 1 January 2016. The Global Goals must help us move towards a more sustainable development in the world by the year 2030. The Global Goals consist of 17 concrete goals and 169 milestones to be observed by the UN’s 193 member states.

1: No poverty

The goal is to eliminate all forms of poverty in the world. Achieving this objective involves a targeted effort for vulnerable groups, providing increased access to basic resources, and delivering support and services to communities affected by conflicts and climate disasters.

2: Zero hunger

The goal is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and to promote sustainable agriculture. All forms of hunger and malnutrition in the world must be eliminated by ensuring that everyone has access to adequate and nutritional food all year round. To achieve this, improvements must be made in agricultural productivity and sustainable practices.

3: Good health and well-being

The goal is to ensure a healthy life and to promote the well-being of all age groups by broadening universal health coverage and access to safe and effective drugs and vaccines. An important part of this process is to support research, vaccine development, and access to affordable medicines.

4: Quality education

The goal is to ensure equal access to quality education for all, and to promote lifelong learning opportunities. All girls and boys must complete free primary and secondary education. Equal access must be provided to vocational training so that gender and economic inequalities are eliminated, with a view to achieving universal access to high-quality further education.

5: Gender equality

The goal is to achieve gender equality and support rights and opportunities for girls and women. All forms of discrimination against women and girls must therefore be eliminated. Inequality between men and women in the labour market must end, and there must be equal rights to financial resources. This is essential to promoting sustainable development.

6: Clean water and sanitation

The goal is to ensure that everyone has access to clean water and sanitation, and that this is managed sustainably. This involves investing in infrastructure, delivering sanitary facilities, and encouraging hygiene at all levels. Similarly, water-related ecosystems must be protected and restored in order to prevent water shortages.

7: Affordable and clean energy

The goal is to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, sustainable, modern energy at an affordable price. This includes investing in clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and thermal energy. The expansion of infrastructure and upgrading of technology to provide clean energy in developing countries are among the essential goals needed to promote growth and help the environment.

8: Decent work and economic growth

The goal is to achieve full and productive employment and decent jobs for all women and men. The ambition is to promote sustained economic growth through better productivity and technological breakthroughs. The key to this is focusing on policies that promote entrepreneurship and job creation.

9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure

The goal is to build robust infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and support innovation. This involves sustained investment in infrastructure and innovation, a focus on technological development, improving sustainable industry, and investing in scientific research and innovation. All of these aspects are important to accelerate sustainable development.

10: Reduced inequalities

The goal is to reduce inequalities within and among countries, as inequality is a global problem. By adopting sensible policies, the lowest income groups can be strengthened, which will promote greater economic involvement of all social groups, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. In order to reduce the growing inequality, support can be provided in the form of greater development assistance and foreign investment where the need is greatest, while ensuring the safer migration and mobility of people.

11: Sustainable cities and communities

The goal is to make cities, communities and settlements inclusive, safe, robust, and sustainable. Safe and sustainable cities mean that everyone must be guaranteed access to suitable, safe, affordable housing, and that slums should be upgraded in terms of human habitation. Sustainability is also about improving public transport, green spaces, urban planning, and local government.

12: Responsible consumption and production

The goal is to ensure sustainable consumption and production practices. This means that we change the way we produce and consume our goods and resources. Important objectives for achieving this goal include the efficient management of shared natural resources, recycling, proper disposal of polluting waste and substances, and reducing waste.

13: Climate action

The goal is to act quickly to combat climate change and its consequences. This involves strengthening resilience and adaptability in terms of climate-related risks and disasters, as well as integrating measures, preventative efforts, and raising awareness about climate change in national policies and strategies.  

14: Life below water

The goal is to ensure and maintain a sustainable use of the world’s oceans and their resources. This involves reducing all forms of marine pollution, and protecting and managing marine and coastal ecosystems sustainably in order to strengthen their resilience and restore healthy and productive oceans.

15: Life on land

The goal is to protect, restore and support the sustainable use of ecosystems on land, combat desertification, stop soil depletion, and end the loss of biodiversity. This involves restoring and maintaining the sustainable use of ecosystems on land, ensuring sustainable management of forests, ending deforestation, increasing reforestation globally, combatting desertification, and restoring degraded forests, land, and soil.

16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

The goal is to support peaceful and inclusive societies, to give everyone access to legal rights, and to build effective, accountable and participatory institutions at all levels. This involves ending all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation, and trafficking by cooperating with governments on lasting solutions to conflicts. During this process, it is essential to strengthen the rule of law and promote human rights.

17: Partnerships for the goals

The goal is to strengthen the global partnership for sustainable development and to increase funding to help achieve the objectives. This means that everyone should have better access to technology and knowledge in order to share ideas and foster innovation. Cooperation on policies and international support to help developing countries is essential to achieving sustainable growth and development. Improving international trade and supporting increased exports from developing countries will contribute to achieving a universal, rule-based and just trading system that is fair, open, and beneficial to all.