Sustainable Development Goals Overview and the High-Level Political Forum

The United Nations Development Goals have targets and indicators that are meant to provide a way of measuring progress towards said goals. This is something that the prior Millennium Development Goals failed to do and were highly criticized for. The UN created the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) to act as a “central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, provides for the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States members of specialized agencies.” Within the United Nations there is also the presence of Major Groups. The Major Groups represent a variety of specialized individuals who are experts in marginalized communities because they are often representative of that community. Among these major groups are Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous Peoples, Workers and Trade Unions, and Persons with Disabilities.


This class session ended up being very important to formulating my own capstone project. My topic ended up looking into Goal 12 (Climate Change) target 12.8 aims to do the following:

“By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature” by the year 2030.” (UN SDG 12.8)

Indicator 12.8.1 aims to measure this target by looking at the following:

Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development (including climate change education) are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment (UN SDG. 12.1)


The goal of my project is to measure how the United States education system is contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by analyzing U.S. education standards related to climate change. It is fascinating to know how much meaning individual words within an official United Nations document have. When doing this reading and skimming over the term “major groups” it never crossed my mind that there was an entire system in place that gives meaning to the term major groups. I have a new found appreciation for the United Nations and all of the documents that are produced because I know how much meaning is beind all of them.