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What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals are a part of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This provides a shared blueprint and plan of action, which works towards peace and prosperity for people and the planet. 

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They are an urgent call for action to all countries to participate in a global partnership. The Sustainable Development goals take into account the fact that ending poverty and all deprivations must happen alongside the improvement of health and education, reducing inequality, and boosting economic growth. We must also address the issue of climate change and strive towards preserving the world’s oceans and forests.

What is the purpose of the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to provide peace around the world, as well as promote equality, health, education and to end climate change. These goals aim to meet a set of specific targets by 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are an urgent call for action by all countries – both developed and undeveloped. These goals include:

1. No poverty

This is the goal of ending all forms of poverty, everywhere. Specifically, the United Nations aims to end extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030. They define this as people living on less than $1.25 a day. The UN also wants to halve the proportion of people living in poverty, among further goals.

2. Zero hunger

The goal of ending all hunger, achieving food security, improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture. By 2030, the UN wants to end hunger and malnutrition, double the agricultural productivity of small-scale food producers, and ensure and implement sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices.

3. Good health and well-being

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for everyone at all ages. The United Nations wants to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five, end the AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis epidemics, and more.

4. Quality education

Ensuring inclusive and equitable education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. By 2030, the UN wants to make sure all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, ensuring all children have access to quality early childhood development.

5. Gender equality

Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. The United Nations want to completely end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls, eliminate all forms of violence against girls and women and public and private spheres, end all harmful practices, such as forced marriage and genital mutilation, recognise and value unpaid care and domestic work, ensure women’s full participation in leadership, and ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health rights.

6. Clean water and sanitation

Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for everyone.

The United Nations wants to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, gain access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, reduce water pollution and eliminate dumping by 2030.

7. Affordable and clean energy

Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. By 2030, the UN wants universal access to reliable, affordable and modern energy services, as well as a substantial increase in renewable energy in the global energy mix and the global rate of energy efficiency improvement doubled.

8. Decent work and economic growth

Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, as well as full and productive employment and decent work for everyone. The UN wants to attain higher levels of economic productivity, promote development-oriented policies and sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances, among more.

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and bring out innovation. The United Nations wants to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, increase the access of small-scale industrial enterprises and upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries.

10. Reduced inequalities

Reducing inequalities within and among countries. The UN will ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome. They aim to eliminate discriminatory laws and policies and put into place fiscal, wage and social protection policies instead.

11. Sustainable cities and communities

Making cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, sustainable and resilient. By 2030, the United Nations strives to attain safe, adequate and affordable housing for everyone, as well as safe and accessible transport systems and enhanced sustainable and inclusive urbanisation.

12. Responsible consumption and production

Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. The UN will implement the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources and halve global food waste by 2030.

13. Climate change

Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The United Nations will strengthen resilience to climate-related hazards in all countries, integrate climate change measures into national policies and improve education around climate change.

14. Life below water

Conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. By 2025, the UN wants to prevent and significantly reduce all kinds of marine pollution. They also aim to minimise and address the impacts of ocean acidification and develop scientific research capacity for marine technology.

15. Life on land

Protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, managing forests sustainably, combating desertification, and halting and reversing biodiversity loss and land degradation. The United Nations want to combat desertification and restore degraded land and soil by 2030. They also want to take urgent action to end poaching of protected species of flora and fauna.

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for everyone, and building inclusive, accountable and effective institutions at all levels. The UN aims to significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates around the world, end all forms of violence against children and promote the rule of law at national and international levels.

17. Partnership for the goals

Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. And lastly, the United Nations want to strengthen domestic resource mobilisation, including international support for developing countries, mobilise additional financial resources for developing countries and  for developing countries to fully implement their official development assistance commitments.

How can you help to support the Sustainable Development Goals?

You can support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by donating monthly to ChildFund Australia. You can help to shift the forces that keep children in poverty, making a difference for 1,000 children in just one year.

Your monthly donation will help to give children in some of the poorest of situations the essentials of health, education and safety. Your donation will also be used across a number of vital initiatives, making sure that it goes to where it’s most needed. 

Choose your monthly donation level and start making a difference today.

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