About the UN Sustainable Development Goals

 

On September the 25th at the UN summit in New York, the world's heads of state and government adopted an until unseen ambitious and transformative development agenda. The goals became effective as of January 1st 2016 and will until 2030 aim at a more sustainable development for people as well as our planet.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals describe 17 concrete goals and 169 subsidiary goals that bind the UN member states to completely eradicate poverty and hunger in the world, reduce inequality, ensure good education and better health for all, decent work and a more sustainable economic growth. They also focus on increasing peace, justice and strong institutions, and to strengthen international partnerships. 

 

GOAL 1: NO POVERTY

ERADICATE ANY FORM OF POVERTY FOR ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE

The eradication of any form of poverty is one of the biggest challenges for humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty has halved - from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015 - far too many are still fighting to fulfill their most basic human needs.

 

GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER

END HUNGER, ENSURE ACCESS BY ALL PEOPLE TO SAFE, NUTRITIOUS AND SUFFICIENT FOOD ALL YEAR ROUND AND ENSURE SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION

The fast growing economy and increased agricultural production in the last two decades have resulted in halving the share of malnourished people in the world. Especially regions such as Central and Eastern Asia, Latinamerica and the Caribbean have made a big progress in eradicating extreme hunger.

However, there is a direct consequence of the deterioration of the environment, drought and loss of biodiversity, and in 2014 an estimated 795 million people were chronically malnourished. More than 90 million children under 5 years are dangerously underweight, and every fourth African citizen still goes to bed hungry.

 

GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

ENSURING HEALTH AND PROMOTING WELL-BEING FOR ALL AGE GROUPS

Goal 3 is about preventing deaths of newborn, improving maternal health and fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other illness. 

Since 1990 deaths among children has decreased by more than 50% globally. Maternal mortality has decreased by 45%. New cases of HIV/AIDS-infections have decreased by 30% between 2000 and 2013, and more than 6.2 million lives have been saved from malaria.

Despite this impressive progress, annually more than 6 million children die before they turn 5. 16,000 children die every day due to measles and tuberculosis, which could have been prevented. Each day hundreds of women die during pregnancy or because of birth-related complications. 

 

GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION

ENSURE ALL EQUAL ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING POSSIBILITIES

Since 2000 big progress has happened concerning this goal. However, the progress has been met by big challenges too. Especially in the developing countries, because of big poverty, armed conflicts and other emergency situations. In western Asia and North Africa armed conflicts have created an increase in the share of children who do not attend school. This is an alarming tendency.

 

GOAL 5: GENDER EQUALITY

REACH GENDER EQUALITY AND STRENGTHEN THE RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES OF WOMEN AND GIRLS

The ending of all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas. 

 

GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

ENSURE ALL EQUAL ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION AND ENSURE THAT THIS IS MANAGED IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY

Since 1990 2.1 billion people have achieved an improved access to water and sanitation. But the diminishing supplies of clean drinking water er still a big problem that affects all continents.

In 2011 41 countries experienced "water stress"”; ten of them are close to exhausting their sources of sustained freshwater and must now depend on non-conventional sources. Draught and desertification are already worsening these tendencies. By 2050 it is expected that every fourth person will be affected by recurring shortage of water supply.

 

GOAL 7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY

ENSURE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO RELIABLE, SUSTAINABLE AND MODERN ENERGY AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE

A global economy depending on fossil fuel and an increase in the emission of greenhouse gasses creates drastic changes in our climate system. This is seen in all continents. Universal access to electricity at an affordable price before 2030 means investing in clean energy sources such as sun, wind and thermic.

 

GOAL 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

PROMOTE CONTINUOUS, INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH, FULL AND PRODUCTIVE OCCUPATION, AND DECENT WORK TO ALL

The global goals for sustainable development seeks to promote a continuous economic growth by creating higher productivity and technological breakthroughs. In the last 25 years the number of employees living in extreme poverty has had a drastic decrease. This despite the protracted effect of the economic crisis in 2008/2009.

Although the global economy is improving, more than 204 million people were unemployed in 2015, according to the International Labour Organisation.

 

GOAL 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

DEVELOP A ROBUST INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTE AN INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIALISATION, AND SUPPORT INNOVATION

More than 4 billion people have no access to the internet, and 90% of them live in the developing countries. It is essential to surmount the digital gap to ensure equal access to  information and knowledge, thereby promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

The continuous investment in infrastructure and innovation is essential for economic growth and development. As more than half the world's population live in cities, mass transportation and continuous energy will only become more and more important. The same goes for the growth of new industries and information og communication technologies. The promotion of sustainable industry and the investment in scientific research and innovation are important ways in which to speed up a sustainable development.

 

GOAL 10: REDUCED INEQUALITIES

REDUCE INEQUALITY IN AND BETWEEN COUNTRIES

The inequality of income is increasing and calls for action in the form of the enactment of reasonable policies that will strengthen the lowest income groups and promote a bigger economic involvement of all social groups irrespective of gender, race or ethnicity. Inequality is a global problem that requires global solutions. 

 

GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

ENSURE CITIES, COMMUNITIES AND SETTLEMENTS ARE INCLUDING, SAFE, ROBUST AND SUSTAINABLE

More than half the world's population live in cities. The fast-growing cities in the developing countries, combined with an increasing migration from country to city, has led to a boom of socalled megacities. In 1990 there were ten megacities of 10 million inhabitants or more. In 2014 the number had increased to 28 megacities housing a total of 453 million people.

 

Extreme poverty is often concentrated in cities, and the national and local authorities are fighting to accommodate the growing population in these areas. The protection of cities and sustainability means guarateeing the access to safe and affordable housing as well as improving the housing in slum areas. Sustainability also implies investing in public transport, creating green public areas, and improving city planning. 

 

GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

ENSURING SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND FORMS OF PRODUCTION

Agriculture is the largest comsumer of water on a global scale, and artificial irrigation now accounts for approximately 70% of the consumption of water intended for human consumption. In order to reach goal 12, an effective control of all natural resources is required as well as of the way in which toxic waste and polluting matter are disposed of.

 

GOAL 13: CLIMATE ACTION

ACT FAST TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGES AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES

In all areas of the world the drastic consequences of climate changes can be seen. The emission of greenhouse gasses continues to increase, and the emission is today more than 50% higher than in 1990. The global warming makes long-term changes in our environmental system, which threatens to lead to irreversible consequences if we don't act now.

 

GOAL 14: LIFE BELOW WATER

CONSERVE THE WORLD'S OCEANS AND ENSURE THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF THEM AND THEIR RESOURCES 

More than three billion people are depending on the biodiversity in ocean and coastal areas. But today overfishing is approximately 30%, which is far above the level at which the fish population can reproduce in a sustainable way. The world's oceans with their temperatures, chemistry, current and life make the Earth habitable, therefore tha handling of this vital resource is of critical importance to humanity.

 

GOAL 15: LIFE ON LAND

ENSURE THE CONSERVATION, RESTORATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF ECOSYSTEMS ON LAND, FIGHT DESERTIFICATION, END THE EXHAUSTION OF THE EARTH AND THE LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY

Vegetation provides 80% of our food consumption, and we depend on agriculture as an important economic resource and as a means for development. Today, we see an until now unseen degradation of farm land. Loss of farm land happens 30 to 35 times faster than the historic rate.

Draught and desertiification also increases every year. 12 million hectare are lost every year, and it affects poor societies all over the world. Of the 8,300 animal species we know of, 8% are extinct and 22% risk extinction. 

 

GOAL 16: PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

PROMOTE PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES. ENSURE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO LEGAL RIGHTS AND DEVELOP EFFECTIVE, RESPONSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE INSTITUTIONS ON ALL LEVELS

The global goals for sustainable development seek to reduce all forms of violence, and through collaboration with governments and communities find lasting solutions to conflicts and insecurity. The strengthening of the principles of constitutional states and the promotion of human rights are central to this process. The same goes for the restriction of illegal flow of weapons and a larger involvement of the developing countries in global resolution agencies.

 

GOAL 17: PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS

STRENGTHEN GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INCREASE THE RESOURCES TO REACH THE GOALS

The global goals for sustainable development can only be realised through strong global engagement and collaboration. While the development aid from the developed countries has increased by 66% between 2000 and 2014, a series of humanitarian crises, caused by conflicts and natural disasters, continuously required financial resources and support. Many countries also need development aid to strengthen their growth and trade.

 

 

Read more about the UN global goals