Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations was formed in 1945, officially coming into existence on October 24. As it stands today, its goals are to save people from war, to affirm human rights to all people, to uphold justice and respect, and to promote social progress as it relates to freedom. This is ultimately to create tolerance to find peace, unite in international peace and security, ensure the limitation of use of armed forces, and to enhance economic and social aspects of all lives.

Through the United Nations today, we have just passed the timeline for the Millennium Development Goals and come into the timeframe of the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs span a wide array of goals, economic and social, to benefit humanity as a whole. The 17 goals are:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  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
  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
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

One important thing to notice about the SDGs is that many of these topics can encompass the same issues. For instance, Clean Energy and Climate Action will have many similarities yet are different goals. This allows for two benefits that did not happen under the MDGs. First, metrics and indicators for each are more clear and precise to allow for better project implementation. Second, by allowing goals to have similar targets, there is a greater chance that something will be done when they can be approached from multiple perspectives at the same time.